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Excerpt from Bug People to Business People, a New Book by Lloyd Smigel

woman being interviewed
Whether an applicant is married has nothing to do with job performance, so don't ask.
Photo © Sharon Dominick/iStockphoto

A Few Interview Questions

by Lloyd Smigel


I have asked several lawyers the same question, "What can we ask and what questions can't we ask? What's legal and what's not?" The answer I have heard over and over again is: "Only ask questions that are pertinent to the job." If they (both male and female) have to be able to lift 20 pounds, it's OK to ask them if they can do that. Whether they are married has nothing to do with the job performance, so don't ask that. It's a good litmus test to ascertain whether the questions fall into the legal parameters you need to know.

For a technician, I think it would be nice to find out whether the person can drive a stick shift vehicle (if that's what you have). Find out whether there are any allergies. Are there any reasons this person can not work early or late or weekends if needed? Is there any hesitancy about working around chemicals? Working in a closed environment? Working around insects? Ask questions about the individual's potential for a career with you.

Ask applicants what they believe are their biggest strengths, and the two biggest areas that they could improve upon. What was the best part of their last job? What was the worst part of their worst job? Discuss the importance of appearance, and find out how they would deal with impatient and/or upset customers. What is their experience working with the public?

When I was hiring, I had accumulated a list of questions that I felt helped guide me through the interview. I was prepared.

There are hundreds of books you can read on hiring and interviewing. Read a few and pick out the questions you feel comfortable asking, and you will see that it makes the entire interview go by more efficiently.

—Excerpted from Chapter 7: Hiring, Maintaining & Firing Employees in Bug People to Business People

About the Book and the Author ...

Lloyd Smigel

Bug People to Business People is authored by Lloyd Smigel, a 30 year industry veteran and consultant, a columnist for Pest Management Professional (formerly Pest Control), and a current partner in two pest management firms. He wrote the book with the "mom-and-pop" pest management professional in mind who may be ready to turn their small operation into a full-fledged corporation.

We do not sell this book nor do we make a commission on it. It's just a useful book that we think all pest control owners and managers of small firms should read. As should anyone thinking of starting their own pest control business.

If you want to see what is in the book, here is a pdf file of the index.

If you want to buy the book (the cost of the book $21 total including shipping and handling) or if you want more information, go to Lloyd's website or call Becky at 888-711-3232 or email her at

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