• Carter Isiaq Consulting

How To Use Behavioral Interview Questions To Assess Intangible Skills In A Candidate

Updated: Jun 23, 2019

Great businesses are built on people who not only have the right skills and experience, but talented individuals who have the potential to be outstanding in their role, the teams they will be a part of, and in the company, they will contribute to.


Screening candidates for potential is possibly one of the toughest parts of an interview. Most often, hiring managers will assess a candidate’s talent by looking at their soft skills and experiences. However, 30-minute conversations rarely is enough time to understand the complex person behind the resume.


Fortunately for hiring managers, behavioral interview questions are a proven way to reveal a person’s talent, specifically their ability to collaborate, prioritization, adaptability, growth potential, leadership, and strengthen company culture. By discussing and looking at a candidate past behavior and skills, hiring managers can quickly know if candidates have the

skills they need to be you next talented hire.


To help you be efficient and effective, we at Carter Isiaq Consulting compiled some of our favorite behavioral interview questions to help you glean the answers you need.

1. Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How did you handle interactions with that person?

Collaboration is a tough soft skill to identify because candidates will rarely state that they don’t get along with their colleagues. However, with the right team members, collaboration keeps talented businesses moving forward.


2. Tell me about a time when you had to juggle several projects at the same time. How did you organize your time? What was the result?

When juggling multiple tasks, we must be able to decide which ones need to be tackled immediately and which ones can wait. Prioritization is a skill that can be learned, but how people manage their time with multiple priorities can say a lot about their professionalism.


Hiring someone who can’t get this right means that important due dates and project timelines can fall through the cracks, ultimately hurting your business. People who can manage their time and prioritize effectively will help your business thrive.


3. Recall a time when you were assigned a task outside of your job description. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?

To stay competitive today, your business needs to be able to adapt to a changing economy and business needs. That means you need talented employees who can adapt as well. So, challenge your potential employees by asking how they adapted to change in their past work environments.


4. When was the last occasion you asked for direct feedback from a superior? Why?

Today’s fast paced work environments require talented employees who can do the job now, but also have the potential to grow into new roles or leadership positions in the future. Get to know your candidate by learning how often they challenge themselves to improve without direction. This means hiring people who have the potential to grow within your company, not only saves you the pain of replacing them, but also saves you money.


5. Tell me about the toughest decision you had to make in the last six months.

Identifying leadership potential can be a difficult undertaking for a new company. Research shows that organizations with high quality leaders are 13x more likely to outperform their competition. During the interview assess if the candidate can inspire, motivate and unleash other's potential by asking critical questions about their own decision-making processes.


6. Tell me about a time in the last week when you’ve been satisfied, energized, and productive at work. What were you doing?

When we talk about culture and fit, we don’t mean falling into a “hire candidates like me” mentally. If all of your employees act and think the same, your company won’t thrive. Instead, look for talented candidates who share the same beliefs and values as your organization, but also bring diversity of thought and experience that will drive your company forward. We call this culture and fit.


There are hundreds of questions you can ask to help learn more about your candidates, these are only a few of my favorites. If you're interested in learning more about how you can improve your interview processes, reach out to the Carter Isiaq team and we can provide more information about our training services for HR as well as Recruitment teams!


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