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Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers – Q4

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

Let’s look at the fourth question . . .

 

Good Interview Question 4

Q4. We all make mistakes. Tell us about a time when you made a mistake – what did you do about it and what did you learn from that?

Good Interview Questions from www.HRwisdom.com.auAsking people about mistakes they made is very good to tease out people who are resilient and interested in continually improving things.

It’s pretty true to say that everyone makes mistakes, but the person who makes mistakes and covers it up or won’t admit it or keeps making the same mistakes over and over really isn’t the sort of person that you want in your business.

 

Preferred Interview Answer – What You Want To Hear

In this one, we are asking them to tell us about a mistake that they made and, in particular, we want to find out how they recognize that they made a mistake and what they did to learn from that so that it wouldn’t happen again.

If they give you an example from their home life, that’s okay.

A work example would be better.

Sometimes I call this future proofing so the person that has the attitude that “it’s okay if I stop that once, it’s okay because I’m going to fool-proof the system so that it never happens again.  Someone like that is the sort of person you want.

I don’t think you’ll ever find a candidate who will say “Well, I never make mistakes,” but it’s possible they might claim it.

 

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

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Top 10 Interview Questions With Answers – Q5

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

We have gone one better.

Top 10 Interview Questions With AnswersThanks 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

Let’s look at the fifth question . . .

 

Good Interview Question 5

Q5. Tell us about some training you’ve done recently.

WhGood Interview Questions from www.HRwisdom.com.auen you ask the question about training, what you’re trying to find out is the attitude that the person has towards training and improvement in general.  I wouldn’t expect that any candidate would ever say to you “We did some training and it was great to have a day away from the work place.”  However, some people might say that and if they do tell you that then you can easily see what their attitude is no matter how jovially they might present it.

 

Preferred Interview Answer – What You Want To Hear

A really good answer that a candidate would give you would be ‘”Yes, we regularly undergo training.  The equipment at the work place changed and so we were sent away for four hours of training and it’s really good of the company to make sure that we know exactly how to operate the equipment, the peak of its efficiency.”  Something like that so there’s a connection between what the person learned in the business, some sort of a connection.

Then the question that has equal relevance to someone who might have been out of the work force for a period of time.  Most of us might think that people out of the work force just sit around with him doing nothing or they might be applying for jobs and things like that.  But it’s always good to hear that someone has used their time gainfully even if it’s not necessarily work related.

For instance, I do recall a candidate that I interviewed once who had been out of the work force for six months and he went along to do a homebrewing course.  But the way that he went about that was he went around to two or three regional shows in his area where people had submitted homebrew samples and won prizes and he asked the winners how they have learned how to brew and so he gathered data and worked out the best equipment to get and the best course to do.  You can imagine that when we employed that guy, he was just fully on about training.  You know, ‘Let’s go out there.  Let’s learn something.  Let’s learn something new.  Let’s improve the process.’  So with people like that, you don’t have to force them to go along to training.  They expect training to happen all of the time and for all of the right reasons..

 

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

Download Your Employee Retention Masterclass Workbook Now

Regardless of whether an economy is in trouble or if times are booming, every organisation benefits when they can retain their best people and have them motivated to perform at their usual high standards.

Proactive organisations realise that if they can continue to give great service outcomes whilst their competitors flounder with people-related issues then they will be more attractive to customers and clients and to the market at large.

Organisations that don’t plan for employee retention should be prepared to manage excessive employee absenteeism, poor quality, attitude problems, key staff walking out at crucial moments, low morale, bad customer service, workplace injuries, cost blowouts and more.

The Employee Retention Masterclass is an excellent resource for any business.

Employee Retention Masterclass WorkbookThe Masterclass comes to you from guest HRwisdom contributor and internationally best-selling author, Les McKeown.

Not only has Les consulted to fortune 500 companies around the world, he has successfully started and grown dozens of companies in his own right, so Les knows what he is talking about.

In this comprehensive report, you will discover:

  • Powerful new approaches to attracting the right types of people to your business.
  • The key to developing your employer brand.
  • How to manage, develop and retain the right type of people for your organisation.

Download the free Employee Retention Masterclass Workbook:

Click here: Employee Retention Masterclass

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How To Fire Someone

How To Fire Someone

The question of how to fire someone is not a pleasant one but it is one that is being asked by more and more companies of all sizes as they feel the strain of ongoing economic uncertainty.

Remember to get free HR documents & employment law templates right now (use the form on the right-hand side of this page).

Alternatively, click to create customised termination letters and other HR documents.

How To Fire SomeoneThe question of how to fire someone has been highlighted recently with debate on unfair dismissal laws for small businesses and with announcements by large companies such as QANTAS and BHP Billiton that more job losses are imminent.

The George Clooney movie “Up In The Air” raised the profile of the redundancy process.

