Hire the Best: Five Fool Proof Questions

Five Foolproof Interview Questions

It is imperative to focus on attracting, selecting and training quality people. You need to make the best decision at the time it counts the most – NOW – because this investment will stay with you for years. You need to select the person who has the right skills mix to fit the position and the right person to fit your organization.

Studies show that traditional interviewing methods are less than 14% accurate in predicting performance. But properly structured interviews, focused on assessing the competencies most important for superior performance in a position, can significantly improve results.

Behavioral interviewing is a disciplined approach that has been proven effective. Behavioral interviewing is based on the premise that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Behavioral interview questions ask for specific examples and experiences from the candidate’s past. Interviewers can determine whether or not candidates have actually demonstrated the required competencies by the examples they use.

Soft skills are the key to a good fit with your organization. In order to get a full understanding of the non-technical skills required talk to the people to whom the position reports or has reported. Talk to the people who receive service or product from the position. Select interview questions that relate specifically to the top soft skills competencies needed for the position.

How will I know if the candidate will get the results I am looking for?
Verify how well the prospective candidate for the position matches up to the key general characteristics of the position. Determine whether the individual has had a positive track record regarding the competencies needed for this position. Ask questions related to the achievement of planned goals.

What questions do I need to ask to make sure I get the best person for my organization and the position? The following is an example of the type of behavioral questions that will give you a good sense of the candidate’s soft skills strengths types.

1. Goal orientation. Listen for determination, persistence and a “never-give-up” attitude in efforts to meet goals.

  • Give me an example of the most significant goal you have achieved.
  • What were the obstacles?
  • How did you overcome them?

2. Employee development/coaching. Listen for a belief in the potential of others and promoting of learning and development.

  • Give me an example of when your mentoring or coaching helped someone.
  • Describe a situation when you gave someone an assignment you knew would be a stretch for them.

3. Self-management. Listen for composure, assertiveness and emotional stability.

  • Describe a situation when you had to exercise a significant amount of self control.
  • Describe a situation when you demonstrated initiative and took action without waiting for direction.

4. Teamwork. Listen for strong commitment and contributions to team members working towards a specific goal.

  • Give me an example of one of the most significant contributions you made as a member of a high performing team.
  • What, in your opinion, made it a high performing team?

5. Interpersonal Skills / Conflict Management. Listen for self-awareness, understanding and an ability to communicate effectively with others regardless of differences.

  • Describe the most difficult working relationship you’ve had with an individual.
  • What specific actions did you take to improve the relationship?

Answers to these direct questions will give a very clear indication of how well the candidate will “fit” into your organization. You may need to emphasize other key soft skills, dependent upon the nature of the position you are filling.

Knowing in advance that there is a good potential fit will save disappointment, frustration and separation in the future. You will get long-term commitment from people who feel they are in the right place.

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