Even if you work in human resources, doing employee interviews are one of those thankless tasks that most warehouse managers would rather not do. But there are good and bad ways to approach the interview process and in fact how you handle the interview can be almost as important as the answers to the questions themselves.
The following sample questions are broken down into types, based on the kind of information you want to gather. While asking about test scores and background experience seem to be the most obvious choices, the behavior and competency questions actually are the best predictors for how well the candidate can be expected to succeed in the desired position.
· Give me a quick overview of your background in working in a warehouse environment or distribution center.
· What is the difference between FIFO and LIFO?
· Tell me about your experiences in your last two positions and how those companies helped you to succeed there.
· Do you have any academic or trade school qualifications that can be applied to warehouse positions?
· Have you ever entered data in a computer? If so, what kind of data was it?
· Tell me about your experience in handling hazardous materials.
· Tell me your background with a forklift and which types of vehicles you have been licensed to drive.
· Tell me about the writing assignment or achievement that you have the most pride in.
· Tell me you background in palletizing and stocking, shipping and receiving, order pulling and kitting.
Ask for Opinion
· What is the most challenging part of the work you have done in a warehouse or distribution center? What do you feel you do the best?
· Describe several warehouse trends in the last few years.
· Where do you want to be in five years? In ten years?
Problem solving capabilities
· If a heavy forklift had become immobile with a load still on it, what would you do?
· Have you ever had to deal with an irate customer? How did you handle it?
· Tell me about a time you improved the productivity of your team.
· What is the most complex order come that you had to handle? What were the steps you took to take care of it?
· What do you do as a junior member of a team to contribute to the overall value of your team?
· Have you ever had a conflict with a coworker? How did you resolve it?
· Do you have a system for organizing your work area? Tell me about how it helped or didn't help in your job.
· How would others describe you?
Warehouse interview questions
Leadership and Competency Questions
· Describe a situation where you have had an assignment that required the cooperation of others in the location. What did you say to influence them?
· Have you ever led a meeting and had one or more participants not serious about the meetings purpose? What did you do to handle this?
There are some questions that not only are not a good idea to ask, they are illegal to ask. Just to make sure these are not included in your questions, here are the kinds of questions it is illegal to ask when interviewing anyone for a job.
· Age – You cannot ask their birth date or what year they graduated from high school. The only exception to this is if the interviewee is under 18 and they are applying for a job that requires they be of legal age.
· National origin or birthplace – this includes discussing family origins and language.
· Citizenship- although you can ask for proof of eligibility to work in the country, you cannot ask for proof of citizenship nor make it a requirement for hiring.
· Place of residence – Although you can of course ask where they live you cannot ask if they live alone, with family or anything else that intrudes on their privacy.
· Race, Ethnicity or Skin Color – This is pretty self explanatory
· Personal Information – This includes height and weight and even clothing size. If you need this for uniforms you can ask after they are hired, not before. You can ask questions such as being able to lift a certain load if it is part of the job, just not how much they weigh.
· Gender or Sexual Orientation – Again, pretty self-explanatory.
· Photographs – You cannot ask for them or take them while still interviewing. If part of the file after, then they can be done after they are hired.
· Questions about Sexual Harassment – This cannot be discussed at all. This includes their opinions on it or any times they have witnessed it.
· Religion or Faith – You cannot even ask what they do on Sunday or anything else that might be considered leading. This includes discussing what holidays they take before you hire them.
· Health Status – You cannot ask about pre-existing conditions, chronic health problems or disabilities either physical or mental including use of drugs or alcohol. This includes discussing eyeglasses or any past workers compensation claims.
· Family- You cannot ask marital status or if they have family including children or care for aged parents. This includes asking if someone in their family works for the company.
· Legal Record – You cannot ask about any previous arrests unless they are specifically related to the job duties.
· Military Status – You can ask about training received while in the military but you cannot ask what branch they served in or what type of discharge they have.
· Financial – You cannot ask anything about their financial status or debts.
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