Interviewing a skilled trade candidate presents a unique set of challenges. Skilled trade workers need to display a high level of aptitude in their area of expertise, and they must have the ability to work well with others as many trades require teamwork. As the employer, you are looking for a person who has the necessary technical skills, the ability to perform the job, the capacity to be adaptable, and the right attitude.

That’s a tall order, and you have limited time for interviews. However, there are questions that can help you evaluate many of these areas.

Here are five suggestions as you embark on your search for your next top employee.

1. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

This question sounds generic, but it is important. Regardless of occupation, workers who genuinely like their companies and their jobs will perform better. This is a good way to measure enthusiasm right from the start. Does your interviewee really want to work at your company, or are they merely looking for a paycheck? If the candidate has done some research about the organization ahead of time, that is a positive sign.

2. What Are Your Skills, Abilities, and Previous Experience?

This is an essential query for the skilled trades. Even though there can be some on-the-job training, you will need your new employee to have a predefined level of competence. Of course, you will want to back-up their claims with assessments or work sample tests.

3. Give an Example of a Problem You Solved or a Process You Improved.

Skilled trades often require “thinking on your feet” and finding quick solutions to unforeseen problems. This is a good interview question to determine if your potential hire has displayed initiative, innovation, and creativity in past work. In addition, the open-ended nature of the inquiry will allow you to evaluate the individual’s communication skills.

4. Describe a Situation Where You Had to Deal With a Difficult Co-Worker.

This is a situational question that will push your interviewee away from canned responses such as “I always work well with others.” The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If a candidate can give a good example of how they handled conflict in a previous setting, it is likely this will translate to a new position as well.

5. Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake.

High-quality work and attention to detail are paramount in the skilled trades. We all are human. We all make mistakes. This inquiry will help you to determine the character and upcoming performance. Is your candidate willing to admit mistakes, to learn from errors, and to improve future accuracy?  Or, will they try to cover up slip-ups and submit sloppy work?

Of course, these are general suggestions. Any of these ideas could be modified to more accurately reflect your exact field.

Are you looking to fill skilled trade jobs in West Virginia? United Talent provides dependable talent in industries ranging from construction to manufacturing to maintenance. Learn more about our Recruiting Services.