Interview Questions For Potential Employees - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Interview Questions For Potential Employees

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-29-2014, 08:28 AM   #1
New Guy
 
Wcceric's Avatar
 
Trade: General contracting/ carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New jersey
Posts: 29
Rewards Points: 38

Interview Questions For Potential Employees


So we've begun the process of looking for another carpenter after about 3 years of not having a lead guy other than myself or my father. I would like some input on job interview questions to ask the potential employees that really helps weed out the good from the bad. I have never conducted a formal interview like this and really need some help. All past employees and current have been recommended by friends and family. Everyone seems to want to be a "foreman" or "PM" which is nice but I need someone who can work and get things done.
Here's some of the questions I had in mind.

Age?
Married/Single/Kids?
Past experience?
What are you looking for a job or a career?
Why did you leave you past position?
If you were on a job and X happened what would you do?
Wcceric is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 12-29-2014, 08:57 AM   #2
Member
 
on_the_level's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling, outdoor living
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Delaware/Maryland Beaches
Posts: 76
Rewards Points: 83

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


What about looking internally as you say the current employees want to advance to foreman? Promoting from within always creates drive as opposed to bringing in a new leader and trying to foster respect. By the time you weed through a handful of lead guys (very rarely is the first new hire successful even with the right questions), you could set up one of the other guys to train with you and your father. They already know how you want things done. On the other hand, as I don't know your current employees, management is one of the harder aspects to teach. Either you have that mindset or you don't. The ins and outs of building are always much easier to teach. Remember, in an interview, you always meet the person's representative, never the real person. You meet them 2-3 months later. References and following up on those references are the best way to find out who the real person is. Again, the flip side to that is it's considered slander to give the negatives of past employees, so be careful how you phrase the questions you ask the referral, so as to obtain the real info that you need to hear.

Advertisement


Last edited by on_the_level; 12-29-2014 at 08:59 AM.
on_the_level is offline  
Old 12-29-2014, 09:06 AM   #3
Pro
 
NJGC's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Unfortunately I live in the communist republic of NJ.
Posts: 595
Rewards Points: 82

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Be careful not to ask any "illegal" questions. ....there are some things that are off limits from an EOE stand point. Things like how old are you? Are a no no and can set you up for accusations of discrimination. GL finding the right person.
NJGC is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-29-2014, 11:34 AM   #4
Pro
 
AmeliaP's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Shohola, PA
Posts: 1,527
Rewards Points: 1,624

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


I think your first two questions are illegal.
__________________
www.BillPearnMasonry.com
AmeliaP is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to AmeliaP For This Useful Post:
J L (01-03-2015), Jeremiah2911 (12-29-2014), mikeswoods (12-30-2014)
Old 12-29-2014, 12:44 PM   #5
Pro
 
Jeremiah2911's Avatar
 
Trade: .
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 324

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Hiring based on age, race, Sex, sexual preference etc is discrimination. You could be sued so be careful.
Jeremiah2911 is offline  
Old 12-29-2014, 12:50 PM   #6
The Ultimate Wire Hider
 
tedanderson's Avatar
 
Trade: A/V & Home Theater Installation
Join Date: May 2010
Location: PG County MD
Posts: 4,455
Rewards Points: 2,116

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


The best interview question that I ever got was, "Tell me about yourself other than your skill sets, your work experience, or job-related accomplishments."

The genius of that question determines whether you are just working for the job or if you are working to enjoy those things outside of work. I think that people who have lives and interests and hobbies outside of work tend to be better employees because their work enthusiasm is fueled by more than just money.
__________________
I'm always looking for the answer to my troubles at the bottom of a paint can.
tedanderson is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to tedanderson For This Useful Post:
Metro M & L (01-03-2015), Stephen H (12-30-2014)
Old 12-29-2014, 03:48 PM   #7
Pro
 
Lugnut1968's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting and Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Georgia
Posts: 435
Rewards Points: 460

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by AmeliaP View Post
I think your first two questions are illegal.
Sad fact of the "politically correct" world we find ourselves in.


I have honestly done away with questions. I just basically make statements..

1 - You will have to pass a pre employment drug test.

2 - You will be subjected to random and reasonable cause tests as well.

3 - You can not drink before work or during work.

Sadly most of the guys in construction at the helper level seem to leave right after those three..
Lugnut1968 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Lugnut1968 For This Useful Post:
CO762 (12-31-2014), dom-mas (12-30-2014), tedanderson (12-29-2014)
Old 12-29-2014, 04:39 PM   #8
Pro
 
Jeremiah2911's Avatar
 
Trade: .
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 324

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugnut1968 View Post
Sad fact of the "politically correct" world we find ourselves in.


