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Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers – Q8

Employers often ask us at HRwisdom for good interview questions to select good candidates.

We have gone one better.

Robert WatsonThanks to long time HRwisdom Community contributor, Robert Watson, we have come up with a Top 10 List of Interview Questions to ask at job interviews.

However, rather than just give you some excellent questions to ask, Robert also gives you the type of answer you want to hear back from your ideal candidate.

And believe us when we say that Robert knows what he is talking about.

Although he started out as an engineer and quality systems expert, Robert also had many years in the HR field perfecting recruitment & selection systems for a variety of businesses.

Robert even did extensive travel overseas for the express purpose of studying world’s best practice for establishing greenfields (brand new) business operations in Australia – this included how to hire people for their skills, knowledge and attributes (and not just the stuff listed on their CVs).

Download the free HRwisdom Employee Attraction & Retention Guide Now

So far we’ve seen:

  1. Good Interview Question 1
  2. Good Interview Question 2
  3. Good Interview Question 3
  4. Good Interview Question 4
  5. Good Interview Question 5
  6. Good Interview Question 6
  7. Good Interview Question 7

Let’s look at the eighth question . . .

 

Good Interview Question 8

Q8. Customers can be very demanding. Tell us about a time when you went the extra mile to satisfy a customer.

Good Interview Questions from www.HRwisdom.com.auPeople who are in customer service roles go home at the end of the day absolutely exhausted because they spent the whole day trying to be nice to people and it’s a demanding job.

 

Preferred Interview Answer – What You Want To Hear

When people give you an answer to this question about going the extra mile, some people will talk about it with a smile on their face about how they stamped the back of a child’s hand or they offered a seat to an elderly customer or helped someone out with a large package to their car, something like that and they’ll tell you automatically how they went the extra mile.

But a lot of people in customer service won’t do that and they don’t do that.

So if you employ someone that can’t give you some stories about how they went the extra mile, when you’ll employ them, you’ll going to have to send them along to courses about how to be pleasant to customers, how to be nice on the telephone and things like that so they become an expense to your business.

So given a choice between two candidates, always go for the one who can tell you how they went the extra mile and they tell you that cheerfully and it’s just naturally.

It’s something they do that it comes from the heart.

 

Want More Good Interview Questions Right Now?

Stay tuned for the next question in our Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers series.

  • Can’t wait to see the rest of the questions and answers?
  • Like to know Robert’s thinking behind these questions and how they fit into the overall interview process?

You can download the full document via our HRwisdom Facebook page right now.

Just sign-in or join using the Free HR Resources tab – it’s free and available now at: www.Facebook.com/HRwisdom

By the way, we’d love it if you Like, Share or Tweet this blog post.

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How To Motivate Staff – A Five Step System

How To Motivate Staff – A Five Step System

A common issue in industry that we hear a lot about at HRwisdom is the issue of staff motivation.

The ability to develop and maintain a high-performing and highly motivated workforce is key to success, or even survival during economic hard times.

How To Motivate StaffToday, we turn to expert HRwisdom contributor Leon Noone for some excellent advice on staff motivation.

Leon established his management consulting business in 1978. His core business is helping managers in small-medium business to improve the day to day job performance of their staff.

Leon offers you five steps to creating a highly motivated workforce.

What’s different though, is that Leon doesn’t actually mention Motivation in any of the five steps.

Over to Leon . . .

Staff Motivation: A 5 Step System To Ensure Success

Staff motivation: is there anything left to be said? Has any employee management issue been analyzed so much? All the analysis and examination is misleading. Only 5 steps are involved.

1. Sort Out Your Marketing

There are two absolute essentials for good marketing: a clear, specific business focus and a narrow specific target market. These two factors must be in place. They are the foundations that support the whole business, including employee performance.

You must know exactly what your business exists to achieve and who your ideal customer is. You cannot expect staff to give you what you want if you are not clear on exactly what it is you’re in business to do and who with.

2. Exact Performance Expectations

Your staff need to know exactly what you expect of them in clear, unambiguous, measurable performance terms.

Don’t bother with generalities about “attitude”, “application” and “co-operation”. If you want 13 widgets a day for the cost of 9.4 cents a widget, you must tell your employees. If you don’t say exactly what you want, you won’t get it.

