Q&A / 

Asking Your Contractor Questions

At a Dead End

At first I balked at the idea. I thought that there wouldn't really be enough material and that the concept had been written about on numerous other occasions. A day later a light bulb went off. I remembered a conversation I had with a retired police officer at a holiday party four weeks earlier.

Asking the Right Questions

Donald Clark was the police officer. He had worked as a patrolman and detective in my village for many years. After retiring from full time police work, he decided to start his own business. Donald was smart. He used his many years of police experience to start a company that does pre-employment testing, polygraph work, psychological testing and scientific interviews. Some of the top companies in Cincinnati use his services before they hire anyone.

At the party, Donald told me some stories I couldn't believe. He mentioned that the key to obtaining information is in how you ask the question. "We all like to talk about ourselves," Donald said. How true that is!

Over the years, Donald has perfected the art of asking questions. For example, don't ask if a person has committed arson. You say, "Have you ever set fire to an object worth more than $10,000?" A person might respond, "No, but I once started a trash dumpster on fire." Answers spew out from people's mouths like that all day long!

I Became the Lab Rat

I decided to interview Donald for this column and bulletin. Donald agreed and asked me to come to his office. Once there, we chatted for a few moments. He felt that the best way for me to understand the effect was to conduct an actual interview with me. I agreed to be grilled.

The first few questions were routine. But then, he started throwing curve balls. When he asked me tough questions, I could feel my skin crawl. I told the truth throughout the entire interview. He wasn't pleased that I had driven down Section Road 25 miles over the posted speed limit! Well, I told him I wasn't going to lie!

If you want to hire the best employee or find out if a current one is still on the straight and narrow, call Donald Clark. He is simply superb! You can reach him in Cincinnati, Ohio at 513-891-8869.

See also 50 Contractor Interview Questions for questions to ask.

Related Articles: Find a Pro by Asking the Right Questions, Building & Remodeling Trade Magazines


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