Interviews, in general, are crucial in defining your company and its working system. This is because your employees and their capabilities are often viewed as a direct measure of your company’s scale.
This is even more so in the case of development-oriented work systems like process improvement. Therefore, you should stick to predefined criteria and a set of qualities that you expect out of your recruits.
Making sure your candidate checks all the boxes on your list could be tricky.
This has a simple solution: to ask the right questions with clear and appropriate words. Here is all you need to know about framing your questions to make the best of your process improvement interviews.
What is process improvement?
In simple terms, process improvement is a working system that aims to improve and optimize the workflow of a business with the end goal of improving productivity and performance. Businesses often look for employees who possess qualities suited for incorporating process improvement practices, which makes it very important for a satisfactory interview that pleases the recruiter.
Coming to the topic itself, this simple definition itself could pop up as an interview question. This might be the interviewer’s attempt to test your knowledge and outlook toward the idea and process. Hence, it is best to make sure to fully express your point of view and personal knowledge apart from the basic definition by the book. Adding individual insights into answers to such generic questions could boost your image and increase the chances of them considering you as a viable candidate.
For example, instead of simply answering that process improvement is a means to improve workplace productivity and resources, add an extension with better word choice. You can also add how you would like to implement your ideas as well. With the current improvement in the field of technology and development, it is also apt to keep in mind the newly buzzing ideas of automating process documentation and other interesting tools. You can also touch upon these subjects to show your extended learning and interest in the field.
Why do you need these questions?
Interviewing and questioning the concerned person would be the best possible way to detect and rectify any flaws and mishaps in the workplace. It would also help identify potential factors hindering your organization's growth and development.
Such professionally thought-out process improvement interview questions help you check into multiple aspects of your work process as well. You can simultaneously check in with existing employees and hire new employees by simply juggling words and sentences from this set of questions.
Things to consider before you frame your questions
Apart from following the default set of questions, it is also necessary for the recruiters to frame a few questions based on individuals' needs and concerns of the organization. These questions can be easily determined by studying the current patterns, pain points, and long-term objectives that the firm wishes to achieve over some time.
As a net result, all these questions are now formulated in such a way that it brings out all the necessary topics which are to be explained, including an assessment of all required areas. It could also be a good idea to have a team of competent professionals who are well-versed in the field to help you with creating the questionnaire.
Process improvement interview questions to ask
What is the best way to ensure the implementation of process improvement measures?
This is one of the most practical questions as far as process improvement is concerned. This is because a huge part of the sector relies upon proper implementation and follow-through of the plans which have been formulated by the process improvement teams.
A good game plan would include technically supported means to check on the proper functioning of the system following the plans which have been decided upon by the professional team. An appropriate way to accurately assess the implementation would be through improved tools that allow for automated supervision of the process improvement cycle. This contribution, however, is required from all the different levels and sectors involved in the general process. Only with a gathered array of plans and perspectives would the business benefit as a whole and progress toward improvement and, ultimately, success.
Name one suggestion of yours that greatly helped your previous employer
This is one of the most straightforward ways in which the candidate’s capacity and strength can be calculated. Answering this question in the best possible way would guarantee that you get hired, provided that you create such an impression. This is a kind of continuous development interview question that gives the company a clear vision of how you observe, approach, and take up responsibility and go through with it, allowing them to grossly predict the value you would add as an employee.
At my previous organization, I noticed that a huge amount of attention was unnecessarily being directed toward physical paperwork and other manual means of data management. Being aware of the rather developed means of process improvement in IT, I suggested changes that pointed towards making use of effective tools that help with automation, like Scribe. With this change, the firm slowly started adapting to computerized means of process documentation, which ultimately showed good improvement over time.
Do you think it is appropriate for workers to question the management?
Before answering such questions which put you in a compromised position, think twice. While giving out your answer, make sure to keep a highly professional approach. Do not come off as too condescending, but not overly polite at the same time. Instead, come up with a neutral yet insightful answer which would be morally agreeable to both parties.
Provided that the suggestion is made out of genuine interest to improve the work process, I do not see how it could not be an advantage. By allowing workers to voice out concerns and provide suggestions for improvement, the legislation gets to know about the problems which persist at the basic level of the company. There have been many scenarios and process improvement examples where companies have greatly benefitted from suggestions made by the employees.
How should the ideal employee receive feedback from the employer?
This question allows the recruiter to understand how you would be open to suggestions and how well you would implement them in your work accordingly. Also, this is one instance allowing you to express your desired work setup and establish how accepting you would be in terms of alterations. Such questions also provide an approximation of how much you are willing to grow while you work under a firm. Hence, this could be categorized as an area of improvement interview question as it allows the questioner to assess the same.
Feedback and criticism go a long way, especially with current systems, which are highly dependent on teams of professionals working together. In this case, every worker needs to give a considerable amount of respect and thought to every piece of criticism they receive. On the other hand, I also think it is equally important for every individual to have a personal sense of etiquette and work ethic to stick to. At the end of the day, accepting and taking up valid suggestions and voicing out your concern once you seem unfit would be the best way to overcome any risks in project management.
How do you think we can effectively incorporate IT solutions into process improvement methods?
This has become a default criterion for almost every firm these days, thanks to the extensive importance being given to software and data management. With almost every business being heavily dependent upon electronic means of functioning along every step, one can not really complain. Make sure you clearly list out the skills and tools you are familiar with while answering the question of how these features could be effectively incorporated into the functioning of your firm. You can also touch upon your knowledge about tools like Scribe, Trainual, SnagIt, Loom, etc.
With properly integrated IT systems, we can monitor and assess the functioning and productivity of the firm at a relatively better level. There are specifically designed business tools that can help us keep track and analyze the trends within the businesses, allowing timely comparison and measurement of performance. Through such detailed analyses, we can then identify and correct any possible flaws and add elements to improve as well. Being completely automated, the data provided by such tools are perfectly accurate, hence paving the way to make confident changes based solely on statistics and recorded information.
Apart from determining the general competency of the candidate, an ideal interview could help the professionals understand so much more. An interesting example would be how it exposes the employee’s outlook and respect towardṣ higher officials. That being the case, the interview questions are something that requires quite a bit of attention from both parties, even more so with sectors like process improvement.