Is a Candidate a Self-Starter?

With a new hire, you’ll have to do some training to get the person up to speed, but some employees need more guidance than others. As you go through your candidates, ask a few questions to see how much hands-on management they’ll need. Do they seem fairly self-sufficient, or will they need more overseeing?

  • “Tell us about a time when something didn’t go the way you wanted, such as a project or promotion.” This seemingly simple question will tell you whether a candidate can deal with letdowns by himself or needs help to pick up and move on. Can he work within his team or does he appoint blame? Can he stand back and personally assess why things didn’t happen the way he wanted, learn from that instance, and change his approach as needed?
  • “Tell us about a problem at work and how you solved it. A similar approach, but it also tells you a key component: the candidate’s problem-solving skills. Does he have the background, skills, creativity and quick thinking to figure out a solution or does he immediately turn to someone else? There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, but if his initial approach involves the latter, he may need some hand-holding.
  • “Tell me how you motivate others.” This gets you information about the candidate’s leadership skills, something any self-starter possesses. Does she take the lead on projects and lead by example, putting the hard work in and encouraging others to do the same? Does she understand how to positively get the most out of employees? Does she get commitment from those around her? All of these answers demonstrate the candidate’s initiative.
  • “How have you honed your professional skills over the last few years?” Any good self-starter will want to continuously increase his skills and expertise in his field, learning new methods and applying them to improve his performance. The candidate who tells you about his examples of continuing education also shows he wants to keep up on changes and trends in the industry, staying on top of his game.

Ask these questions to determine whether you have a self-starter or someone who needs a bit more help. For a great all-around candidate, partner with the Thousand Oaks staffing professionals at PrideStaff today!