I have honestly done away with questions. I just basically make statements..

1 - You will have to pass a pre employment drug test.

2 - You will be subjected to random and reasonable cause tests as well.

3 - You can not drink before work or during work.

Sadly most of the guys in construction at the helper level seem to leave right after those three..
What's sad about preventing discrimination?
Jeremiah2911 is offline  
Old 12-29-2014, 04:52 PM   #9
water re-locater
 
NYgutterguy's Avatar
 
Trade: Gutter installer
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: orange/rockland ny NYC suburbs
Posts: 6,970
Rewards Points: 7,082

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah2911 View Post
What's sad about preventing discrimination?
Uh oh...You mean to tell me that telling the kid that saw my truck the other day and asked if i was hiring that i dont hire guys who wear there pants sagging down to his knees and a hat on side ways was a no no ...
NYgutterguy is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to NYgutterguy For This Useful Post:
Bearded Wonder (12-29-2014), Sunset Designs (01-03-2015)
Old 12-29-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
Pro
 
Lugnut1968's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting and Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Georgia
Posts: 435
Rewards Points: 460

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


If I want someone over the age of 35 then I should be able to hire someone over the age of thirty five...

Private company with less than 4 employees here so *shrugs* that don't apply to me any way... so when I say I am looking to hire a good looking woman who wants to run trim and paint in order to get the work from more builders (hey, good eye candy is still a heck of a draw in certain areas) then nobody can say or do anything to me... why should a guy who has 8 employees lose that same freedom/ability?
Lugnut1968 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lugnut1968 For This Useful Post:
JBBS (12-29-2014)
Old 12-29-2014, 05:28 PM   #11
Pro
 
Jeremiah2911's Avatar
 
Trade: .
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 324

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by NYGUTTERGUY View Post
Uh oh...You mean to tell me that telling the kid that saw my truck the other day and asked if i was hiring that i dont hire guys who wear there pants sagging down to his knees and a hat on side ways was a no no ...
What were trying to infer with your example?

Since when did your attire outside of work determine your capabilities. That kid could probably be a great worker but your "judged" him, right? Fashion and cloths are just a form of expression. Would you have a problem with a goth kid dressed in all black and face piercings? What about a guy with two sleeves covered in tattoos? How about someone with locs? How about a man that dresses in drag on the weekends?

Here's some questions for you:

Do I think you should hire the young unmarried guy over the single dad with 4 kids because "he will probably have to call out sick with all those kids"?

Do I think a guy over 60 deserves the right to work even though" he's past his prime and probably has a ton of medical issues"?

Do I think that everyone deserves a chance if they are willing to work hard? Absolutely.

Am I against discrimination and our profiling of all kinds? Absolutely.

I have a bachelors in sociology, my soapbox is made of concrete and diamonds.
Jeremiah2911 is offline  
Old 12-29-2014, 05:41 PM   #12
Radical Basement Dweller
 
Robie's Avatar
 
Trade: Whatever needs to be made or repaired
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 15,384
Rewards Points: 6,570

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


The one question I was asked and starting using myself when interviewing.....out of the clear blue during the interview...

What's a third of a hundred?
__________________
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.
Robie is online now  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Robie For This Useful Post:
dom-mas (12-30-2014), overanalyze (12-29-2014), Sunset Designs (01-03-2015), tedanderson (12-29-2014), TxElectrician (01-03-2015)
Old 12-29-2014, 05:41 PM   #13
Pro
 
Jeremiah2911's Avatar
 
Trade: .
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 324

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugnut1968 View Post
If I want someone over the age of 35 then I should be able to hire someone over the age of thirty five...

Private company with less than 4 employees here so *shrugs* that don't apply to me any way... so when I say I am looking to hire a good looking woman who wants to run trim and paint in order to get the work from more builders (hey, good eye candy is still a heck of a draw in certain areas) then nobody can say or do anything to me... why should a guy who has 8 employees lose that same freedom/ability?
Not bring able to actively discriminate is a loss of freedom? My brother enlisted in the Navy right out of high school and spent 17 years in it... Before he left for Japan he wore his pants a little low (much to my mother's chagrin), played loud music, and probably still turns his Yankee fitted cap around. I can't wait to tell him about this loss of freedom.

And Bless your heart... Hiring a woman because she's "good eye candy"...