3. Exact Method Of Measurement

Tell employees precisely the performance you expect. Then tell them exactly how you’ll measure that performance. How will the widgets be counted? How will the production costs be assessed? Must each operator produce 13 widgets or will be the total number be acceptable? Employees need to know this.

4 Put Effective Performance Systems In Place

It’s an old saying but true: “If your systems are poor, your people will fail.” Another is “Put systems in place that make it impossible for employees to fail.” I myself have said and written this hundreds of times. Finally, keep in mind that “a poor system will beat a good performer every time”.

You can have the keenest, most enthusiastic, most skilled and hardest working employees on the planet. Poor systems will stop them dead in their tracks faster than anything else.

5. Establish Measurable Performance Standards

You’ve probably always been told that performance goals are very important. They are. But performance standards are more important than goals. Performance standards tell you precisely whether the goals have been achieved. And they measure progress towards goals too. No performance standards; no goal achievement.

No “Motivation”

Notice that this 5 step method doesn’t mention “motivation”. That’s because motivation is a consequence. When this 5 step System works for you, the consequence will be highly motivated employees. That’s why much of the literature about “motivation” is misplaced.

Two Crucial Realities

The basic human unit in the workplace is the team not the individual. We recruit individuals it’s true. But we expect them to be successful and effective in teams. We construct the workplace with teams. That’s the first reality. Here’s the second.

Employees do not need to “get on well” in order to work effectively together. Don’t spend time trying to “improve interpersonal relations”. Good interpersonal relations are a “consequence of” successful team performance not a “prerequisite for” it.

“Pep” Talks, Counselling And All That

These activities may have some short term value. But they’re no substitute for performance standards and performance systems. Put your time into designing success and achievement for employees to aspire to.

Remember The Business

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that employees are part of the resource you use to run a successful business. The manager’s job is to use all resources as well as possible. As famous performance expert Geary Rummler says, “An organization is only as effective as its processes”. Concentrate on getting the processes right.  Let me repeat: if your systems are poor, your people will fail.

Conclusion

Keeping staff enthusiastic and committed isn’t child’s play. But it’s not rocket science either. Some gurus would like you to think that it is. You’re not responsible for the total emotional wellbeing of employees. Ricardo Semler, CEO of the very successful Semco, sums it up this way: “My job is to motivate them so that they go home each day proud of their work”. Notice that he accepts that responsibility.

How To Motivate Staff – The Five Step System

Thanks to Leon for his excellent advice on how to motivate staff. Such advice is well-timed as businesses face trying times as the economy continues to suffer.

We encourage you take action on Leon’s five step system.

Remember, you can learn more about Leon and his excellent HR services by visiting his website here: Leon Noone

HRwisdom

The ‘Colourful’ HR Video We Were Too Scared To Show You

Recently, the HRwisdom Blog post examined an unusual publicity campaign called: Nothing HR Can’t Sort Out In The Morning.

Since posting the article, we have been contacted by the company involved and they have provided us with a copy of a ‘colourful’ HR video on the theme of Nothing HR Can’t Sort Out In The Morning.

We admit it. As an HR website, we are too scared to share this HR video with you here on the HRwisdom Blog (but we’ll show you where to see it).

The 'Colourful' HR VideoThe company behind the video (Strike) began by asking its fans for their worst experiences of an office Christmas party.

According to the company: “Almost all responses from people who had a Christmas party in their workplace, reported that the party had been pretty bad, and listed so many things that were absolutely cringe-worthy, things like the CEO’s wrestling with staff, songs running off an iPod on repeat all night, terrible food, warm beers. The responses kept coming in.”

Using these replies, the company and their agency Loud&Clear have recreated the most common or ridiculous responses, in a quick walk-through of a truly terrible Christmas party.

Think, The Office.

Due to the ‘colorful’ nature of the video (though probably still rated G), we were too scared to share the video with you here on the HRwisdom Blog.

However, we have posted the video straight onto the HRwisdom Facebook Page (just note this as our ‘Viewer Beware’ disclaimer).

Watch the video if you dare (we’ve also included details of the company’s giveaway of a party for one viewer and 25 of their colleagues to experience a Christmas party with a difference).

Don’t forget to Like the HRwisdom Facebook page.

Watch the video and hopefully you’ll see that it was nothing that H.R couldn’t sort out in the morning.

HRwisdom

Worrying Workplace Law Statistics Affecting Australian Employers

Today’s HRwisdom Blog post contains some very concerning workplace law statistics for any Australian business.

