Questions to ask prospective hires

landscapers planting a tree
Blanchford Landscape Group

Hiring the right people for your landscaping business is a critical decision. If you're serious about finding and hiring great people for your team, then it's important you take the interview process seriously. Andrew Blanchford, owner of Blanchford Landscape Group in Bozeman, Montana, shares some interviewing advice, including some of the questions they use in the process.

Blanchford says that their interviews are more like a conversation than an interrogation and the goal is to find out more about the person. 

"If we find the right person to join our team, that can trump industry experience in our hiring process," Blanchford says. "We look at things like work ethic and willingness to learn. So, we'll ask questions that bring out those characteristics."

Blanchford offers some sample questions that might be asked during their interview process:

  • Can you share an experience where you were involved with a team? What did you like about working on a team and how did you contribute to the team effort? 
  • Tell us about a time when you were faced with a lot of demands or challenges? How did you handle the stress? 
  • Who is someone that you respect and why? 
  • What drove you to apply for this job in the first place?
  • Tell us about a time that you faced a conflict (with a friend, coworker, roommate, etc.)? How did you resolve it? 

Trying to inspire people to share real-life stories and to reflect on both strengths and weaknesses is key, says Blanchford. As they interview possible candidates, the company wants to get to the bottom of who they're hiring and how they'll fit into the team environment. 

A love for working outside is also critical, adds Blanchford. Bozeman, Montana can have unpredictable weather, so it's also important that new hires can handle it. That's why Blanchford also includes these types of questions in their interviews:

  • What is it about being outside that you love?
  • Tell us about a time that you found yourself in adverse weather conditions? How did you handle it?

By asking the right questions, you can find a lot out about who you're hiring and how they will fit in with your team. Blanchford says that they encourage potential hires not to hide past injuries or weaknesses but rather to share these stories and how they handled those situations. It is these types of situations that build character.  Landscaping work and conditions are not always easy, but the right team can handle it. 

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