How to Identify a Good Work Ethic

Employees with a strong work ethic are like gold and are valuable assets to your business over the long term. But how do you identify candidates who have the motivation, passion, willingness and ability to give of their best? Here are the main traits to look for, along with questions to help identify them in…

Employees with a strong work ethic are like gold and are valuable assets to your business over the long term.

But how do you identify candidates who have the motivation, passion, willingness and ability to give of their best?

Here are the main traits to look for, along with questions to help identify them in candidates during the interview process.

  1. Good communication skills

Communication lies at the heart. Without it, misunderstandings, delays and missed opportunities occur.

From assistant to executive, clear communication skills are key to successful work practices.

Questions to ask:

  • Can you tell me how you’d go about explaining something complex or technical in simple language?
  • Tell me about a time you built a successful working relationship with a difficult colleague?
  1. Passion for the job

Genuine passion for work is something every employer seeks. Yet it can be tricky to identify at interview.

How do you work out who really has it, and who’s just faking it to get the job?

Questions to ask:

  • Tell me about a time you stayed back to meet an urgent deadline.
  • Give me a demonstration of your ability to go the extra mile in the workplace.
  1. Ability to achieve goals

In order to be productive, every employee must be able to identify goals and work out the best way to achieve them.

This relies on the worker functioning as part of a team, working with colleagues to overcome challenges and get jobs done.

Questions to ask:

  • Can you give me an example of working as part of a team to achieve an important company goal?
  • Describe an instance when you were given a new task to achieve independently of your colleagues. How did you go about achieving this?
  1. Flexibility to adapt

Workplaces are organic, constantly changing as new practices are introduced and workers come and go.

Employees who have a good work ethic know when to keep their heads down and get on with the task at hand, no matter the challenges.

Questions to ask:

  • Tell me about a time your job duties changed, and how you adapted to meet the challenge.
  • Describe an instance where you were faced with a crisis or immediate problem to solve, and how you approached it.
  1. Creative thinking

Every employer wants workers to look at situations from different perspectives and offer creative solutions to problems.

One creative thinker with a “can-do” attitude in a work team can make a huge difference to outcomes.

Questions to ask:

  • Tell me about a difficult work problem you solved or suggestion you made to improve productivity.
  • Give an example of thinking and acting ‘outside the box’. How was this received by your supervisors?

If you need any guidance on tips and techniques to help you uncover those hard-working candidates, please get in touch with one of our specialist consultants.