There's a lot of father's with daughters on this board. Do you want your little girl hired based on the amount of looks she will fetch from the opposite sex or for her work ethic and actual ability?
Jeremiah2911 is offline  
Old 12-29-2014, 05:45 PM   #14
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 22,064
Rewards Points: 3,054

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Robie View Post
The one question I was asked and starting using myself when interviewing.....out of the clear blue during the interview...

What's a third of a hundred?
I'm partial to "Do you walk to work or carry a lunch?...
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
Old 12-29-2014, 05:50 PM   #15
The Ultimate Wire Hider
 
tedanderson's Avatar
 
Trade: A/V & Home Theater Installation
Join Date: May 2010
Location: PG County MD
Posts: 4,455
Rewards Points: 2,116

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah2911 View Post
Since when did your attire outside of work determine your capabilities.
Unfortunately it does. Your garments determine who you are and what people can expect from you. If a policeman approaches you in a uniform, you will take him much more seriously than if he approached you in a jogging suit. A cop driving a Crown Vic, a Caprice, or a Dodge Charger will make the hair on your neck stand up much quicker than a cop driving a Volvo or a Toyota.

Or.... if you were in need of serious medical care and you had to go to the emergency room, you would feel better about a doctor that entered the room with a white coat, clipboard, and stethoscope saying, "Good afternoon, Sir." as opposed to someone showing up in a leather motorcycle outfit saying "Arrrrrrrgh! YEAH! Roll up your sleeve partner!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah2911 View Post
That kid could probably be a great worker but your "judged" him, right? Fashion and cloths are just a form of expression.
Yeah......ummm.. yeah.. expression. That kid was expressing that he is a clown and he wants everyone to think of him as such. He has his pants down to show everyone his underwear. Expressions.. yeah I get it. He wants to express his willingness to pull his pants down and show the world his private parts. I get it. He can "express" himself but he isn't going to represent me in that manner.
__________________
I'm always looking for the answer to my troubles at the bottom of a paint can.
tedanderson is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to tedanderson For This Useful Post:
Bearded Wonder (12-29-2014), Calidecks (01-01-2015), heavy_d (01-01-2015), Stephen H (12-30-2014), Sunset Designs (01-03-2015), TxElectrician (01-03-2015)
Old 12-29-2014, 05:50 PM   #16
water re-locater
 
NYgutterguy's Avatar
 
Trade: Gutter installer
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: orange/rockland ny NYC suburbs
Posts: 6,970
Rewards Points: 7,082

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah2911 View Post
What were trying to infer with your example?

Since when did your attire outside of work determine your capabilities. That kid could probably be a great worker but your "judged" him, right? Fashion and cloths are just a form of expression. Would you have a problem with a goth kid dressed in all black and face piercings? What about a guy with two sleeves covered in tattoos? How about someone with locs? How about a man that dresses in drag on the weekends?

Here's some questions for you:

Do I think you should hire the young unmarried guy over the single dad with 4 kids because "he will probably have to call out sick with all those kids"?

Do I think a guy over 60 deserves the right to work even though" he's past his prime and probably has a ton of medical issues"?

Do I think that everyone deserves a chance if they are willing to work hard? Absolutely.

Am I against discrimination and our profiling of all kinds? Absolutely.

I have a bachelors in sociology, my soapbox is made of concrete and diamonds.

The beauty of running a small business is i get to decide who i want to spend my day working next to... I call the shots.

If i was running IBM that would be different but my worker is a reflection of me and my business....

Ill hire whoever i think will make me the most without the headache that comes with hiring someone just cause im a good person and it feels good... Someone who has 4 kids and will be missing work all the time = potential headache for me and my business and would not be the right fit...
NYgutterguy is online now  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to NYgutterguy For This Useful Post:
CO762 (12-31-2014), Lugnut1968 (12-29-2014), Stephen H (12-30-2014)
Old 12-29-2014, 05:52 PM   #17
Pro
 
Lugnut1968's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting and Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Georgia
Posts: 435
Rewards Points: 460

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah2911 View Post
There's a lot of father's with daughters on this board. Do you want your little girl hired based on the amount of looks she will fetch from the opposite sex or for her work ethic and actual ability?
I am one of the ones who have a daughter as well... and I would like to see her hired for ALL of her abilities and things she brings to a company. A pleasant face is among those. After all... who would you want representing your company? Someone who fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch twice... or someone who is pleasant to look at as well as good at their craft... While at times you will get an individual answer of "it does not matter to me", but in general terms we deal with the public and PLENTY of studies has shown time and time again the "public" generally tends to want to do business with pleasant looking people... *shrugs*.. I don't make the rules, or situations.. I merely try to capitalize on them where and when I can.
Lugnut1968 is offline  
Old 12-29-2014, 06:00 PM   #18
The Ultimate Wire Hider
 
tedanderson's Avatar
 
Trade: A/V & Home Theater Installation
Join Date: May 2010
Location: PG County MD
Posts: 4,455
Rewards Points: 2,116

