The ability to work through the night, whether in a warehouse or a call center, is a specialty in its own right. Night-shift workers face unique challenges. They may have trouble balancing their work and family lives. Being disconnected from the company’s day-to-day activities can hamper their on-the-job morale. Their energy level can flag if they aren’t accustomed to late-night work hours.
But some workers shine at night. Studies show that the most productive night-shift employees tend to be night owls by nature who are physically fit extroverts. With that in mind, here are some interview questions that can help you quickly identify the promising applicants:
- At what time of the day or night do you feel the most energized?
- How much exercise do you get on a daily basis?
- Are you more energized by socializing with other people or by spending time alone?
Target night owls with your help-wanted adsYour ads should make it clear that you are seeking qualified job candidates who are ready to work when everyone else is asleep. Janie O’Connor, president of Shiftworker.com, suggests calling attention to that point with humorous headlines such as, “If You Can Stay Up After the 10 p.m. News, We Have a Job for You.”
Know where to recruitList your job openings in the classified section of your local newspapers, but also place ads where night-shift job seekers are most likely to check. Since young people adapt best to working all night, post ads in local college newspapers. If your night-shift opening has career potential for new college graduates, consider exhibiting at a nearby college’s career fair.
Smart interviewingAs with any job interview, your questions should help you determine whether the applicant has the skills for the job, but you also need to ferret out the applicant’s interest in night-shift work.
Is the job applicant truly a “night person”?Help determine if a job candidate really does thrive when the sun goes down by finding out if he or she is a lark (a day person) or an owl (a night person).
Conduct background and reference checksWhether it’s a day or night position, don’t offer a job to anyone until you have verified that he or she is trustworthy. With fewer supervisors on hand during night shifts, it pays to be extra vigilant about hiring honest people.
- If there are few managers on hand during your night shift, look for job applicants who are self-starters and comfortable making decisions on their own.
- Ask your top job candidates to visit your facility during the hours he would be working so that he can get a sense of the work environment.
- Help job applicants who have never worked at night understand how the work hours might affect their personal life. For instance, remind them that those little things they take for granted, such as picking up groceries and running other after-work errands, might be impossible if their shift ends in the early-morning hours.