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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:eek: Just joined the group and I am anxious to take a look around, but first I would like to get something going here.

This could be a lot of fun for everyone. It could also be very useful when edited and used professionally for what it is going to be ultimately designed for. All input is welcome. When all is said and done, I'll edit and post a professionally designed questionaire that when used will enable all of us to identify the true level and nature of the employee and/or painter before we waste our money on the employee in the field.

We all know that that hiring new "good" painters every season or as we grow is near impossible. They will lie and BS and tell you just about anything you want or need to hear just to get into the door, thinking that once there in they can BS their way through because ..... well .... anyone can paint. We all know that this costs us money and at times losses when this happens. It happens a lot. A lot of times we just looking for someone to train. These questions can be used with them also. They will be geared to find out at what level of painting experience the person has. What I would like to do here is set up a series of questions that can be asked during the initial phone interview to weed out the "painters" that are not really painters. Don't get me wrong here. I have hired a couple of guys that did not know a thing about painting, but their attitude and willingness to learn out weighed their lack of knowledge. One of the two is now my main lead man and most trusted of all. I will take all the questions and put them in word format and post updated links in this thread as they are added. I once asked a "painter" a stupid question just to get a response. "When your rolling a wall really fast and your paint starts getting hot, what do you put in your paint to cool it off?". His response, "Oh, I just throw some ice cubes in the paint". .... I was like .... Wow. Anyway, I'll start off with some questions and please add as many as you like. Some of these questions may even be tough for some of us so post answers to your questions. Trick questions are the best.

Q - Do you have transportation?
A - yes or no. If you want the trouble of picking him up and dropping him off everyday that's your call. Sure, some people are a little down and out and could use a little help to get back on there feet. I helped a guy out and gave him a job when he was a little down and out. When I say a little down and out, I mean he was a lazy piece of crap that took no responsibility for where he was and instead of putting money towards some type of transportation every payday, he would spend it all on dope and booze and call off for a couple of days after every payday or just not call at all, then I would go and pick him up and he wouldn't answer the door or even be there and I would waste my fuel and time and look like a fool........ sorry, kind of lost my self there. Helping people is good.

Q - How long have you been painting?
A - Once you get an answer you can pick and choose what questions to ask. Most of the time your going to find that you will come back to the questions you skipped because the answer to this question was grossly exaggerated or completely made up. (note: "completely made up" means "absolute lie").

Q - Are you afraid of heights?
A - This one, he really needs to be honest with himself on. More often than not, their not honest. I let one slip in last summer. I noticed he would always do the easiest tasks. Other guys were complaining so are started to watch him more closely. I soon realized his feet never left the ground. Bingo, afraid of heights. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him this spring and summer. Seriously, if you have a guy that is afraid of heights do not force him up a ladder. He is far more likely to fall than someone is not. I kid around a lot, but certainly don't want anyone to get hurt. Sorry, I can't do this. It's not about him getting hurt. Your workman's comp sky rockets with a fall claim. You don't want that.

Q - What would you use to clean up a brush that you were using to paint oil with?
A - Paint thinner or mineral spirits. (other things work also, baby oil, wd-40, hotter solvents) I've asked "seasoned painters" to clean up an oil brush only for them to come back to ask "whats wrong with this paint, its all gooey" Cleaning an oil brush out in someones nice kitchen sink with water is really a bad idea.

Q - Do you know what a masking gun is?
A - Its a plastic tool you put tape and paper on, used to quickly mask up items prior to painting. If he has an answer pertaining to hiding a firearm ... hang up.

Q - Do you own any painting tools?
A - This one is simple. You can pretty much gauge how experienced this person is by the list of tools. If this person shows up with a couple of new 99 cent brushes in plastic covers hanging out of his back blue jean pocket ........ re evaluate .......quickly.... or give him a task that even you would find challenging. This can be fun for you and your other employees to watch.

Q - As far as drywall repairs go, what do these numbers mean to you 5, 20, 45, 90?
A - They are dry times for light weight bagged joint compound. They are all divisible by 5 although correct, is not the answer we are looking for here.

Q - Name as many paint sheens as you can.
A - Flat, matt, eggshell, satin, semi gloss, gloss, high gloss (sure some companies have other names for sheens, but these are the basics).

Q - Are you right or left handed? As far as paint brushes go, do you prefer a left or right handed sash brush?
A - I always love to get a right or left answer to this one. (usually do)

Q - Do you use drugs or are you currently taking any perscription medications that may hinder your judgment, balance or eye sight?
A - Yes or no. More than likely your not going to get a straight answer if the answer is yes. I'll load a question or comment later on in the final edited questionaire to see if I can get him to incriminate himself a little.

Q - Have you ever been arrested?
A - Yes or no. People make mistakes and people do change .... a little. If this person has a felony it means most big companies are going to shy away from him. He will more than likely appreciate and value his full time with you. Just don't piss him off.

Q - What are the names of the last few companies you have worked for?
A - Get the names and call them. It only takes 5 minutes. I'm pretty sure legally you can only ask a few standard questions. How long was he employed there? Would you hire him back? If you think you can squeeze a little more info out of the call with out crossing any legal lines go for it. If he was fired from all of them he may have an established ingrained pattern of being a total piece of crap. Remember, no one gets fired wrongfully every time. Nobody is that unlucky.
 

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Painting Contractor
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2,565 Posts
Click on our web form from here
A lot of the questions are there to screen people, feel free to use.
At this point it is an "employers market"
We now received over 200 applicants, interviewed over 20,
hired 5, fired one 5 minutes into the first day.
The problem is there are some people smarter than me, and can make it through.
There will be a group interview from now on.
 

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Born To Be Mild
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4,956 Posts
Can you work with others?

If you previously had your own business, can you accept directions from others?

What will I find when I run a background check, which is a pre-condition of employment? ( Actually have weeded out people then and there with this)
 

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house painter
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2,333 Posts
do you have transportation? i would definetly leave that question out.

imo a painter with a drivers license isnt worth a damn.

also, if i go pick them up every morning at least i know they are working that day

and when i am their means of transportation, i can work them really late into the evening.

make this work to your advantage.
 

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Registered
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336 Posts
do you have transportation? i would definetly leave that question out.

imo a painter with a drivers license isnt worth a damn.

also, if i go pick them up every morning at least i know they are working that day

and when i am their means of transportation, i can work them really late into the evening.

make this work to your advantage.
Well you can allways get them to meet ya at the paint shop. Then once there inside of the work van you can hold them prisoner, this saves on gas.
 

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Born To Be Mild
Joined
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4,956 Posts
do you have transportation? i would definetly leave that question out.

imo a painter with a drivers license isnt worth a damn.

also, if i go pick them up every morning at least i know they are working that day

and when i am their means of transportation, i can work them really late into the evening.

make this work to your advantage.
Had five guys in the middle of summer. (fired all but one, on a job) The guy I kept is 38 and never had a drivers license. He is a machine when it comes to work.

It's a pain not being able to send him to a job on his own, but he works his butt off.

Don't think his work ethic has anything to do with a lack of license, but it does make him a captive audience.
 
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