Welcome to the New Year!

Look around and explore our content and insights into the world of work & job search.  


As discussed in this space a few years back (Coming Round Again: The Annual Review https://hanklondon.com/comin-round-again-the-annual-review/) too frequently management doesn’t have the time or resources to effectively perform annual reviews for all employees. Yet, in spite of all the obstacles, a recent HR trend is for employee reviews to take place throughout the year, and predominantly on more of an as-needed basis.


This change seems to be predicated on the recognition that in many circles managers and Human Resources professionals have concluded annual reviews to be ineffective at motivating workers. While the annual review process can provide statistical and evidentiary documentation about … (continued)

Tough Interview Questions and Answers

Every other week or so we pose a question you might get asked during an interview and a suggestion on how you might formulate your answer. 

This week’s question:

Do you prefer staff or line work?


This is the type of question that might be asked of an entry level candidate seeking a manufacturing, production or assembly position, though it could also be asked in a food service or other setting setting. Though it is always best for a job seeker to apply for a specific open position, those newer to the work world may not fully know their preferences or even exactly the kind of work they want to do; they just want a job. In asking this question, the employer wants to get a better idea of where the applicant might fit in and/or learn a little about the kind of work environment the interviewee wishes to occupy.


It is therefore important for the job seeker to think about their personal preferences: Do they want to work collaboratively on projects that constantly change and evolve, or are they most comfortable doing repetitive tasks day in and day out? Though it isn’t for everyone, there’s a lot to be said for repetitive work. Performing the same tasks might seem mundane, but you learn about patience, observation, quality and quantity in the production process. Line work is typically repetitive, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You have to keep up with the flow of work and the speed of the job. If you’ll be doing manual tasks, your objective will be to turn out “product” that is identical and of equal quality from one piece to the next, ensuring uniformity.


But if the preference is to work collaboratively where ideas are exchanged and the tasks varied and less repetitive, line work will not appeal to you. Working with other staff cooperatively necessitates good communication skills for listening to instructions and sharing ideas and concepts, understanding goals and objectives. Obviously, you should have the particular skills needed for your contributions to the group effort. But they’ll likely have the opportunity to learn something new every day, as well as enhance their existing skills and proficiencies by using them in the course of the work.


Staff work could also entail functioning in a variety of settings within the same organization or department, helping out where workloads are extra heavy, or when other personnel are not available. This kind of work isn’t limited to manufacturing, production or assembly as staff jobs exist in many industries. The more diversified the worker’s skills, the better chances for success in this kind of situation.


Whichever your personal preference, try to convey an understanding of the work to be done, and the relevance of your experience or skills. Staff or line work = your choice!



To see previous installments of

Tough Interview Questions and Answers,

click here

(Most recent are at the bottom of the list.)


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