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The Best Questions to Ask When 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.

Interview questions are designed to inform you about the individual behind the resume and application. Within the interview questions, you are able to tell an applicant’s strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and their skills and abilities to fulfill the current position. Here are five great interview questions to ask hourly employees and how they are effective during an interview.


Popular questions to ask hourly employees:.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Bonus Interview Questions for Hourly Employees

  1. What were the major responsibilities you had in your last position? What did you learn from them?
  2. What is your compensation expectation?
  3. How do you handle a disagreement with a superior? 
  4. What training have you received that qualifies you for this position?
  5. What skill(s) do you have that qualifies you for this position?
  6. How have you handled mistakes that you have made in past positions? 
  7. What attracted you to apply to this company? 
  8. Provide a past scenario where you had to work under a lot of pressure. How did you accomplish the task? 
  9. In the past, how have you made customers feel delighted? 
  10. What are some examples of how you’ve made coworkers feel valuable?

Streamline the Hiring Process & Predict Applicant Success with Sprockets

Looking to update your hiring process? Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System, a hiring solution for the hourly workforce, can help you save time and cut to the chase by eliminating broad interview questions. Through a personality assessment prior to the interview, managers will already aware of strengths and weaknesses, helping them tailor interview questions specific to the candidate and get straight to the important questions.

Interested? Get a demo!


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