i would expect that candidates have strong theoretical understanding and can explain what goes on and can prove to me they are quick learners. experience is nice but i prefer good attitude and no experience - specially over bad experience.
not experienced person can quickly gain experience with a bit of coaching in the workplace (and this gives me a chance to make sure he/she does it the proper way). wrong kind of experience is still experience but... it is bad and dangerous... correcting this requires a lot of un-learning... and i don't have time for that.
actually using VFD is not a perfect substitute for real 3-phases - VFD output is a chopped DC, not a sinewave. This also means you need to at least use TrueRMS multi-meter and know what to expect. anything less is waste of time.
if you can get your hands on it, try ganging two motors, one as motor and other as a 3-phase generator. this can also be very small or low power for those willing to experiment.
things that bug me is candidates that waste my time. that includes people that:
- don't understand social effects of (not using) shower, laundry and personal hygiene (you would not believe how many people show up with BO, greasy hair etc.). this is what makes meetings VERY short...
- cannot read and write. knowing alphabet and ability to communicate verbally is only the most rudimentary skill set. i still need to see handwriting, basic algebra, basic computer skills, critical thinking etc. (yes, give them small word problem and see how they do, my 15 year old son is doing that in school and he is good at it, adult should be able to at least match it). if i cannot EASILY read their notes, i cannot have them complete service reports, note down reasons why equipment is locked down etc. if someone failed to learn how to read and write in 12+ years of schooling, they came to a wrong place to ask for another chance, i am not that good of a mentor.
- send resumes without proofreading them. when they type it, word processor tells if there is a spelling mistake. demonstrate that you know how to use it before you email that resume. and i specially love it when they state great communication skills but use inappropriate language, terminology or mess up resume.
- don't understand electric power but want job that requires knowing it. those who cannot explain difference between P=V*I, P=V*I*cos(phi) and P=V*I*cos(phi)*1.73 need not apply...
- don't understand Ohms or Kirchhoff's Laws or how multi-meter behaves in a circuit. easily tested on paper by drawing mixed circuit of various meters and a power source. i may also throw in resistor just to give them some hope.
- don't understand operation of transformer and voltage divider
That would be just a set of "no nonsense" checks to weed out 95% of "candidates". real interview starts after this...