How to Interview a Quality Control Inspector

The work of quality control inspector can save lives.
The work of quality control inspector can save lives. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Quality control inspectors must have a keen set of senses to perform their job. As an employer, your job is to choose individuals with a keen sense of smell, touch, sight, and sometimes hearing and taste. A quality control inspector's job is to test items to see how durable they are before they are put on the market. That role is important because it can prevent injuries and even save lives. It also helps avoid consumer complaints, saving the manufacturer money that it might otherwise have to spend on recalls. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, modern manufacturing philosophy has dictated a shift from simply pointing out defects to finding the root causes of them.

Search the Internet for sample classifieds for a quality control inspector. Such sites will offer ideas of what traits to seek in a candidate. Go to sites such as

Study the job descriptions. Take notes on the qualifications for the same position that other companies have posted. Incorporate those into your business, considering its needs for a quality control inspector.

Write a job description for the position. Use a computer. Make the notice clear and concise, as this will provide the basis for the questions you will ask during the interview. Clarify that you seek a person with a eye for detail, who can make quick decisions on whether to repair a faulty product, trash it or approve it.

Post your job description on the Internet. Use a job seeker's Web site, such as Request resumes and cover letters from all candidates.

Examine the resumes and applications you receive. Sort them according to the job specifications. Place the profiles that show little knowledge of what quality control is in one pile, and those that evince such understanding in another. From the latter group, list those you want to interview. Call those prospects and make appointments.

Prepare interview questions for your candidate. Request that he describes to you, in his own words what quality control management is. Ask him about his level of comfort working with hand-held measuring tools, such as micrometers or calipers, for detecting manufacturing flaws in products.

Query your candidate about her years of experience in quality control.

Ask your prospect to describe how his quality control tactics helped to save his last employer much money by spotting mistakes in design or manufacture that nobody else might have caught. Your goal here is to highlight the level of the candidate's skills.

Ask your prospective employee how fast he is in spotting flaws and making decisions about how to rectify them. Ask him how he decides to throw away the product, send it for repairs or fix it himself, and how quickly he can reach such conclusions.

Ask the candidate about the highest level of math he has completed. Explain to him that quality control inspection requires a grasp of mathematics, especially geometry and basic shop math.

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