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Mastering Behavioral Interviewing + Top 5 Questions to Ask Candidates

  • Publish Date: Posted about 3 years ago
  • Author: Taylor Varco

Even if you are new to the behavioral interview method, it’s likely you are more familiar than you realize. As a hiring manager, you’ve reviewed all the candidate’s qualifications on their resume. Now, it’s time to use behavioral interview questions to dig deeper in to the day-to-day conduct of the candidate. Their answers will illustrate how the person deals with conflict and times of high-stress. 

How to Hire Long-Lasting, Quality Employees

Many interviewers go with their “gut” and hire the worker that they like the most. Hiring someone for likability leads to a higher rate of turnover in your company. When you master behavioral interviewing, you genuinely get a sense of what the candidate can offer your company regarding their skills and fit within the company culture. 

5 Questions to Ask Candidates in Behavioral Interviewing

If it is your responsibility to fill a position with a reliable, qualified employee, you want to be proactive about choosing quality interview questions. Here are some ideas that will help you discover the candidate’s work ethic: 

  1. Describe a time you experienced a setback in a work project, and how did you problem-solve to overcome it?

    Allowing the candidate to highlight their problem-solving skills lets you discover how they handle high-stress situations. In their answer, a candidate may reveal that they don’t do well when unexpected problems arise. Or maybe they will be honest and tell when they made mistakes, what they learned, and how they will act differently moving forward. 

  1. Have you ever disagreed with your boss, and what did you do about that?

    You can learn how assertive the candidate is, especially when dealing with superiors. Are they strong enough to speak up? Listen to the rhetoric they use and learn if they speak respectfully of someone they may have clashed with in the past. 

  1. How do you make your voice heard among a team of strong personalities?

    This question will help you understand how the person works among a group of strong-willed people and if they will be a good fit in your company. What is your company culture? And does the candidate speak with the tone and respect that has been established in your business? 

  1. Tell me about a time you took a risk in your career, and how did that turn out for you?

    When this question is addressed, the candidate will show how much they value their career. You can understand how hard they apply themselves to achieve their ambitions. And you can decide if that style will mesh with your goals for that position as well. 

  1. When dealing with conflict concerning a co-worker, boss, or client, what are the communication tactics you have found to be most beneficial in diffusing the situation?

    Conflict resolution is a valued skill in an employee, as conflicts arise periodically when on the job. How do they conduct themselves and keep everyone involved calm in the process? Can you trust them to represent your company when client-facing? 

The goal of behavioral interviewing is to find out more than one thing about the candidate in each interview question. You may want to explore their problem-solving skills, and along the way, you understand more about how they react to stress and value their work. 

These dynamic questions will help you to master behavioral interviewing and choose the best candidate for the position.