How to Determine Whether a Candidate Is Reliable

Reliability is a tough quality to judge in a job candidate – as it is in anyone you’re meeting for the first time. Yet, it’s a critical trait in a new hire, not just because you want someone who will show up for work every day. You also want team members who meet deadlines, chip in and help others, and take on extra tasks when needed.

Furthermore, turnover can be devastating to your company’s bottom line. To solidify retention, you need to hire candidates you can rely on.

Ask the Right Questions

How can you accurately gauge the elusive characteristic of reliability? Start by asking the right interview questions:

  • “Why do you want this job?” Look for passion and commitment. People who apply for a job simply out of the need to earn a paycheck are not necessarily unreliable, but they probably don’t have the level of dedication you’re looking for. If they seem sincerely enthusiastic about both the job and your company, it’s much more likely you’ll be able to depend on them.
  • “Where do you see yourself in five years?” See if a candidate’s description of their future aligns with your company’s goals, mission and vision. Determine whether they envision themselves growing and advancing within your organization, or will use the job as a stepping stone to go elsewhere.
  • “Describe your ideal work environment.” An employee who is comfortable and looks forward to coming to work is more likely to be happy and reliable. Cultural fit is essential to a solid hire.
  • “Describe a tough decision you’ve had to make.” This question enables you to assess a person’s reliability under pressure. Those who have successfully worked through challenges are more likely to be dependable and to come through when faced with difficulties.
  • “Tell us about a time when personal issues pulled you away from work and how you handled it.” Everyone, at some point, will feel torn between personal and work priorities. Getting a sense of how an individual handles these scenarios will help to tell if they can be counted on to strike the right balance.
  • “Describe a time when you disagreed with a team member.” A candidate’s response will help you to understand their interpersonal skills and how well they deal with conflict. If they tend to place blame on others, they probably are not someone you can rely on. But, if they take ownership and blame when appropriate, and describe how they worked through disagreements, this is a much better sign.

The PrideStaff Fresno team of recruitment experts can help you find only reliable job candidates by handling initial screening, sourcing and other legwork – ensuring you see only the most qualified talent for the job you need to fill. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.