How to Create Behavior Based Interview Questions For Your Business

Anthony Richter

behavior based interview questions

When you own a business, hiring quality employees is one of your most important responsibilities. In order to screen for quality candidates, it’s important for a business to ask the right questions. Lots of people are capable of doing the basic requirements of a job, but not everyone who can do the job will be able to work within the company’s internal structure and culture. There are plenty of different kinds of interviewing techniques, but dynamic businesses often rely on Behavior Based Interviewing questions to find the best candidates for the job that will not only do the job, but be able to help you take your business to the next level.

What is Behavioral Based Interviewing?

So what are behavior-based interviews? This style of interviewing focuses on who the potential candidates are as a person first, because that will always inform how they will work within your company. These interviews focus more on storytelling from the individual being interviewed, and it allows the employer to get a glimpse into how the individual works through ethical problems and situations where there may not be a clear-cut answer. This could include:

  • Past successes in the workplace
  • Issues they’ve had to work through
  • Time management techniques they implement
  • How they communicate with teammates
  • How they communicate with clients
  • Their ultimate goals in their career and within the company

These types of questions will give strong candidates ability to demonstrate past success through their behaviors, choices, and problem solving skills, This style will steer clear of the questions such as, “What is your biggest strength?” or “How are your customer service skills?” which are better predictors for how that individual will perform within your unique business. In fact, a study conducted by Glassdoor proved that interview processes that were rated as 10 percent more difficult than similar jobs in their industry are associated with a 2.6 percent higher employee satisfaction rate later on. Involved and open ended questions encourage the applicant to back up their skill set with concrete examples from their past experiences, making it much easier to determine if they are a good fit for the job.

What you need to make your own behavior based questions?

Our dedicated hiring partners at Hire With Ease use behavioral-based questioning every time we hire a candidate for our clients. While we use many tricks of the trade to sort out the top applicants, we believe transparency into the hiring process is important as well. So, here’s how we do it:

Understanding what your business needs

Before making a job advertisement for the position, our hiring specialists believe that the behavior-based interview questions work best when the company takes stock on themselves. Almost like the practice of meditation, the company should take a moment of introspection as to who they are as a business, where they’ve been, and what their goals are for the future. If they can’t do this, then how can they expect a new employee to take them anywhere. Usually this has already been done but vocalizing these points will often illuminate important questions.

For example, if a company has been feeling stale, and they need someone to take the reins of their role creatively. They might ask:

When did you have a creative solution to a common problem? What was your experience in that situation?

Or maybe a company might deal with difficult customers frequently, and they need someone who can navigate tense situations well. They could ask:

What was the most upset customer you’ve had to deal with? How did you respond? What was the end result?

Hitting the right cultural fit

Similar to what your company needs technically, part of what makes for a successful hiring is nailing down your company’s culture and finding applicants who will, for lack of a better term “fit in.” When we say “fit in” this goes deeper than what made certain kids at school more popular than others. Instead this facet often comes down to communication, philosophy on the industry you are in, even what hours they keep reserved for business.

Say for example, a new creative firm feels that their best work is done as a team. They could ask:

In this position, we expect individuals to work as part of a team. Describe how you worked with your previous coworkers and how you came together to solve a problem.

Maybe a construction company has many sites across the country, and they need someone who can communicate well over email. They could ask a candidate:

Tell me about a time when you had to heavily depend on written communication to get your ideas across to your team.

Setting up questions in your job advertisement

This style is most effective when there is a clear job description, and the hiring manager knows what types of skills and competencies are necessary to understand and fulfill the job requirements. We noticed a well written job description will set up behavioral based questions to write themselves! We like to think of a great job advertisement as an interview in itself. While many applicants apply to every job available, they are often weeded out quickly. The best candidates will read the job description you wrote and be prepared for any related line of questioning. Besides their own qualifications, a good job ad will remind them of situations they’ve been in in the workforce that remind them of your open position.

Say an independent healthcare provider needs to an operations manager, where time-management skills are a must. After they write about time management in their job ad, we’d recommend they ask:

Tell me about your favorite strategies you use to meet all of your top priorities.

Maybe you can’t handle doing your company’s finances anymore because you are approaching a scale that is outside of your depth, but want to be kept in the loop by the bookkeeper you hire. After writing about communication skills in their job ad, they could ask:

Describe a time when you had to be the resident technical expert at a previous job. How did you make sure everyone was able to understand you?

Now you’re ready to find your new favorite employee

So, whether you need a manager with impeccable time management skills, or a customer service representative who can handle the heat of your heated clientele, you’ll be able to recruit your new favorite employee by using behavioral based interview questions.

Your business deserves employees that help your business thrive and grow, and finding the right employees is the best way to do that. With years of recruiting experience under our belts, we want to arm our clients with the knowledge to succeed.

Want to hear more about what our dedicated hiring partners can do for your business? Schedule a consultation today!