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Interview Questions to Ask to See if a Candidate Has Energy

by Wendy Lau, studioD

A job interview can be a nerve-racking experience for the job candidate, but the candidate's physical appearance and response to your questions can tell a lot about a candidate's energy. Aside from being alert, smiling and other body language to inform you he's interested in what you have to say, the response to questions can also help you determine whether the candidate has high energy for the job.


During a job interview, in addition to asking questions about experience and skills, you can find out if a job candidate has high energy by asking about interests and activities she participates in outside of work. For instance, "What are your hobbies and activities you participate in?" A response indicating volunteer work and involvement in team sports can provide an indication that she is active and that she enjoys working with and helping others. A candidate who indicates she has little time to do anything else other than work can indicate a lack of energy.


Motivation drives people to work and succeed at what they do. This type of energy may be the result of different material rewards, but a candidate with natural energy is spiritually motivated without regard to material rewards. Ask the job candidate, "What motivates you at work?" A response that indicates receiving recognition for work completed, a happy customer or client and other responses to that effect exhibits a candidate who's naturally energized and motivated. A response indicating salary may still yield a candidate with energy, but it won’t be someone who’s naturally and spiritually motivated.


Every job has its challenges, but how an employee handles it can tell you if he has high energy. Ask the candidate, "What's a major challenge you have faced on the job?" A candidate with energy might indicate how he confronted the challenging situation head on without much dependency on others. He will also express what he learned from the experience. This type of response can indicate a job candidate who does not give up in the face of challenge and remains confident at succeeding and growing his knowledge at work. He exhibits an energy to overcome challenges.


When you ask a job candidate what she disliked about her last job or previous work experiences, it can help reveal her energy. For instance, if her chief complaints touch on long hours or too much work on her plate, it can indicate you have a job candidate who might struggle in a position that requires a good deal of multitasking or willingness to take on additional and new challenges with excitement and enthusiasm.

About the Author

Wendy Lau entered the communication field in 2001. She works as a freelance writer and prior to that was a PR executive responsible for health care clients' written materials. Her writing experience include technical articles, corporate materials, online articles, blogs, byline articles, travel itineraries and business profile listings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications from Ithaca College.

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