Evaluating Work Ethic: Top 5 Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

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

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:

  • Can you describe a time when you went the extra mile at work?
  • When things are slow at work or you’ve finished your tasks, what do you do?
  • How do you define work ethic? What does it mean to you?
  • When have you worked the hardest? Describe the situation and explain your motivation.
  • 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.

➡️ 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.