When filling a skilled trades position, asking the right questions during the interview is essential. Often, hiring managers focus heavily on hard skills. While technical capabilities are undeniably important, the best approach also involves touching on soft skills, safety on the job, and more.
Fortunately, it’s possible to tap into all of the necessary topics. Here’s a look at the best questions to ask skilled trade candidates.
When interviewing skilled trade candidates, learning more about their applicable experience is essential. While the exact questions you’ll ask may vary depending on the nature of the role and the required skills, some options are relatively universal.
Here are a few experience questions that are worth asking when meeting with skilled trade candidates:
- Can you walk me through your resume?
- How did your previous jobs prepare you for this one?
- Which of your past projects are you most proud of, and why?
- Do you have any current certifications or licenses?
- What equipment or tools have you used in the past?
Soft Skills Questions
While the questions above let you learn about a candidate’s experience and hard skills, digging into their soft skills is a must. In many cases, an employee’s soft skills determine how well they work with others, including supervisors, coworkers, and various stakeholders. Plus, some impact work quality.
Here are some soft skills questions to ask your skilled trade candidates:
- How would you describe yourself in just three words?
- How would you describe your teamwork and collaboration skills?
- Do you prefer to communicate with your manager verbally or in writing?
- Can you describe a time when your communication skills were put to the test at work?
- Tell me about a time when your attention to detail made a difference at work.
- If you had a disagreement with your supervisor, how would you handle it?
- If you’re given two tasks to handle, both of which are high-priority, how do you choose where to begin?
- Which of your traits would help you excel in this role? Would any hold you back?
Many skilled trade professionals regularly encounter risks on the job. As a result, it’s wise to ask questions that let you find out if a candidate is safety-conscious.
Here are a few safety questions for skilled trade candidates:
- What does workplace safety mean to you?
- What safety practices are most critical in this industry and environment?
- If you noticed someone else doing something unsafe on the job, what would you do?
- Have you ever been involved in a workplace accident, and if so, what did you learn from the experience?
- What would you do if you encountered a piece of equipment that was in poor condition or that was potentially malfunctioning, and you needed it to handle a task?
In the end, all of the interview questions above are worth asking when meeting skilled trade candidates. Just make sure to adjust them to fit the nuances of the role, increasing their relevance and ensuring you can get the right details during the interview.
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