Questions to Determine a Candidate’s Independence


Many bosses prefer to keep employees on a close watch, giving them very little freedom to act independently, but micromanagement isn’t your style. When hiring a new person to join your team, you need to choose a candidate who is confident enough to make their own decisions. The last thing you want is to hire a bright, highly skilled employee who won’t make even the smallest decision without consulting you first.

Ask these five questions to each candidate you interview to gauge their level of self-reliance.

  1. Tell me about a time you had to make a quick judgement call.

Sometimes big decisions need to be made fast, and you’re not always around to weigh in, so you need to know the candidate can handle the task. If the person can easily relay a time they made a quick judgement call, you can feel confident they’re up to the challenge, but if they seem nervous or confused by the question, move on to the next.

  1. When was the last time you asked for help?

The answer to this question is two-fold. You don’t want to hire someone who refuses to ask for help, but you also need to steer clear of anyone who can’t do much of anything without assistance. The person probably has the right amount of independence if the reason they asked for help sounds legit, but if the task could’ve been completed alone, think twice about the candidate.

  1. Explain a time when you had to overcome major obstacles to get the job done.

The business world is unpredictable; you need employees willing to take the initiative to combat any challenge in their path. Any candidate who mentions coming up with a plan on their own, instead of waiting for the boss to do it for them, is likely someone who will be an incredible asset to your team.

  1. What initiatives have you taken on without being asked?

Dig deep with this question to learn about the exact projects the candidate has taken the liberty to devise and accomplish on their own. Everyone’s idea of independence is a little different, so the person’s response will help you gauge the extent of their capacity to be a self-starter. If you’re impressed with their answer, it’s probably wise to make an offer.

The San Fernando Valley, Burbank & Glendale, West Los Angeles, the Conejo and Simi Valleys, and the Santa Clarita Valley are filled with talented professionals, but locating them isn’t always easy. As your staffing partner, Barrington Staffing will assume responsibility for all aspects of the hiring process. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer!


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