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Safety and the Hiring Process – Interview Questions

- April 16, 2018 by Leslie Stoll, CSP, ARM (View all posts by Leslie)

Many of the clients I visit are in hiring mode. Some because of retirement and other due to growth. Regardless of why, hiring brings about new safety issues that companies with very low turnover don’t deal with on a week to week basis. If your turnover rate is so low that you would have to dust off your new hire orientation program to use it, read on.

In this series, safety and the hiring process will cover: interviewing questions, pre-hire physicals and drug testing, first-day orientation, advanced training, and more. This blog will cover some the key things to ask during a new hire interview process.

Having a sit-down interview with an employee is important. You need to be sure that the people you’re interviewing can represent your company in a positive light. This is especially important if they will be meeting with customers as a service provider but also important for future employees that will have little contact with customers. Employees need to fit into your culture especially if you’ve worked hard to make a safety and healthy culture already.

During the interview process, here are good questions to ask to evaluate their attitude towards safety.

  • Have you ever reported a safety hazard to a supervisor? What was it?
  • Was your last employer able to correct any concerns you had about safety?
  • What type of equipment did you operate and did you receive formal training?
  • How was safety enforced at your previous place of employment?
  • Have you ever stopped a co-worker from doing something unsafe? What was it?
  • What type of protective gear did you wear at your previous job?
  • Can you think of any safety rules at your last job that frustrated you?
  • Did your previous employer have a stretching program or promote health and wellness?
  • Would you like to lead some stretch sessions or work with the safety committee to continue to improve our safety efforts if you were employed here?
  • Do you think zero accidents are achievable in a work environment?

Adding some of all of these questions into your interview process could go a long way in identifying quality employees who will fit into your safety culture. Of course you always have to be weary of not asking questions prohibited by the EEOC. For a list of those questions you can’t ask, click here. For a list of questions that the EEOC states that you shouldn’t ask, click here.

If you have any questions that you ask during the interview process to evaluate a person’s safety attitude, please feel free to share below.