When you interview a candidate, you want to learn about them as qualified professionals. You need to ask them about their past experience, their accomplishments and their key skills. But what you might not be asking are those questions that will tell you what sort of employee they will be. How they will work together with a team or with your clients. The best way to get answers about those soft skills is to ask behavioral questions. Have candidates respond to questions with specific examples of their past work experiences. Ask them to be specific and provide details. A generic response will rarely tell you what you need to know when evaluating how good a fit they would be for your company and for your team.

Asking how a candidate has failed provides some valuable insight into their self-perception and ability to learn from past failures. These questions make a candidate delve into learning opportunities and risks they have taken. It explores their past relationships with co-workers and with supervisors, and allows them the opportunity to share their experiences in a more intimate way than simply how they accomplished a task when they were on their most recent job.

To help you get to the bottom of your candidate’s motivations and personality, here are 20 behavioral interview questions that will tell you what you need to know.

  1. How do you define success?
  2. How have you failed in a previous role?
  3. Give an example of how you overcame conflict.
  4. Give an example of an occasion when you needed to use logic to solve a problem.
  5. Share a goal you didn’t meet and explain why.
  6. Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
  7. Describe how you work under pressure.
  8. How do you handle a challenge at work?
  9. Have you ever made a memorable mistake? How did you handle it?
  10. Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementation.
  11. Describe how you handle risk-taking.
  12. Give an example of how you’ve worked on a team successfully.
  13. Are you a good listener? Give an example of when you did or when you didn’t listen.
  14. What do you do if you disagree with your boss?
  15. How do you handle difficult situations with clients?
  16. What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?
  17. How did you handle meeting a tight deadline?
  18. What do you do when your schedule is interrupted?
  19. Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
  20. Did you ever postpone making a decision? Why?

Keep in mind that every one of these questions is designed to start a conversation; engage with your interviewee. Get to know who they are as a person and as a professional. Ask them about who they are, but also give them the opportunity to tell you their story.

For more tips on how to hire the best talent in the industry, contact the team at Verum Technical today.