The film featured a corporate HR redundancy expert whose role was to fly from city to city making staff redundant as part of his firm’s outsourced outplacement service. At one stage, Clooney’s firm even explored the technical “advance” of conducting employee dismissal meetings via computer video linkups.

Perhaps more useful is the recent article published by the Wall Street Journal which shared some ideas on the unpleasant question of how to fire someone.

The article included feedback from different HR experts.

How To Fire Someone

Here are some of the suggestions on how to fire someone . . .

Say it yourself. The main bearer of bad news should be the employee’s direct manager. Otherwise, an employee may wonder whether the supervisor even supported the decision, and that could raise concerns over the merit of the termination.

Bring a witness. Having another manager or HR representative present helps to avoid a game of he-said, she-said if the employee retaliates with legal action. A third party also can ensure that the conversation remains on topic and professional.

Get it in writing. The moments after receiving bad news tend to be a blur, and the employee might not remember details such as how to get that final paycheck or when to sign up for [government support]. Have a written list of information on hand so the employee can process it later.

Keep it quick and make it less of a conversation and more of a notification. Cap the meeting at 15 or 20 minutes.

Be specific. Our imaginations can be our worst enemies, so the more employees know about why they’re being fired, the less likely they are to wonder about more nefarious motives, such as gender or age discrimination. Now is a good time to rehash some of the missteps an employee has made, such as missing sales quotas or ignoring warnings about unprofessional behavior.

Click to create customised termination letters and other HR documents.

Don’t apologize. Saying you’re sorry suggests that the manager is disappointed with the decision, which could leave the employee wondering whether the firing really was fair… Comments like “This is actually a good thing for you” are also inappropriate, since the manager offering such platitudes is still gainfully employed.

Do it on Friday. Or Monday. Or Wednesday. There is no consensus on the best day to fire someone. Fridays make the departure less dramatic but could leave the employee stewing over the weekend; Mondays allow a rapid-response job hunt but highlight that the employee’s calendar is clear for the rest of the week. The answer? Don’t dawdle. Make the notification as soon as you make the decision.

The article also made the basic but the sometimes overlooked suggestion to keep calm throughout the process and allow the employee to maintain some dignity by sticking to a private setting.

Feel free to share this article with friends and colleagues.

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Nothing HR Can’t Sort Out In The Morning

HRwisdom regularly shares HR & staff management templates, reports and general HR advice with employers all over Australia.

This HR advice and employment law advice is always aimed at being proactive and reducing your workforce management risks.

However, today (because it’s Friday) we’re sharing something a little different.

Today we’re sharing what appears to be anti HR advice.

Anyone who has ever dealt with managing people has probably had to face this situation at some point.

We had to laugh when we saw it . . .

Anti HR Advice

The picture below was spotted as part of a recent online advertisement for an inner city cocktail bar/bowling alley chain.

HR Advice

Remember, if you ever face a situation where an employee has taken the attitude that it’s “nothing that HR can’t sort out in the morning” then you should probably take a look at some HR advice and employment law advice.

It’s available now on HRwisdom.

Just login as a free HRwisdom Community member and scroll around the welcome page.

To login, just use the form over on the right-hand side of any HRwisdom page.

No password is required.

HRwisdom Gift Still Available

Also, a quick reminder that the special HRwisdom Thank You Gift is still available.

For details or to access your gift: Click Here.

HRwisdom Support

 

 

Australia’s New Centre for Workplace Leadership Not So Central?

Yesterday the HRwisdom Blog examined the recent announcement by the Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations to boost Australia’s workplace leadership capability.

The Minister said:

“Today I am announcing that the Gillard Government, in collaboration with industry, is providing $12 million over four years for the establishment of a new Centre for Workplace Leadership.”

Workplace LeadershipHowever, one high profile labour economics expert has raised the unusual prospect that the Government may have got it wrong with this new investment.

HRwisdom was a little unsure about on the position held by high profile economist Judith Sloan in her widely-read column in a recent edition of The Australian newspaper.

Perhaps you can tell where the highly respected Judith Sloan stands on this issue . . . ?

“The idea of wet-behind-the-ears public servants, fresh from their postmodern university education majoring in cultural studies, handing out advice to highly experienced, but hard-pressed, business owners – I ask you. What is the government thinking?

But I guess most members of the government, who have neither run a business nor made weekly payrolls, have more in common with the earnest, know-nothing public servants who hang out in Canberra than with harried company managers.

Take the recent announcement of Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten to waste $12 million of scarce taxpayer funds by establishing the Centre for Workplace Leadership.”

Whilst HRwisdom obviously took offense at Judith Sloan suggesting that the Government spending $12 million to demonstrate its support of HRwisdom’s harping on/heavy focus on being proactive, her next comments did make us think twice . . .

