Behavioral Interview Questions to Find the Right Candidate
A resume tells a lot about a person's work history, skills, and experience, but it doesn't reveal everything needed for a perfect match with your company. Companies have different cultures and styles, so someone who did well elsewhere might not fit in with your team. That's why interviews are crucial, they help understand candidates' habits, behaviors, and work history in more detail.
You are wanted in the job market, whether it's a big company or a new startup you're aiming for. The interview process is all that's between you and your dream job. Tech startups typically have stages like a phone interview first, then a behavioral interview, and finally, technical and group assessments.
Why Ask Behavioral Questions in an Interview?
Using behavioral interview questions is essential in recruitment because they help uncover specific examples of a candidate's past behavior, indicating how they may perform in the future. While describing the job and company is crucial to attract talent, the purpose of the interview is to gather insights beyond what resumes provide, such as practical experiences and problem-solving skills. Resumes offer a snapshot, but interviews with behavioral questions delve deeper, revealing valuable information about a candidate's abilities and suitability for the role.
You can even ask a few teamwork questions like be ready to share a story about working with a team, like solving conflicts, handling project challenges, or motivating teammates. Plus, your experience in these situations will help demonstrate your teamwork skills. Therefore, behavioral interview questions help uncover a candidate's true character and how they handle real-life situations. Instead of asking a straightforward question like, "Are you a team player?" – which might only get a "yes" or "no" answer – these questions prompt candidates to share specific examples from their past experiences. Hence, this approach provides a deeper understanding of the candidate's personality, qualities, and their potential fit within your team.
Behavioral interview questions make candidates think quickly and show how they handle challenges. Additionally, these questions help you understand if someone fits in with your company culture by focusing on what they did, how, and why. Unlike straightforward job history questions, behavioral ones make the interview feel like a conversation. Asking them is essential for a more insightful hiring process. Behavioral questions should be asked because:
- It helps to know about a candidate’s personality
Behavioral interview questions can show what a person is really like and what they care about. If someone says they're good at leading or another soft skill on their resume, you can ask specific questions to see if they really have those skills in action. Keep in mind that a short interview won't tell you everything about someone, but these questions can help you learn a lot.
- Behavioral questions prevent you from bad hires
Picking candidates just because you connect over hobbies like skydiving or knitting, or share a love for the Dodgers, might be tempting but isn't smart. Some people seem friendly and smart, but if you check their work history, you might find they always had problems with colleagues and can't solve issues. Asking behavior-based questions in interviews helps reveal past patterns and prevents hiring someone who might not be the right fit.
- Helps to determine the ideal trait in a candidate
To find the right people for the job, first, look at what the job involves and think about what qualities current successful employees have. Make a clear list of the most important behaviors you want in a person and use that list to shape your interview questions.
When looking at technical skills, it's essential to focus on the most important traits because not every candidate will excel in all areas. This applies to personality traits as well. This method helps you figure out which traits matter the most. It becomes particularly handy when you're comparing two impressive candidates with different behavior styles.
- You know about the candidate in detail
Suppose to really understand David beyond his resume, inquire about how he faced challenges, learned from mistakes, and navigated project detours. Ask him about the decisions he made during a project detour, the support he sought from his manager, how he dealt with frustration, and what kept him motivated despite setbacks. By using behavioral interview questions, you gain insights into David's thinking, style, motivations, tendencies, and preferences, far more than you would by simply reading his resume multiple times.
A few things that you get to know about the candidate through behavioral interview:
- Soft skills: Client-facing roles require good communication skills, and leadership skills are crucial for those in management positions. Therefore, soft skills are often just as important as hard skills in many jobs. Hence, analyzing how someone behaves in interviews helps you understand their soft skills. Additionally, this helps you figure out if they're a good fit for the job and the company.
- Asking about past roles: To predict future behavior, ask candidates about their past roles. Moreover, this helps understand how they handled similar situations and gives insight into their potential actions in the role you're hiring for. Observing how someone acts in certain situations during an interview can give you insights into how they'd handle similar scenarios in the new job. Once you gather this info, you can then determine if their behavior fits the requirements of the role they're interviewing for.
- Personality: Candidates show their personality through how they answer behavioral interview questions. If they stay calm while discussing a stressful situation, it suggests they handle pressure well. This helps you figure out if they add to the company culture (rather than just fitting in) and if they're the right fit for the role.
- Problem-solving and decision-making abilities: The role for which you are hiring is irrelevant. People with effective problem-solving and decision-making skills are what you want to hire.
