Hiring Hourly Employees: Interview Questions to Ask

Interview questions to ask before hiring hourly employees


When you begin your process of hiring hourly employees, you expect a candidate to be a great fit once you review their resume and application. Unfortunately, that’s not typically the case. It takes thoughtful interview questions and assessments to determine if someone will be a good fit and worth hiring. If not, it leads to increased employee turnover and lost productivity.


Here are popular questions to ask during an interview:
What’s your typical availability?

This should be one of your preliminary questions before an interview. But, if you’ve gotten a walk-in interview, this is one not to miss. Whether someone can work morning vs. evenings, or weekdays vs. the weekend is important to note when you are filling a position.

However, instead of passing on a candidate that doesn’t fit your current needs, be sure to keep their information on file for future openings.


Describe the best boss you’ve reported to.

This is more of a statement but it elicits a more thoughtful response. You should be able to gauge whether they appreciate directed tasks or if they like a more laid back style. Their response may also help you gauge whether they are able to take direction well.


Tell me what motivates you.

Asking this question is so important for employee retention. You may learn that they are motivated by financial incentives. In this case, offering a $25 gift card for outstanding performance is a good way to retain an employee. On the other hand, someone motivated by doing a good job and seeing results should be acknowledged and recognized for their work. This is one not to overlook when hiring hourly employees. Especially in the 25-34 age range, people value a career path.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question can tell you whether to incorporate them in a management track and/or if a tuition assistance scholarship is a meaningful way to bring them on board.

This is also a good time to state what type of commitment you are looking for. If you only need someone for the holidays, someone going to school may be a perfect fit. But, if you’re looking for someone to stick around and move up the ranks, someone in school may not have the time to devote and may not be likely to stick around.


What frustrates you?

If their answer is rude customers or working alone, you can better place them into a position. For example, if someone says they really don’t like rude customers, a back of house position may be better. But, if they don’t like working alone, being on the front team with others and interacting with customers is a better fit.

A bonus question to throw in is to end an interview with Do you have any questions for me?”

This gives the candidate a chance to ask questions about what it’s like to work there, what a typical schedule might look like, or why you like working there. Plus, it’s a good way to see if they’ve done research on the company if they ask specific questions about company culture, initiatives, and charities that are supported.

SENTIO’s Applicant Matching System can streamline your hiring process, help you hire dependable people, and reduce employee turnover. When an applicant completes their survey, you’ll see how they match up against your best employees. Plus, you’ll get insight into specialized interview questions to ask them. Get started with a free account, sign up here.


Plus, check out these quick ways to increase employee engagement!