“According to the blurb -oops, I mean media release – “the centre will encourage higher performing, innovative workplaces and stronger leadership capability in Australian workplaces, to boost productivity and ensure Australian workers truly have quality jobs”. Truly.

Don’t you just love it? The government brings in the Fair Work Act, which is based on conflict and differences between employers and workers.”

As Sloan continued, the HRwisdom were beginning to feel a little more uncomfortable about letting the Government spending $12 million to hang out with us . . .

“So, having brought in laws based on a “them-and-us” conception of workplace relations, the government feels the need to spray around more taxpayer funds to encourage workplace leadership and worker engagement, intermediates through trade unions, of course, to encourage “productive workplaces”.

According to its mission, the new centre will “be the Australian expert on workplace management and leadership and improving the productivity of Australian workplaces through leadership”. Really, the Australian expert?

What about our university-based business schools? What about our diverse management consulting industry?”

Hmmm . . . a reality check indeed.

At HRwisdom we have decided that a better middle ground would be for HRwisdom to be given the $12 million to spend as we see fit.

We promise to use the money wisely.

HRwisdom

 

 

Why Is The Australian Government Spending $12 Million to Hang Out With HRwisdom?

At HRwisdom we focus heavily (some might call it ‘harping on’) on being proactive when it comes to all aspects of managing your workforce.

In fact, it would appear that the Australian Government has taken notice of this harping on/heavy focus and has tried to go one better by stumping up $12 million as proof.

Centre for Workplace Leadership

However, one high profile labour economics expert has raised the unusual prospect that the Government may have got it wrong with this new investment.

In this two part HRwisdom Blog article, we will look at what the Government has in mind and what could possibly be wrong with spending a cool $12 million in an attempt to hang out with the cool crowd (ie. HRwisdom).

What Does The Federal Government Have In Mind?

The Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, recently announced a bold new plan to boost Australia’s workplace leadership capability.

In his media release, the Minister said:
“Australia needs higher performing and more profitable and competitive workplaces to continue to drive productivity growth and position Australia to take advantage of the opportunities of the Asian Century. A key workplace level factor to achieve this is to boost workplace leadership capability.
The workplace relations debate in Australia has for too long focused on conflict between unions and employers and the transactions involved in setting pay and conditions. This has meant that ongoing, daily relationships that occur at the workplace have not been given the attention they deserve.
The recent independent review of the Fair Work Act found no evidence that our workplace relations laws impede productivity growth. Instead, there is a substantial and growing body of evidence that shows that leadership, workplace culture and management practices have a significant impact on workplace performance, productivity, profitability and innovation.  It also shows that good leadership which empowers employees delivers greater job satisfaction, productivity and motivation.”
This led to the Minister’s declaration that the Federal Government wanted to hang out with HRwisdom and was prepared to pay for the privilege:
“Today I am announcing that the Gillard Government, in collaboration with industry, is providing $12 million over four years for the establishment of a new Centre for Workplace Leadership.
The Centre will encourage higher performing, innovative workplaces and stronger leadership capability in Australian workplaces, to boost productivity and ensure Australian workers truly have quality jobs.
The Centre for Workplace Leadership will be a flagship initiative of this Government and will focus in a very distinct and new way on leadership as it happens at the enterprise level every day.”
In an attempt to ingratiate himself even further with HRwisdom, the Federal Minister spelled out exactly what he had in mind for the new proactive Centre for Workplace Leadership . . .
“The Centre will:
  • be the Australian expert on workplace management and leadership and improving the productivity of Australian workplaces through leadership;
  • deliver quality training for leaders and managers on effective leadership, workplace culture and people management practices and connect leaders to training and development from other providers;
  • promote and disseminate practical, relevant research, including surveys, on workplace change and improvement;
  • lead the public debate on the importance of good leadership, workplace culture and people management and on the interdependencies between high performing and productive workplaces, effective management practices and quality jobs; and
  • drive a broader movement to ‘do things differently at work’ by recognising that productivity ‘happens’ at work and that leadership is a crucial mechanism to improve productivity.”
Indeed, there are some powerful ideas and ambitions in the development of the proposed new Centre for Workplace Leadership. Tomorrow, we see what a high profile labour economics expert thinks of this major new development . . .

Employment Law and Social Media Part 2

In this HRwisdom Blog post, we bring you the second half of our article on employment law and social media.

Employment Law and Social MediaThe post comes courtesy of Tim Capelin, a Partner based in the Sydney office of law firm Piper Alderman.

Tim has acted for leading organisations in most industry sectors including food and beverage, retail, health & hospitality, pharmaceutical, logistics, resources, construction, government, finance and insurance. He frequently presents on workplace law topics, is a regular contributor to industry and legal publications and is sought by the media for comment on workplace law issues.

