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#1 zanorias

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Posted 15 March 2020 - 05:29 PM

Hello all,

 

I've recently joined a manufacturer as QA Manager and need to hire several QAs as the company is expanding. I had the same role in my previous place but never needed to recruit in my time there. Thinking about questions for the potential QAs, I'd like to really find out whether they have the aptitude and attitude for the role, especially as the food safety & quality aspect of things here really needs a lift so I need someone that can stand up to production pressures and help me push the culture.

 

So to the other QAMs and TMs here - are there any key questions you'd ask or tips for hiring the right person? I'm skeptical by nature and want to stay away from generic questions that candidates could regurgitate googled and reheased questions for.

 

TIA


Edited by zanorias, 15 March 2020 - 05:31 PM.


#2 Ryan M.

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Posted 15 March 2020 - 09:15 PM

A few questions that may be helpful.

  • Have you had an instance in your career where your authority was challenged?  If so, how did you handle this?
  • What is your process to handle conflicting priorities?
  • Tell me about the steps you would take when / if you have an instance with product out of specification.
  • In your career have you worked with difficult co-workers?  If so, how did you handle your relationship with the difficult co-worker?  If not, how would you handle an issue like this?
    • If they say no to this they either are not being truthful or they do not have much experience.  
  • What type of leader / manager do you prefer to work under?
  • What type of work environment allows you to thrive in your work?

 

Hope this helps.



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#3 Setanta

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 12:03 PM

Ryan has a great list started!

 

I would suggest tests for spelling, noticing details (label differences), basic math problems, etc.


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#4 majoy

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 04:00 PM

Questions will depend on what level of QA staff are you hiring? Is it entry level QA position? or you require someone with a food manufacturing experience?

 

Ask a situational question rather than generic question. Say, a production employee informed you of that a bottle of this ingredient broke and the portion of the packaging is missing, what will you do?

 

A lot of QA i came across with are also very book-ish (no offense to us), so its up to you to really decipher if they are fit for the job or not when you see them personally and interacted with them.


"Whatever you do, do it well..." - Walt Disney


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#5 zanorias

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 06:38 PM

Questions will depend on what level of QA staff are you hiring? Is it entry level QA position? or you require someone with a food manufacturing experience?

 

A lot of QA i came across with are also very book-ish (no offense to us), so its up to you to really decipher if they are fit for the job or not when you see them personally and interacted with them.

Some experiance preferrebly, though I'll consider without depending on the person - I'm more focused on getting someone that will "do the right thing, not the easy thing" and be confident working in (what is currently somewhat of a hostile) production environment. Experiance would help of course.

 

 

Thanks for comments :spoton:



#6 Ryan M.

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 11:26 PM

Experience is always nice, but I've never required it.  What I find to be the two most valuable traits for the position is:

  1. Ability to troubleshoot / problem solve
  2. Good judgement / decision making

If you can find someone who meets both of these traits hang onto them...it is increasingly difficult to find people with these traits.

 

The technical stuff can always be taught.

 

 

Some experiance preferrebly, though I'll consider without depending on the person - I'm more focused on getting someone that will "do the right thing, not the easy thing" and be confident working in (what is currently somewhat of a hostile) production environment. Experiance would help of course.

 

 

Thanks for comments :spoton:



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#7 pHruit

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Posted 17 March 2020 - 04:49 PM

If you can take them around the site, perhaps as a second stage once you've weeded out the obviously unsuitable candidates, then it's a good opportunity to see what sort of questions they ask, what they focus on, what gets their interest etc, and can also get them talking in a slightly more relaxed way than a formal interview setting.
Experience is useful but IMO a willingness and ability to learn is more useful - I want people who pick up new things rather than the "I was taught it this way and it's the only way I'll do it" type.

Similarly perhaps see if you can get them to debate a few points as you go. Sycophants are of very little use as you want people who will both push and support you as you'll do for them, but if you hire people who are so full of their own opinion that they'll forever be reluctant to go with your final decision once they've had chance to debate it then they will be hard work further down the line.

Assuming they've all got a CV that checks out and have the relevant experience / intellect to do the role, I'd focus on personality and how they interact with you and other people you meet around the site.

 

I've been to interviews where they've set formal "you have 10 minutes to prepare a presentation to the senior team on how you'd handle issue x" scenarios, been given all sorts of pointless numeracy/literacy tests, done "influence assessment" team exercises and all manner of other silly things at interviews and honestly I'd just focus on talking to people, try to get them relaxed (if they don't relax then they may not cope with the more high-stress aspects of the job), and get a feel for how they see things, how quickly their brain works, and whether you'd want to work with them (and would trust them etc).

Basic things like presentation matter, too, IMO. If you can't be bothered to iron a shirt, clean/polish your shoes, and put on a suit (or equivalent) then it's an instant no. If you're a 16 year old student wanting to work in McD's for a few hours a week then it's understandable, but you'll potentially see this right the way up to recruiting for QA managers...

 

Be aware you'll probably get it wrong a few times over your career, and hire someone who seemed great but turned out to be a bit of a nightmare (yep, voice of experience ;) ), or potentially pick someone because the pool of candidates isn't that great and you need to fill vacancies. Sometimes it goes the other way, and the "I'll have to settle for the least-worst" actually turns out to be a fantastic staff member. Or maybe I'm just terrible at interviewing and should start rolling dice to pick new staff? :ejut:

I agree with Ryan M in general - it's hard to find good people!



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#8 zanorias

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Posted 19 March 2020 - 05:56 PM

Thanks pHruit.

 

Unfortunately due to "current events" (the world imploding), I'm no longer able to hire a new QA. In fact we've just lost a lot of staff following a 70% drop in sales as the bulk of our customer base is/was airlines and education... :doh:






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