Hiring managers spend many hours interviewing candidates as part of their job. Asking the right interview questions to determine the right job or culture for a candidate is certainly normal, but too many hiring managers end up asking the Wrong issues, resulting in missed hires that hurt the bottom line.
Many will fall back on questions they instinctively know from the previous story. Typical interview questions like the dreaded and outdated “Why should I hire you”, “Where do you see yourself in five years” or “Sell me that pen” are still used but have little or no meaning. effect in determining a good hire.
These questions should be replaced with behavioral interview questions that take the guesswork out of it and get to the root of the answer managers are looking for.
The beauty behind behavioral interview questions is that the interviewer – or hiring manager – asks questions that need to be answered based on facts, not assumptions. For example, instead of asking a job candidate how he or she would perform a particular task to get the job done, the hiring manager will ask a job candidate to describe how he or she did carry out the task to the end.
The hiring manager can continue to ask follow-up questions and ask for more details if they are not satisfied with the answer. This approach prevents a candidate from theorizing or generalizing an answer and gives hiring managers a distinct advantage; job applicants may not get the chance to deliver prepared stories or scripted responses.
10 questions to ask yourself
To get you started with some of the behavioral questions that I would personally recommend, try these to assess a candidate’s ability to motivate or take initiative. This works great if you’re looking for entrepreneurial-minded future employees with a positive attitude.
- Describe a time when you recognized that you were unable to meet several deadlines. What did you do about it?
- When you had more time at your last job, describe the ways you found to make your job more efficient.
- Tell me about a time when you identified a problem with a process and what steps did you take to improve the problem?
- Give me an example of a new idea you suggested to your manager in the past six months. Describe the steps you took to implement your idea.
What type of work environment do you work best in? Tell me about a time you worked in this environment.
- Describe a situation where you identified a new, unusual, or different approach to solving a problem or task.
- Describe a time and the strategies you used to implement a major change in your team.
- Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own) that was successfully implemented or achieved primarily through your efforts.
- If you find yourself working with a team that is unmotivated, how do you stay motivated and motivate others?
- Describe the actions and behaviors of your current/former manager or supervisor to which you respond most effectively?
Listen for answers that will give you clues as to what motivates your candidate or what work environment the candidate finds most motivating. For example, you don’t want to hire a candidate who likes working alone the most for your roles that require strong team collaboration. Because behavioral interviewing is evidence-based and truly a science, I strongly recommend that managers receive the appropriate training become effective behavioral investigators.