[box type=”alert”]Have you attended one of our free daily online workplace law Employer Briefings yet? To attend, click here: Free Employment Law Briefing [/box]

Over to Tim for the second half of his HRwisdom Blog update on employment law and social media . . .

When drafting a social media policy, the content should be organisation specific to a certain degree, but should address the following topics:

  • A definition of social media.
  • Your organisation’s view of and approach to social media.
  • Who is authorised to use social media as a representative of the organisation.
  • If authorised to represent the organisation within social media, what guidelines should be followed.
  • Whether non-authorised people are allowed to identify themselves as someone connected with the organisation when using social media in their private lives.
  • Whether access to social media will be allowed during work hours and if so, what limits should be followed.
  • How the organisation will monitor usage and what it will do with information gained from such monitoring.
  • The need to protect the organisation’s confidential information.
  • Whether employees have a positive obligation to inform the organisation if they become aware, even in their private use of social media, of comments made about the organisation.
  • Potential ramifications of breaching policy.
  • Who the policy applies to, namely does it only apply to employees or does it apply to all workplace participants.

Further to Tim’s excellent advice, HRwisdom always recommends that employers be proactive and plan ahead.

Such an approach is just smart business, particularly when it comes to the new world of social media.

[box type=”alert”]Have you attended one of our free daily online workplace law Employer Briefings yet? To attend, click here: Free Employment Law Briefing [/box]

To get in touch with Tim Capelin, you can find his contact details here: employment law advice Sydney.

HRwisdom

Employment Law And Social Media

Today we are looking at employment law and social media and have called upon an experienced employment lawyer for advice.

Employment Law and Social MediaThis HRwisdom blog article comes courtesy of Tim Capelin, a Partner based in the Sydney office of law firm Piper Alderman.

Tim has acted for leading organisations in most industry sectors including food and beverage, retail, health & hospitality, pharmaceutical, logistics, resources, construction, government, finance and insurance. He frequently presents on workplace law topics, is a regular contributor to industry and legal publications and is sought by the media for comment on workplace law issues.

[box type=”alert”]Have you attended one of our free daily online workplace law Employer Briefings yet? To attend, click here: Free Employment Law Briefing [/box]

Over to Tim . . .

Employment Law And Social Media

From an employment relations point of view social media has had two major impacts. It has brought what used to be clearly private conduct, more regularly into the workplace, and it has provided a highly useful array of tools for communicating with employees and customers, as well as those designed to help grow your business.

Employees have always been critical of their employers to friends and family. In the past this was done discretely, on the telephone or in small gatherings. When this action is transferred into a social media setting the dissemination can be vast and the damage is likely to be greater.

With appropriately integrated strategies, the likelihood of inappropriate comments being widely published can be reduced and the capacity for your organisation to take decisive action against offending employees enhanced.

Professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, have become the business development tool of choice for many sales people, particularly in the services sector. However, the pipeline of leads and contacts created with such a tool can depart your organisation with your sales and other staff. This could have occurred in the past with client and prospect lists however, the tracking of such actions was previously easier. There are measures available to maximise the potential, whilst limiting the downside risks, of employees using LinkedIn and similar tools, this involves an integrated approach to employment contracts, policies and IT procedures.

An integrated aproach

As mentioned, it is best to have an integrated approach to managing social media risks. An aspect of that approach is putting into place an appropriate Social Media Policy.

The content of such policies does not need to sit within its own separate policy, it can be included in your organisation’s HR, IT or other relevant more general policies.

However, to better ensure the policy comes to your employees’ attention and therefore improve compliance, we recommend that you extensively and regularly communicate the existence of the policy.

In the next HRwisdom Blog post, we’ll follow-up this article on employment law and social media by examining what to cover in a workplace social media policy.

To see Tim Capelin’s contact details, click here.

[box type=”alert”]Don’t forget to attend one of our free daily online workplace law Employer Briefings. To attend, click here: Free Employment Law Employer Briefing [/box]

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The Australian Union Movement vs Monty Python

In a recent HRwisdom Blog post, we looked at how industrial action and strikes in Australia are measured and reported.

We also looked at the recent change in the number of working days lost to industrial action.

The article drew on information from both the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) and the Sydney Morning Herald.

To see the specific HRwisdom Blog post, click here: Strike Action On The Rise?

Australian Unions Re-Work A Classic

Australian Union CampaignHowever, as a sidebar, our investigation into Australian strike activity led us to a golden oldy from an old union campaign.

The union movement’s ‘YourRights At Work’ was, by most assessments, an extremely successful media campaign which had a significant impact on Australian politics at the time.

Here at HRwisdom we’re wondering if the video below rings any bells for fans of Monty Python?

If so, feel free to share this excellent re-working of an old classic.

Enjoy . . .

Warning: A couple of rude words make an appearance during the video.

Share/Like This

As always, feel free to Like/Share this HRwisdom Blog Post on Facebook and Twitter.

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