Asking behavioral interview questions allows you to learn more about the way a candidate thinks. This covers their decision-making and problem-solving processes. Additionally, you can evaluate their ability to solve problems and make decisions based on their responses. Here are the reasons to ask behavioral questions:
Top Behavioral Interview Questions to Ask Candidates
- Questions That Gauge Emotional Intelligence
In the 1990s, people first learned about emotional intelligence, which means being able to understand and handle your own feelings and the feelings of others. When working with colleagues and customers, it's important to use emotional intelligence for good communication and problem-solving.
- Ask prospective employees the following questions to see whether they have the emotional intelligence required for success in your company.
- Achieved successful project completion, demonstrating effective leadership and teamwork.
- Responded to unfair performance evaluation with constructive communication and a focus on improvement.
- Motivated team to meet tight deadlines through clear communication and fostering a collaborative environment.
- Adapted quickly during challenging sales calls by identifying concerns and addressing them proactively.
- Responded to differing opinions from the boss by seeking feedback, understanding expectations, and adjusting accordingly.
- Regained audience attention in presentations by incorporating interactive elements, real-world examples, and maintaining an engaging delivery.
- Adaptability behavioral interview questions
Interviewers might ask if you're comfortable working in different environments to assess your suitability for roles involving travel. When responding, express your enjoyment of change and share your experience in various work settings, highlighting how you successfully adapted to each.
Being resilient, which means being able to handle changes well, helps a company succeed by making employees feel confident in facing challenges and learning from mistakes. It's important to hire people who are resilient and adaptable for job satisfaction, engagement, and overall success.
- Share a tough work situation and how you handled it.
- Talk about a big change at work and how you adjusted.
- Describe a task beyond your usual job, and how it went.
- Explain learning something new at work, like new software, and how you managed it.
- Have you ever had to make a quick adjustment to something you had no control over? What effect did the change have on you?
- You can ask the candidate if there was a time when you had to change your point of view to consider new information?
- You can ask the applicant to give an instance of a moment when you had to persuade someone with opposing views to support you or cooperate.
- Could you offer me an instance where you had to persuade someone with opposing views to support or cooperate? How did you win this person over?
- Describe a scenario where your initial attempt to pitch a concept was unsuccessful. What was your response to this? Which additional methods did you attempt?
- Describe a moment when your labor effort didn't go as expected. How did you handle this problem? What was the result?
- Time management behavioral interview questions
With the growing trend of remote and hybrid work setups in companies, it's crucial to know how to manage your time well when working from home. Employers might want to hear about your remote work time management strategies during job interviews.
Working together as a team is really important for getting things done well and quickly. When everyone in the team has their own job, shares responsibilities, and completes tasks on time, it makes the work more efficient. Good teamwork not only improves the outcome but also makes the organization more effective.
- Have you ever missed a deadline? If yes, how did you deal with it?
- Have you had to pick between two deadlines? If so, how did you decide?
- Share a time when work stressed you. How did you handle it?
- How do you decide how much time to spend on a task? Explain your work time management process.
- Give me an account of the most fruitful group project you have ever worked on, along with your thoughts on why it was so effective.
- Tell me about a situation where you had to get important feedback from staff members in different areas.
- Could you describe an instance when you had to collaborate with a coworker with whom you didn't get along well?
- Has your group ever fallen short of a target? What makes you believe that happened?
- Share a moment when you needed to establish a connection with a new team member. You did that, but how?
- Give me an instance of a moment when you and a team member truly had trouble getting along. Were you able to resolve this issue and finish the assignment to your satisfaction?
- Tell me about a moment when you put the needs of a team member ahead of your own. What action did you take, and how did it turn out?
- Leadership behavioral interview questions
Leaders must motivate their team, showing their interpersonal skills, maturity, and management abilities. Consequently, they give direction, inspire others, and create a successful environment through communication and collaboration. Moreover, Strong leadership and management are crucial for any organization to reach its goals.
- Share a time you motivated your colleagues.
- Share time your boss motivated you and what made it motivating.
- Describe a tough decision you made that coworker disagreed with and how you handled it.
- Have you assigned tasks to coworkers? If yes, explain how you chose the task, selected the person, and assigned it.
- Have you convinced someone to align with my perspective, steps and results not provided.
- What was your toughest decision in the last six months?
- Have you ever been faced with an ethical or value conflict in your job? Give an example of when this happened to you. What did you do?
A manager can acquire a better understanding of a candidate's response to events that are likely to recur by asking behavioral questions. It's also a tactful method to politely dispute the data on the resume or application form. For instance, the candidate ought to be prepared to respond to inquiries about leadership if they claim to have worked in a management setting for some time.
To understand candidates better, observe how they respond to behavioral questions during interviews. Instead of relying solely on resumes, which offer a limited view, use these questions to uncover more about their experiences and abilities. This approach provides a richer understanding and helps you make better hiring decisions.