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3 Questions to Ask That Will Reveal If Your Candidate Is Reliable

Even if you find an employee with top skills, you’ll have a significant problem if they don’t show up and do their work. So, how can you make sure a candidate is time conscious, responsible, and dependable?   

Here are three interview questions that will provide a greater understanding of character:  

Tell me about a time your attendance impacted your work.

The candidate may tell you how arriving early and staying late allowed them to advance more quickly. Or, they may tell you how they had to change their ways after failing to make attendance a top priority. Both positive and negative examples could add up to a strong response. 

Tell me about a time you couldn’t finish a task before the end of the day.

Having employees work late every evening is not ideal. And, if someone consistently can’t get their assignments done during regular hours, you might want to question their productivity. Look for candidates who were willing to take personal responsibility for the occasional overly ambitious project by staying late, asking for an extension, or enlisting the help of others.  

Tell me about a time personal issues pulled you away from work.

Sometimes things happen that force us to put our jobs on hold. This may be a family emergency, an illness, or an unexpected loss. This is inevitable. However, you don’t want employees who walk away, assuming other people will cover. Dependable candidates may tell you how they checked in, set up alternate arrangements, or were profoundly grateful for the extra support of their colleagues during a tough time.   

Top Tips for Assessing Reliability in Interview

  • Stick to Behavioral Questions  
  • Behavioral questions allow you to evaluate candidates based on past performance, and they usually start with the phrase, “Tell me about a time…” Your interviewee’s stories should offer more insights than you would receive from standard questions like, “How do you feel about arriving to work on time?”    
  • Ask for Real-Life Examples Not Hypotheticals  
  • Situational interview questions, such as “What if you had an important meeting and you were stuck in traffic?” also provide stories. However, they are more difficult to judge. After all, we all hope we would handle running late for work as a superhero, but the reality might be different.  
  • Don’t Give the Correct Responses Away  
  • Avoid questions that encourage the candidate to answer in a particular manner. For example, “These are our attendance requirements. Will you be able to meet them?” Anyone in their right mind won’t answer “No” to that question.    
  • Beware of Qualifiers  
  • When candidates answer, watch out for words like always, never, and super. These statements sound great, but they’re usually a cover. In the end, we’re all human. Do you know anyone who has never, ever been late to work? Probably not.  

Are You Searching for Punctual and Dependable Employees?

Halpin Staffing Services can help you find the reliable workers you need to get the job done. We assist companies throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois with direct-hire, contract-to-hire, and workforce management solutions. Learn more about partnering with us today! 



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