Hiring the right team of people is critical for the success of your organization, yet you only get a limited amount of time to interview each person and determine if they are a correct fit. With that short amount of time, the best approach for a hiring manager involves asking a series of behavioral interview questions. These types of questions will show how the candidate behaved in the past, which skills they possess, whether they have exaggerated on their resume and ultimately will be a gauge of future performance.

The key to conducting successful behavioral interviews is asking questions that tie together past experience with the current position you are trying to fill. Here are a few tips that will allow you to hire the best candidate for your company.

Determine Skills/Talents Required for the Job

Before the interviews ever begin, determine what virtues, talents, and skills you are looking for in your new employee. Once you figure out exactly what you are looking for, shape your behavioral interviews around those qualities. For example, if the position is a management role or requires leadership skills, you will need to ensure the candidate has proven leadership ability through the questions you ask. If the position is highly technical, you will need to ask questions that reveal the candidate’s true technical abilities. If the position requires working closely with a team, you will need to ask questions to determine if they are a team player.

Ask About Current Company Challenges

Is your company going through any challenges right now? Ask the candidate behavioral interview questions using those issues. For example, is your company losing customers to the competition? Ask the candidates how they ensure the customer’s success by always providing world class customer service. If your business is struggling with company culture, ask the candidate about how they have served as role model or shown high moral in a tough situation in the past.

Ask Negative Behavioral Interview Questions

Work isn’t always upbeat and fun no matter what your career is or what company you work for. There will be ups and downs. There are going to be problems, and your new employee will need to be able to handle them. By asking negative behavioral interview questions, you will get an idea of the candidate’s problem solving skills, work ethic, and how well they work with other people. No one is perfect, but good employees learn from experience and are able to handle themselves in any situation. Here are a few examples of negative behavioral questions you can ask that will ultimately show positive traits in the candidates who answer them well.

  1. Tell me about a time you messed up at work and how you handled it. What was the outcome?
  2. Describe a time you had to work under pressure. How did it turn out?
  3. Tell me about a time you had to work with someone who was not a team player. How did you work with them?

Don’t be afraid to drill down and ask specific questions with every answer the candidate gives. Some candidates will have rehearsed answers to common questions, but you can easily dig deeper and extract information they haven’t prepared for.

Behavioral interviews can be intimidating to both the interviewer as well as the interviewee, but they don’t have to be. With a little preparation and thought, you can prepare the exact questions you need to ask to hire the best candidate for the position. Your team will ultimately determine your success as a company so take the time to make sure you hire the right one!

About Melissa Ricker:

Melissa Ricker writes about human resources and careers for JobHero, a site that offers free access to thousands of sample resumes and a whole lot more.