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Material Handler

Best interview questions for your hiring process

Material Handler Interview questions

Material Handlers are an essential part of your warehouse team. They ensure that all the materials, goods and merchandise that your company handles are treated with care. Depending on the industry they work in, they may need to deal with fragile materials or hazardous ones.

The best skills to look for in a Material Handler are as follows:

• Physical fitness, as they will need to be able to carry and transport items.
• Ability to work to tight deadlines.
• Excellent communication skills.
• Knowledge of health and safety processes.
• Ability to record and document materials.

Interviewing a Material Handler

The way your merchandise and goods are treated, handled and stored depend on your Material Handler. Therefore, it is essential that you hire someone who understands the importance of their role.

The best way to do this is by asking the right questions during the Material Handler interview process. To help you with this, we’ve assembled these guide questions.

Please note:
These Material Handler interview questions are intended for use in the early steps of the interview process, meaning they are not suitable for the last stages. Here, more detailed questions will be needed.

How to open the job interview

Making your Material Handler feel comfortable during the first few minutes of the interview will ensure you get the most genuine and well thought out answers from them.

You can do this by starting out with some lighthearted, easier questions to create a comfortable atmosphere and get a proper overview of the candidate’s fit.

Best interview questions for your hiring process

See our Material Handler job description here

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you choose to become a Material Handler?

What is your best memory of being a Material Handler?

Behavioral Questions

Tell me about a time you made a decision or change during your role that you were proud of.

This answer will give you a good idea of a candidate’s history with their role, confidence in making decisions and the level of their skills, such as initiative.

Tell me about a time an accident or breakage has occurred when handling materials.

Sometimes, accidents happen. Knowing how your candidate can stay calm and perform damage control in a safe and timely way is essential.

Can you give me some examples of how you stay safe and follow procedures in your role?

Safety is key in a warehouse environment, here you’ll get an idea of how seriously your candidate takes this and an insight into their experience with safety procedures.

Can you give me an example of a time when you have gone above and beyond in your role?

This answer will assess a candidate’s drive and passion for their role, as well as give you an insight into their experience.

Soft Skills

When moving multiple materials or merchandise deliveries in one day, how do you stay organised?

Keeping your warehouse organised is important for the productivity of the whole team. Knowing your Material Handler can uphold the correct level of organisation needed in this role will be a huge plus.

Are you comfortable explaining technical terms or difficult procedures to your teammates?

Moving materials can occasionally be a team activity. Here you’ll be able to assess whether a candidate’s teamwork ability is up to scratch.

What do you think are the most important skills for a Material Handler to have?

Here you get an idea of how deeply a candidate understands their role, as well as an overview of their strengths.

How much experience do you have with working with other roles such as Logistics Managers, Delivery Drivers and Warehouse Associates?

This will give you an idea of the candidate’s teamwork skills and how well they will fit into your team.

Are you able to lead a team through a difficult good-movement process?

This question should be asked to senior Material Handlers, as a chance to test their leadership skills.

Hard Skills

What formal warehouse safety training or certification have you completed?

As mentioned, safety is key in a warehouse. This gives you an idea of whether your candidate has the correct safety knowledge for the role.

How much experience do you have with handling fragile materials?

This is one of the most important Material Handler questions to ask if your role will involve fragile materials, as it will let you know whether your candidate will need onboarding on this type of work.

How much experience do you have handling hazardous materials?

As above, this will let you know whether a candidate will need specific training or onboarding in this area.

Which types of materials have you handled in previous roles?

Here, you can compare a candidate’s past experience to your current company conditions.

Have you worked with any warehouse tools or equipment in the past?

This is especially important if your candidate will be operating forklifts or similar equipment during their daily role.

Operational / Situational Questions

Imagine you are offered the role of Material Handler in our business, what would your first steps be?

A candidate should mention learning the layout of the workplace, safety procedures, delivery times and introducing themselves to their colleagues.

Imagine you are working with some particularly fragile materials, how would you ensure their safety?

You’re looking for a candidate that can mention some expert moving techniques to ensure the materials remain in good condition.

Can you tell me how you would handle a colleague whose safety procedures weren’t up to standard?

Your candidate should feel comfortable helping a colleague to better their work and perform regular checks to ensure the changes are made.

Tell me how you would deal with a minor accident in the warehouse.

A good Material Handler should remain calm and be able to perform a few damage control techniques to help get the situation back under control.

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