Why Behavioral Interview Questions Can Help Find the Best Candidate

Remember story problems from math class? You’d learn about a concept (say fractions), then after doing a bunch of rote practice equations, you’d eventually graduate to word problems: “You have six bananas and Sally took half. How many bananas do you have now?”

Behavioral interview questions are like the story problems of the job search process. You are trying to get a read on how a prospective employee will react in a real-life scenario. Until VR office simulators become a common part of the recruitment process, behavioral interview questions serve as the next best thing.

Here are a few ways in which behavioral interview questions can lead to a better match with your next job candidate:

Working IRL

Let’s linger on story problems for another minute. Math and science teachers love story problems because they take abstract concepts and bring them closer to the real world. A student might get good at using a particular equation when it’s written out in front of them. But to really understand a topic, they need to be able to apply the concepts in something a little closer to a day-to-day reality.

Similarly, it’s very easy for a job candidate to throw out words like “teamwork” or “leadership” or “diversity.” But to know if they can really apply those concepts in action, you need to get a read on if they have truly internalized how to use them.

That’s where the behavioral questions come into play. They let you take a next-level look at how well job candidates understand the concepts you want them to focus on.

Example: Describe a situation when you had to complete a task under extreme time pressure. How did you handle the situation?

Team Building

An employee is more than just a set of skills. Those skills come wrapped up in a personality. That personality can make or break team chemistry. No matter how qualified a candidate, if they can’t constructively resolve disputes or can’t work in a group setting, they might prove a long-term detriment.

Behavioral interview questions get at this concept. They probe a candidate’s personality, allowing you a glimpse into how they might fit in.

Example: Describe a time you were in conflict with a co-worker. How did you resolve the situation?

Better Target Candidates for Your Culture

The first goal of any interview is to make sure the candidate fulfills the baseline qualifications for the job. From there, you need to discover whether they can work within your current structure and if they represent a good cultural fit.

Bringing in a new employee is like docking a shuttle into a space station. Everything has to fit or the air locks won’t work. Behavioral questions speak directly to that goal.

Ask questions that directly reflect the way that you do business. You know where previous employees have failed and what the traps are for a particular position. You can tailor the questions to get a read on the precise traits you are looking for.

Example: Tell us about a time you took initiative to suggest a change in policy. How did you convince other people it was the right move?

Partner with Qualified Staffing!

Crafting the right interview questions can help you find a perfect match for your position. Another way to reach the same goal? Finding the right staffing partner. Qualified Staffing can upgrade your workforce. Contact us today to find out more.

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