Evaluating a candidate’s soft skills is a crucial part of the interview process, but doing so can be a challenge. When you’ve just met someone, it’s hard to assess key competencies, such as their ability to communicate, problem solve, make decisions quickly, treat others with respect, work well as part of a team and meet deadlines.
Behavioral interviewing is the secret to learning as much as possible about a candidate in a short period of time. Going beyond simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions allows you to make an informed decision at the end of the process.
3 Reasons to Ask Behavioral Interview Questions
Customize Questions to Fit the Job
Many common job interview questions are generic by nature. A candidate’s response will allow you to learn more about them, but it might not provide the information needed to make the best possible hiring decision. On the other hand, behavioral interview questions can be tailored to fit specific characteristics of a job at your company. For example, if you’re trying to fill a managerial role that requires the new hire to make some major changes, ask about a time they had to make an unpopular decision and how they handled it.
Get Specific Examples
Talk is cheap, until the candidate is put to the test. Anyone can claim to be a team player or an excellent listener, but behavioral interview questions put people to the test. For example, if a candidate can’t come up with a response to “Describe a time you exceeded expectations,” they’re probably not in the habit of going the extra mile.
Gauge Cultural Fit
If a candidate doesn’t mesh with your company culture, they won’t last. Past work experience is a clear indicator of a person’s ability to blend with your team. For example, if your company is fast-paced, the answer to “Give an example of a time you had to handle a last-minute interruption to your schedule” will help you determine their ability to thrive in your work environment.
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