Graphic that shows three different types of interview questions you should be asking.

Use these questions to identify a candidate’s technical knowledge and abilities

Use these questions to determine how a candidate handled situations in the past

Use these questions to assess a candidate’s personal traits and cognitive skills

Why this matters

An effective packing process is a well-oiled machine. If the candidate has experience in this role, they will be able to articulate in great detail the steps involved from verification of the original order sheet to loading for delivery.

What to listen for

  • A focus on meticulousness, problem-solving skills, and efficiency in a team environment.
  • Strong candidates have followed specific processes in the past but demonstrate flexibility in learning new methods as needed.

Why this matters

Injuries such as trips, falls, overexertion, and strains are common in the warehouse industry, with backs, arms and knees being frequently affected areas. Most of these injuries are caused by unsafe body positioning, insufficient rest or breaks, and incorrect handling procedures—many of which can be prevented.

What to listen for

  • Evidence the candidate understands correct manual handling techniques and actively avoids overloading.
  • Strong answers mention the importance of safety checks on equipment prior to use.
  • Willingness to ask a teammate for help if an item or piece of equipment is too heavy.

Why this matters

Packers use a lot of physical movement to complete their tasks. Items must be located and packaged at different ends of the same warehouse. Heavy boxes must be lifted many times throughout the day. The best candidates are eager to maintain physical fitness in order to do the job safely.

What to listen for

  • Prior hands-on experience pulling inventory from a warehouse, and loading and unloading delivery vehicles by hand.
  • Willingness and ability to lift up to 40 pounds without support and stand for long periods of time.

Why this matters

Technology is evolving so rapidly, it’s natural to expect it to transform warehouse operations. Not only will your candidate’s answer provide insight into their career goals and industry awareness, it will also demonstrate their ability to identify problems and come up with solutions. The best packers seek to overcome limitations.

What to listen for

  • Answers should demonstrate that the candidate understands the role automation plays in the logistics industry.
  • Great answers will show enthusiasm, creativity, and an ability to clearly articulate the end benefit to both the business and its customers.

Why this matters

Packing is a highly collaborative process, requiring a number of teams to work together. If one element is off schedule, it can disrupt an entire supply chain—and compromise delivery dates and client relationships. How your candidate answers this question will indicate his or her ability to address a difficult situation head-on for the greater good.

What to listen for

  • Look for signs that the candidate feels comfortable discussing sensitive subjects with colleagues or management.
  • A strong answer will mention that honesty enables teams to work more efficiently—or some other insight that demonstrates an understanding of team culture.

Why this matters

You should be looking for packers who can work efficiently in a fast-paced environment. The process requires a balance between taking the time to get orders correctly packaged the first time, but also working as quickly as possible—while upholding safety best practices. Probe the candidate for quantifiable examples of their impact in a past role.

What to listen for

  • Awareness of different work styles (and their own strengths and weaknesses), as well as an interest in improving efficiency are traits that can set candidates apart.
  • Examples that demonstrate how even the smallest improvements in physical ability, organizational skills, time management, and customer service can yield significant business value.

Why this matters

These days, technology has a place in many warehouse operations, so you need to make sure your candidate has strong collaboration skills. Can they communicate well with coworkers? Are they able to see a project through to completion alongside others? Can they recognize their own strengths and those in others?

What to listen for

  • Listen for specific examples of how the candidate coordinated necessary resources, laid out a plan for others to follow, and handled setbacks.
  • Look for signs that they learned from the experience.

Why this matters

Warehouse managers are constantly looking for ways to speed up operations while ensuring quality. As a packer, any initiative you take to contribute or improve that process will ultimately enhance the delivery of the product and the satisfaction of the customers. Self-motivation is a quality any hiring manager should value.

What to listen for

  • Signs that the candidate values the use of creativity in a physically laborious job.
  • Bonus points for candidates who can use data points to illustrate how they were able to reduce packing time in a past role.

Why this matters

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but it will provide insight into your candidate's work philosophy. Strong packers are highly organized, process-driven, have great physical stamina, and work well in teams. If your candidate touches on these themes, they could be the right fit.

What to listen for

  • Answers should highlight the importance of efficiency, avoiding mistakes, and collaboration.
  • Emphasis on being team-oriented could show the candidate sees value in being a part of company growth.