We also share advice on how to prevent these problems from happening to you.

The President of Fair Work Australia (FWA) is required by the Fair Work Act to provide regular updates to the Minister for Workplace Relations.

Worplace Law Report

The latest quarterly report covers July 2012 to September 2012 and, even though it was only a short time period, there are some concerning things to note.

Unfair Dismissal Concerns Affecting All Australian Employers

Has employing people become any less risky?

How many claims were dismissed because the dismissal was a case of genuine redundancy? Three.

How many claims were dismissed because the dismissal was consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code? One.

How many unfair dismissal cases were settled without a decision being made? 3307.

Much as we hate it, the majority of employers know that unfair dismissal claims are usually settled ‘on the steps’ before it goes to court – even if the employee was terrible and the business did the right thing and followed due process. Unfortunately, it is purely a commercial decision,

That’s one big reason why you need to already know and trust good employment lawyers before something goes wrong.

Industrial Action (Strikes)

In the area of Protected Action and Industrial Action, there were 476 applications for protected ballot orders and 31 applications to get the protected industrial action period extended.

Union Right of Entry Into The Workplace

In the area of Union Right of Entry into the workplace, there were 489 applications for right of entry permits and 498 were actually issued.

Flexible Working Arrangements Disputes

On six occasions, Fair Work Australia was asked to deal with disputes between an employer and the organisation regarding the use of flexible working arrangements.

Enterprise Agreements

There were 2108 applications for the approval of enterprise agreements.

  • However, there were 93 applications for FWA to deal with bargaining disputes made under section 240.
  • In the area of General Protections – Compliance, there were 543 applications for FWA to deal with disputes made under section 365.
  • There were also 134 applications for FWA to deal with disputes made under section372.

Confused?

It’s a good reason to work out a game plan before these sorts of issues arise.

Workplace LawWe recommend being proactive and making contact with good employment lawyers early.

By being proactive and having your legal advisors in place before anything goes wrong, you can often significantly reduce your risks.

By being proactive, you can quickly audit your current position on workplace law compliance.

You can then identify clear strategies and action plans to fill any gaps.

Workplace Law Recommendations

You can see our legal advice recommendations here:

Workplace Law Video

HRwisdom

How To Avoid The Nasty Side Of Employee Relations

Most people have seen the nasty side of employee relations gone wrong at work.

Examples include:

  • Being caught out by government inspectors for using an incorrect pay formula after misinterpreting an industrial pay award or agreement.
  • Underperforming staff members claiming “harassment” or “bullying” by their manager or supervisor who has been clumsy in their attempts to apply the company’s performance management policy.
  • Employees leaving the company and then poaching key staff.
  • Facing backpay claims by not being clear enough on the Employee vs Contractor issue.
  • Not having solid employment contracts in place.
  • Botching staff terminations and redundancies (creating a terrible working atmosphere for those who remain).
  • Not knowing how to handle unions in the workplace.
  • Discrimination claims made and eventually costing the business time and money.
  • Strikes or threatened industrial action poisoning a previously positive workplace relationship with the employees.

What Proactive Organisations Do

To save themselves the headache, proactive organisations tend to tick the following four items off the To Do list as soon as possible:Free HR & Staff Management Documents

  1. Have all employment law documentation (including HR policies, procedures, letters and forms) in place.
  2. Train all staff in the existence and the proper use of these human resources documents.
  3. Provide good employee relations training to all supervisors and managers.
  4. Have independent legal advice assess the documentation, processes, training before, not after, things go wrong.

Smart businesses add a 5th item to their list . .

The 5th item is to keep up to date with good workplace legal advisors so the business is ready for any problem that may arise.

Download Free HR & Staff Management Documents

You can download free staff management documents and details of legal advisors on a regional basis here:

Click here: Employment law advice

 

HRwisdom

How To Motivate Staff | The Key Elements

How To Motivate Staff – The Key Elements

The question of how to motivate staff is very important and is one we like to help answer here at HRwisdom.

Today we are sharing a very useful presentation sent to us on the key elements of staff motivation.

How To Motivate StaffWe think you’ll enjoy the presentation (slides only, no sound) as it reveals some very interesting results from studies conducted on employee motivation in very different work situations.

Furthermore, the slides reference some interesting information from a Return On Investment study conducted in Australia which looked at the fine balance between cash rewards and other methods of motivating your staff.

