Evaluating Work Ethic: Top 5 Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Discover the most effective job interview questions for evaluating candidates’ work ethic.

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Why should you look for a strong work ethic in candidates?

A strong work ethic is the most desired characteristic in a new employee, according to many employers. Why is that?

It is because candidates with extensive relevant experience and the right skills won’t be an asset for a company unless they exhibit a strong work ethic.

In other words, qualification and skills aren’t enough to guarantee that a candidate will be successful in a job. Besides great qualifications, work experience and skills, a top candidate will also exhibit a will to work hard and dedicated.

What is the best way to evaluate work ethic in candidates?

You can’t really assess a candidate’s work ethic by resume alone. When you’re trying to recognize a strong work ethic, it is important to look beyond your candidates’ qualification and skills.

In order to find if your candidate is a hard-working, reliable, dedicated, punctual and responsible employee, you should use behavioral interview questions.

Interview questions for evaluating work ethic

Here are top 5 job interview questions designed specifically to evaluate candidate’s work ethic:

  1. Can you describe a time when you went the extra mile at work?

  2. When things are slow at work or you’ve finished your tasks, what do you do?

  3. How do you define work ethic? What does it mean to you?

  4. When have you worked the hardest? Describe the situation and explain your motivation.

  5. Give an example of when you completed a difficult task that made you work harder than normal.

By asking these job interview questions, you can easily uncover candidates with a strong work ethic. The best candidates will be able to provide detailed, real-life examples of their previously demonstrated inclination to work hard and go the extra mile.

Additional resources

➡️ If you’re looking for more great interviewing questions, you’ll find more examples in our blog post: Questions to ask candidates in a job interview.

➡️ If you would like to improve your overall interviewing skills, check out our Guide: How to be a good interviewer.

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