Behavioral Interviews: How To Ask The Right Questions To Hire Your Perfect Employee (Picture depicting star employee)
By Lisa VanWyk May 5, 2023

Behavioral Interviews: Hire Your Perfect Employee

Behavioral Interviews: How To Ask The Right Questions To Hire Your Perfect Employee (Picture depicting star employee)

Finding the right people to work in your business can be a challenge.

With any luck your “We’re Hiring” ad has garnered a crowd of hopeful candidates.

You’ve reviewed the resumes and selected those that have all the right experience. 

You’ve got your shortlist ready to interview.

They have the skills but are they right for your company?

Do they have the “right stuff”?

A Traditional Interview May Be Missing A Great Fit

A carefully structured traditional interview can get to the heart of their true abilities with the job description skill-set. 

However, oftentimes, just focusing on their experience and questions about hypothetical situations can miss some important clues to emotional intelligence and leadership qualities.

It’s not just a matter of weeding out the ones who have over-embellished their resume. 

You may be missing some great matches.

The usual questions don’t necessarily give either of you the chance to explore real situations. The opportunities your candidate had to shine may end up on the cutting room floor.

Equal opportunities are also a key factor.

It’s not just a matter of giving everyone a fair interview. It’s important to show the process is auditable and transparent.

Each candidate will have a different range of achievements for each skill. How do you decide which candidate’s experience is more valid than the others?

Looking For The Perfect Fit? – The Behavioral Interview May Be The Answer

Behavioral interview questions are designed to elicit responses about how the candidate handled specific situations in real examples from their work history.

These questions highlight specific soft skills and give a view of how the candidate is likely to respond to situations you know will be important for successful integration into your company culture.

The STAR technique for answering behavioral interview questions is something most well-prepared candidates will be aware of. They will be ready to share anecdotes to back up the glossy statements from their resume.

It makes sense to use this format to standardize your questions and give both of you a chance to shine.

How To Use The Star Method To Frame Your Questions

The STAR mnemonic stands for:

S – The situation presented to you

T – The tasks that had to be accomplished

A – The actions that you took

R – The result achieved, what happened and what you learned

Here are a couple of behavioral interview question examples :

Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.

Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem

The idea is to encourage the candidate to describe real situations that have happened in their previous employment. 

This is a much more personal probing than the traditional approach. For this to provide the right level of detail and accountability you must keep the candidate’s responses within the STAR pattern guidelines. 

It’s also important to ensure that responses are not adversely affected by nerves or discomfort. 

The candidate needs to be reassured that there are no “right answers”. 

This Is Not An Interrogation 

Both you and the candidate need to be relaxed and feel at ease.

The STAR method allows you to score answers on a standard matrix because all candidates are asked the same questions. This ensures fairness and an auditable outcome.

If you both leave the interview feeling that you have done your best work then everyone has confidence in the process.

Many people like to feel that they have achieved something in their job that goes beyond just the basic job description.

These are the sort of people you want working for you.

Using behavioral interview questions gives them a chance to shine.