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugnut1968 View Post
I am one of the ones who have a daughter as well... and I would like to see her hired for ALL of her abilities and things she brings to a company. A pleasant face is among those.
I am in that same camp...sort of. My niece is only a pre-teen but she wants to learn my trade. So sometimes I take her with me when I'm making my rounds. If this makes me a total pig, so be it, but when I take her into commercial buildings and the receptionists and some of the key decision makers say, "Awwww... she's so adorable!" and things to that effect, I think it helps me to land additional work.

So if things go as I would like them to, she will be the face of the company for all of those women clients who think that all contractors are filthy dirty mouthed low-lifes unless they are from Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, or Best Buy.
__________________
I'm always looking for the answer to my troubles at the bottom of a paint can.
tedanderson is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to tedanderson For This Useful Post:
Lugnut1968 (12-29-2014)
Old 12-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #19
Pro
 
Lugnut1968's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting and Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Georgia
Posts: 435
Rewards Points: 460

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
I am in that same camp...sort of. My niece is only a pre-teen but she wants to learn my trade. So sometimes I take her with me when I'm making my rounds. If this makes me a total pig, so be it, but when I take her into commercial buildings and the receptionists and some of the key decision makers say, "Awwww... she's so adorable!" and things to that effect, I think it helps me to land additional work.

So if things go as I would like them to, she will be the face of the company for all of those women clients who think that all contractors are filthy dirty mouthed low-lifes unless they are from Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, or Best Buy.
I hear you there man. In the niche I have carved out for myself (or that God carved out for me - my opinion) I know having my wife (now wife - married on the 22nd ) with me puts a lot of homeowners at ease. We do a good bit of "disaster" repair type work and a lot of our clients we get from the insurance companies are older or stay at home Mom's etc. I think having a woman along with me eases their minds on a lot of issues....
Lugnut1968 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lugnut1968 For This Useful Post:
tedanderson (12-29-2014)
Old 12-29-2014, 06:10 PM   #20
Pro
 
Jeremiah2911's Avatar
 
Trade: .
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 324

Re: Interview Questions For Potential Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
Unfortunately it does. Your garments determine who you are and what people can expect from you. If a policeman approaches you in a uniform, you will take him much more seriously than if he approached you in a jogging suit. A cop driving a Crown Vic, a Caprice, or a Dodge Charger will make the hair on your neck stand up much quicker than a cop driving a Volvo or a Toyota.

Or.... if you were in need of serious medical care and you had to go to the emergency room, you would feel better about a doctor that entered the room with a white coat, clipboard, and stethoscope saying, "Good afternoon, Sir." as opposed to someone showing up in a leather motorcycle outfit saying "Arrrrrrrgh! YEAH! Roll up your sleeve partner!"


Yeah......ummm.. yeah.. expression. That kid was expressing that he is a clown and he wants everyone to think of him as such. He has his pants down to show everyone his underwear. Expressions.. yeah I get it. He wants to express his willingness to pull his pants down and show the world his private parts. I get it. He can "express" himself but he isn't going to represent me in that manner.
Sorry not to me. A cop is a cop is a cop. It's doesn't matter what he's wearing or what he is driving, he is still a cop. Two cousins in the NYPD and a cousin that's a trooper in Massachusetts. I've worked in the medical field and have surgeons and doctors as immediate family and friends. If you can save my life, I don't give a darn what you're wearing, who you're sleeping with, how old you are, if you're a man, woman, trans etc.

Uniforms are professional and even within our field I believe there should be some form of a uniform. If you don't want someone wearing their pants low or exposing their tattoo's then say so in your code of conduct along with their contract. Make it known that you value appearance over everything (including work ethic lol) . If you consistently break the rules even after you've been formally warned then you should be terminated.

Advertisement

Jeremiah2911 is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How should I pay my employees gm2034500 Business 17 08-11-2013 10:00 AM
California Framing Questions MTN REMODEL LLC Framing 33 09-04-2010 11:41 AM
interview and pre-interview questions? Grumpy Business 18 01-18-2005 05:31 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?