[box size=”medium” border=”full”]You may also wish to take a look at our previous HRwisdom Blog update where we shared an example of excellence in the field of employee attraction and retention. In particular, we shared one small example of excellent leadership which ticked all the boxes: 1) Make people want to join the business. 2) Make people want to stay in the business. 3) Inspire people to give their all for the business. 4) And most impressively, impresses potential clients of the business.[/box]

Of course, we always recommend having a browse through the HRwisdom Blog for more great information and ideas on employee motivation, employee engagement and similar issues (and make sure you’re part of the free HRwisdom Community via the sign-in form on the right-hand side of this page).

But, in the meantime, take a look at this presentation and have a think about how it applies in your organisation:

HRwisdom

 

Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers – Q7

Employers often ask us at HRwisdom for good interview questions to select good candidates.

We have gone one better.

Robert WatsonThanks to long time HRwisdom Community contributor, Robert Watson, we have come up with a Top 10 List of Interview Questions to ask at job interviews.

However, rather than just give you some excellent questions to ask, Robert also gives you the type of answer you want to hear back from your ideal candidate.

And believe us when we say that Robert knows what he is talking about.

Although he started out as an engineer and quality systems expert, Robert also had many years in the HR field perfecting recruitment & selection systems for a variety of businesses.

Robert even did extensive travel overseas for the express purpose of studying world’s best practice for establishing greenfields (brand new) business operations in Australia – this included how to hire people for their skills, knowledge and attributes (and not just the stuff listed on their CVs).

Download the free HRwisdom Employee Attraction & Retention Guide Now

So far we’ve seen:

  1. Good Interview Question 1
  2. Good Interview Question 2
  3. Good Interview Question 3
  4. Good Interview Question 4
  5. Good Interview Question 5
  6. Good Interview Question 6

Let’s look at the seventh question . . .

 

Good Interview Question 7

Q7. Tell us about a time you had to break a safety rule. What were the circumstances and consequences and what would you do differently next time?

Good Interview Questions from www.HRwisdom.com.auOn first reading, you might think that this question is designed to trap candidates but it isn’t.

 

Preferred Interview Answer – What You Want To Hear

You don’t really need to write down answers that are incriminating or anything like that.

What you’re really trying to do is find out if they have a sense of what safety is all about and if they come in to a situation where a rule needs to have been broken, then what did they do about it?

Did they go back to their safety committee or their supervisor and bring about changes in the way that the work was being done?

That’s what you’re listening for.

This is an internal attitude to safety and a bias towards trying to improve systems so that they’re safe for other people.

 

Want More Good Interview Questions Right Now?

Stay tuned for the next question in our Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers series.

  • Can’t wait to see the rest of the questions and answers?
  • Like to know Robert’s thinking behind these questions and how they fit into the overall interview process?

You can download the full document via our HRwisdom Facebook page right now.

Just sign-in or join using the Free HR Resources tab – it’s free and available now at: www.Facebook.com/HRwisdom

By the way, we’d love it if you Like, Share or Tweet this blog post.

HRwisdom

HR Advice, Employment Law Discussion, Staff Management Tips and Information

Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers – Q6

Employers often ask us at HRwisdom for good interview questions to select good candidates.

We have gone one better.

Robert WatsonThanks to long time HRwisdom Community contributor, Robert Watson, we have come up with a Top 10 List of Interview Questions to ask at job interviews.

However, rather than just give you some excellent questions to ask, Robert also gives you the type of answer you want to hear back from your ideal candidate.

And believe us when we say that Robert knows what he is talking about.

Although he started out as an engineer and quality systems expert, Robert also had many years in the HR field perfecting recruitment & selection systems for a variety of businesses.

Robert even did extensive travel overseas for the express purpose of studying world’s best practice for establishing greenfields (brand new) business operations in Australia – this included how to hire people for their skills, knowledge and attributes (and not just the stuff listed on their CVs).

Download the free HRwisdom Employee Attraction & Retention Guide Now

So far we’ve seen:

  1. Good Interview Question 1
  2. Good Interview Question 2
  3. Good Interview Question 3
  4. Good Interview Question 4
  5. Good Interview Question 5

Let’s look at the sixth question . . .

 

Good Interview Question 6

Q6. Have you ever lost your job and, if so, what did you learn from that experience?

WhGood Interview Questions from www.HRwisdom.com.auen you ask people about how they lost their job, listen carefully for the answers.

