Employee at work

Great Interview Questions for Manufacturing Talent – Part Three

What separates the good candidates from the great? In the first and second part of this series, we established that often the dealbreaker is soft skills, traits that enable someone to interact successfully with other people. Now, we’ll discuss the deeper dive into assessing each manufacturing applicant’s character, achieved via our final interview.

The final interview is unique to Fusion and offers an array of insight for several reasons. By bringing in an applicant for a second time, we can ensure that their demeanor is consistent. Were they enthusiastic the first time and reserved the second? Did they emphasize teamwork during the first interview and later reveal a preference to work alone later on? Furthermore, it gives the applicant an opportunity to meet with potential future coworkers, who might pick up on things that you’ve missed in previous interactions.

During this meeting, candidates meet with their prospective Department Manager, team members, and other company leaders. The collective goal ensure that hiring the applicant is a good decision for the company as a whole. Below find a sample of the questions used during this last step of the process:

What were you originally hired to do? What did you end up doing? We ask this question because it offers the applicant an opportunity to do two things: talk about the expectations vs. reality of their last position, and highlight the fact that they may have been offered increased responsibility as their career progressed. Furthermore, it also can reveal how the applicant felt about their position evolving: do they have an “it’s not in my job description, so I’m not doing it” mentality? If so, they’ll be sure to share it when prompted with this query.

Describe a day when you were unmotivated and how you handled it. We do not expect our applicants to be perfect all of the time; we understand that they are human. However, we want people on our team who are honest and self-aware. Additionally, answers to this question tell us exactly what triggers an applicant to lose their motivation. How did they get off track? Does the behavior of their manager make them upset? Are they not morning people? Do they have hectic schedules outside of work? It’s good to hear applicants out when they provide answers.

Tell us about a time when you experienced the most fun at work. One of our Core Values is “Have Fun”. Our manufacturing employees are engaged, happy, and genuinely enjoy spending time with each other both on and off the Production floor. Consequently, it is important to us to know how our potential employees like to be rewarded. Do they really enjoy a team lunch? Is there a running inside joke in their department? A company outing? Happy workers are the most productive. Answers from this question support our rewards and recognition programs.

Why are you excited to join the company? By now, the applicant should have a healthy understanding of who Fusion is as a company, and as a potential employer. From the beginning of the interview process, we communicate to manufacturing candidates that we are not looking to hire someone who just wants to collect a paycheck. Joining our team is an intentional decision, and this question is posed to answer what makes our contract manufacturing company stand out from the rest.

After these questions are answered, we score the finalists and adhere to one consistent rule: follow your intuition NOT to hire. An employee’s soft skills can make or break the job performance. Technical or “hard” skills are certainly important, but soft skills determine whether the employee is able to enlist the necessary cooperation from peers, superiors, and even clients and vendors, to do the job well. Employees are our most valuable asset – our clients hire us for our production process and, most importantly, our people. It’s important to remember that you can train for aptitude but you can’t train for attitude.