In an interview for a production worker, questions about the job seeker’s work ethic are routine. Hiring managers want to hire individuals who are going to take initiative and strive to be successful. They don’t want to hire someone who is going to try to get out of work at every opportunity. In addition to be a drain on the company, individuals with a poor work ethic are more difficult to manage because they must be watched much closer.
Almost every job seeker will claim to be a hard worker in an interview. Everyone’s work ethic is not the same, though. What one person considers hard working may be slacking off to another. This requires you to do more than claim to be hard working in an interview.
To show a hiring manager your work ethic, you need to discuss your past experiences. In particular, you should describe times when you work autonomously, times when you went above and beyond expectations and times when you took initiative. If you can give specific examples of these situations in an interview, you will give yourself an edge over your competition.
- Tell me about a time when you worked with little or no contact with your supervisor.
- Tell me about a time when you finished your scheduled work early. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time when you exceeded your supervisor’s expectations.
- Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to do something without being told.
- How would you describe your work ethic?
- How did your performance rate compare to others doing the same job?
- What expectations did you have to meet and what was your performance level?
- When have you volunteered for a tough assignment you really didn’t want?
- If you knew you couldn’t get all your work done on time, what would you do?
- How to do you handle stress?
The questions above are just a sampling of the questions you might see in an interview. There are hundreds or thousands of questions you may see in an interview. To prepare effectively, you can’t memorize answers to each. You need to develop a selection of stories that illustrate your experience, skills and accomplishments. If you prepare a few stories from your experience that show your work ethic and can answer the questions above, you should be able to adapt to unexpected questions about your work ethic easily.