A simple answer of I was made redundant, perhaps with a shrug of the shoulders doesn’t really tell you much about the person at all.  But some people will say, “I was made redundant because they were competing products and we just couldn’t cope as a business” or “We lost a few big orders” something like that.  At least that reveals to you that they understand the reasons behind their retrenchment and of course at the other end of the scale, you might have someone who is really bitter about the company sacking them and they will start to give their answer through gritted teeth.

Now, you need to be careful to other people who are holding a grudge for a long time.  I’m not saying that that’s necessarily bad.  I mean people get affected by emotions and they can have a very big impact on their lives.  However, the candidate who picks themselves up quickly and says, “Well I know what happened and why it happened and I’m getting on with my life.”  That’s the sort of candidate that will make the better employee for you..

 

Want More Good Interview Questions Right Now?

Stay tuned for the next question in our Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers series.

  • Can’t wait to see the rest of the questions and answers?
  • Like to know Robert’s thinking behind these questions and how they fit into the overall interview process?

You can download the full document via our HRwisdom Facebook page right now.

Just sign-in or join using the Free HR Resources tab – it’s free and available now at: www.Facebook.com/HRwisdom

By the way, we’d love it if you Like, Share or Tweet this blog post.

HRwisdom

HR Advice, Employment Law Discussion, Staff Management Tips and Information

Employee Attraction and Retention | An Example of Excellence

When people talk of corporate values and culture, most us think of that age-old cliché: ‘Our People Are Our Greatest Asset.

Today, however, we are sharing an example of excellence in the field of employee attraction and retention.

In particular, we are sharing one small example of excellent leadership which ticks all the boxes:

  • Make people want to join the business.Employee Attraction and Retention Example
  • Make people want to stay in the business.
  • Inspire people to give their all for the business.
  • And most impressively, impresses potential clients of the business.

In its own words, “The Physio Co exists for a very simple purpose: we love to help oldies stay mobile, safe & happy.”

The Physio Co provides physiotherapy services for the aged care industry and has been listed as one of Australia’s 50 ‘Best Companies to Work’ and featured in BRW magazine for half their business life.

As an overall description, their opening line of their value statement says the right things:

We are a values-driven organisation – our values are what set us apart from others and provide guidance for making decisions every day. The Physio Co will achieve our goals by consistently living by our values. Any decision, problem or issue will be answered by referring to our values.

You can read the whole value statement here and you’ll see how they’ve put a whole new twist to the boring old mission statements espoused by so many corporate videos.

However, what has impressed us at HRwisdom has been their development of use of a powerful device they call the Physio Co Culture Book.

The Culture Book is a beautifully-presented guide to what it means to work at the Physio Co and, more importantly, how it benefits their clients. It is also a powerful employment branding tool which you should take a look at now if you are looking for some fresh ideas.

You can download the book here: Physio Co Culture Book.

If you are impressed with the this employee attraction and retention book, why not share it? Use the sharing options below.

HRwisdom

New Free HR Templates Added To HRwisdom

New Free HR Templates Added To HRwisdom

HRwisdom has updated its resources and added more free HR templates and resources.

The documents are stored in State/Territory sections.

The free HR templates and resources come from a variety of sources including HR experts and government departments.

Free HR TemplatesThe free HR templates and management resources include:

  • Employee Attraction & Retention Guide
  • Employee Warning Letters
  • Unfair Dismissal Guide
  • Recruitment & Selection Guides
  • Employee Probation Letters
  • Employment Contract & Employment Letters
  • Employee Dismissal Letters
  • Redundancy Information & Documentation
  • Information on Discrimination, Bullying & Harassment
  • Parental Leave Information & Documents
  • How To Make An Enterprise Agreement
  • Flexible Work Information & Documents
  • Unions & Industrial Action Information
  • Best Interview Questions & Answers
  • Managing Generation Y Guide
  • And much more . . .

Get started now by using the login form on the right-hand side →
[hr]

Get Your Free HR Templates & Reports

Here are some examples of some of the additional free HRwisdom HR resources:Free HR Templates

  • Employee Attraction & Retention Guide
  • 15 Ways To Manage Staff In Uncertain Times
  • Sample HR Letters To Employees
  • How To Find & Keep Good Employees
  • Employee Contract of Employment Templates
  • How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Employee Goodwill
  • The Changing Labour Market
  • Train The Trainer Course Guide

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