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Assessing Candidate's Ability to Work Nights

Newsletter • volume 1 • number 10

In today's 24-hour market-place more companies are turning to shiftwork schedules to respond to customer needs.

Some people, however, have fewer problems adjusting to shiftwork than others. The 20 percent of the population who consider themselves "night" people adjust more easily, as do highly committed workers and people who are willing to make compromises, so check for those qualities when interviewing.

To determine whether a candidate would be a successful shiftworker, ask such questions as, "Would you describe yourself as a morning or a night person?" or "How would you rate your ability to stay alert at unusual hours or when you've had insufficient sleep?" Then ask the candidate for examples.

Also keep in mind that shiftwork is taxing on the body and can be dangerous. Shiftworkers have more health problems, and many more accidents occur during the night shift than during the day. In fact, some health conditions are made worse by an erratic schedule, so when checking a candidate's ability to perform essential job functions, ask: "Does it concern you that shiftwork can have a serious effect on people with certain health and sleep problems?"