Ask applicants these questions

When Keisha Byam, MPH, training manager and safety coach at Children's National Medical Center in Silver Spring, MD, interviews applicants, she asks these questions:

• How many times in a six-month period were you tardy or absent unexpectedly?

• When your schedule or work is suddenly interrupted, what do you do?

• This job will require you to spend a large amount of time talking to people with difficult and sometimes upsetting circumstances. Can you give me three examples of when you had to work in this kind of situation and how you worked to resolve customer concerns?

• Tell me about a time in your work history when you were proud of your ability to be objective, even though you were emotionally upset about a situation.

• When have you found it necessary to use detailed checklists or procedures to reduce potential for error on the job? Be specific.

• Tell me about a time when you showed high enthusiasm and energy in order to create positive motivation in others. Give me a specific example.