Interviews can be tricky, as so much rests on hiring the right person for the job! The most common data entry interview questions are typically around a candidate’s experience, typing speed and accuracy, and time-management skills.
However, asking the right questions can give you fantastic insight into the type of person you’ve short-listed and whether they’ll make an excellent addition to your team or should be passed on.
Let’s run through some of the best data entry interview questions to have up your sleeve and how to evaluate the answers to land your ideal hire!
What Data Entry Skills Do You Bring to the Table?
We’ll start with the attributes you’ll need every data entry applicant to have as a minimum requirement.
And yes, if you’re thinking this is covered in their resume, you might be right – but asking a candidate directly gives you an idea about which talents they believe are essential (and which they don’t).
Those should be:
- Speed – can they touch type; if so, how quickly?
- Accuracy – can they demonstrate a high-quality data entry turnaround?
- Processing skills – what software tools are they familiar with?
- Confidentiality – have they managed sensitive data before?
In terms of typing, you could make do with someone whose typing speed is around 30 to 40 words per minute on average, but ideally, your candidates should average around 60 to 80 words per minute.
It’s worth remembering that some outstanding data entry clerks might not have formal qualifications or previous experience in a data entry role, but may have gathered all the needed skills from previous positions.
So, they should be happy to demonstrate their skills via a practical test if they’re committed to securing the job!
What Experience Do You Have in Data Entry?
Experience is another factor that you might have an idea about from a resume – but again, you can learn so much more from an in-person interview than you can from a piece of paper.
This question is an opportunity for your candidates to showcase how they maintain focus when dealing with large volumes of data and contextualize that experience with previous real-life scenarios.
Try peppering your questions with some direct response inquiries:
- Can you tell me an example of when you used those skills?
- How have you found that experience helped you develop as a professional?
Of course, a lot depends on whether you’re interviewing for a junior data entry role or looking for someone more experienced.
Still, it’s essential to use the interview to expand on any work experience and evaluate how well that’s likely to mesh with your business structure and way of doing things.
Are You Familiar With the Types of Data We Deal With?
Hiring a candidate who has experience with multiple data types can make a big difference – because accurate management of your business data is massively crucial to your organization!
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hire a data entry clerk who hasn’t worked in your specific sector before, but you need to have a firm grasp of the level of training required to get them up to speed, and if that is a worthwhile investment for you to make on them.
For example, recording medical information is a whole different ball game to entering sales metrics.
If you produce sensitive data, it’s essential you either hire a data entry professional who understands the essential nature of confidentiality or have the time to deliver internal training on your safeguarding protocols.
What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
As in so many roles, data entry commands a particular skill set.
Given the desk-based nature of the position and the focus on digital processing, it’s common for data entry to be a job that doesn’t require a vast amount of interpersonal interactions.
BUT that doesn’t mean you should ever hire someone who you’re not sure will embody the ethos of your business – for any role!
The strengths and weaknesses question is pretty standard, so you’d hope most candidates would be able to answer it. This part of the interview allows you to understand your candidates:
- Communication skills
- Thinking on the spot
Applicants who can clearly explain and describe both their strengths and weaknesses show that they have listened to the question, thought about how to respond, and put that response together coherently.
Plus a candidate who is honest about what they can and can’t do and is willing to apply themselves to any training offered to augment their skill set is likely to be a good prospect!
Tell Me About an Instance Where You Have Dealt With a Difficult Conversation?
Once you’ve reached this point, you now know:
- What your candidate can do.
- Their experience.
- How they view their strengths and weaknesses.
This final question is a valuable one to ask anyone you’re considering bringing onto your team, regardless of if it’s a role that regularly deals with other people or not.
If you need to know which interview questions can best help you understand a potential hire’s personality, this is one of them, since it lets you better see how they view conflict and if they have the skills to resolve it.
Almost every position will have to deal with interpersonal conflict from time to time.
In a data entry position, that could be:
- Dealing with two managers conflicting priorities.
- Disagreeing with a colleague.
- Handling a customer complaint.
- Struggling to cope with a backlog of work.
So even if you don’t expect that your hire will regularly be dealing with others, it’s best not to pass by asking them this question.
Why is Asking About Challenges a Useful Interview Tool?
Good communication skills among team members can make the workplace a happy one – so you’ll want to hire someone who can manage tough situations with professionalism, but also isn’t afraid to ask for help when they need it.
Open-ended and situational questions are perfect because it encourages your applicant to speak freely, without needing to provide continual prompts or follow-ups.
- Clear, objective information about the problems or issues they faced.
- Calm, professional language about why a conflict may have arisen.
- The solutions they offered – whether they sought management help, how they dissolved the tension, and whether that solution was sufficient.
Yes, you need to know if they can type fast enough and have adequate experience to do the job accurately, but you also want the reassurance that they’ve got the right mindset that you’re after.
If you can find a data entry professional who fits all of those requirements, they’re sure to be a great fit for the job!