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Are the Job Candidate’s Answers to Behavioral Interviews Questions Real?

April 13th, 2016

Stock Traders Conducting Interview

As a job interviewer, your main priority is to determine whether the candidate in front of you is qualified for the job you have available. Unfortunately, that’s impossible to judge if you’re not getting accurate, honest information from the candidate. And separating truth from fiction can be extremely tricky.

A simple solution is to rely on a different kind of interview question, namely behavioral questions. Essentially, these questions ask candidates to relay anecdotes describing their credentials, character, and past performance. Since a good response requires so many specific details, many of which you can verify, it’s a lot harder for candidates to lie, exaggerate, or obscure information. Follow these tips for getting the most out of this line of questioning.

Be Open Ended

The narrower your questions are, the easier it will be for candidates to fabricate information. Make sure that your questions are very general and tie into the kinds of experiences and situations that all professionals face. Examples include “Tell me about a time when you took on a leadership role” or “Describe a situation when you had to overcome adversity.” With broad prompts like these, it becomes a lot easier to tell when information is being created off the cuff.

Explore the Nature of the Problem

You’re trying to determine if the candidate has faced the kinds of pressures and problems they’re likely to encounter in their new role at your company. When posing behavioral interview questions, ask candidates to describe these problems in depth. If they are able to provide specifics, it indicates that this was a real professional obstacle, and one they’ll feel confident tackling in the future.

Focus on Resolutions and Results

It’s far too easy for candidates to be vague and “wishy washy” when describing solutions to the problems mentioned above. Don’t let candidates get by with simply asserting that they were successful. Ask them to provide actual metrics and detailed examples. Later, you can follow up on these facts when you check the candidate’s references.

Pay Attention to the Long Term

The true efficacy of a solution is often not apparent until months or years have passed. After learning about the solutions put in place, find out how they affected the candidate, team, or company over the long-term. There is a lot of important information contained in the response, and a lot of potential red flags to look out for.

If you don’t feel like you’ve gotten the complete story, keep asking questions. And if you doubt some of the candidate’s claims, be sure to check references, run a background check, and hunt for inconsistencies on their application documents. A little careful sleuthing can help you avoid the consequences of making a bad hire. Learn about other ways to connect with the best talent on the market by contacting The Concorde Group, a leading staffing agency in Westchester.

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5 Non-traditional Interview Questions That Can Help You Select the Best Candidate

August 30th, 2011

Image source: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When it comes to interviewing, having an effective list of interview questions to pull from can make the difference between identifying a stellar candidate or ending up with a dud. By adding a few non-traditional interview questions into the mix, it’s easier to select the best candidates for the job because of how these candidates respond. Here are 5 non-traditional questions that can help you find diamonds in the rough among your candidate list.

Describe the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? While this question may seem a little unrelated to work habits, being somewhat of a risk taker signifies someone who is a natural leader. Calculated risk taking can indicate a person who is not afraid of taking chances in order to experience something better. This trait can benefit the workplace in those that encourage team work and creativity. The more in detail the candidate responds, the higher level of creativity one may expect.

Where do you see yourself in five years? This question often gets raised eyebrows from interviewees, but it’s a very important one from a hiring standpoint. If the candidate is just looking for temporary placement or is using this opportunity as a stepping stone, the answer will most likely focus on the candidate’s personal goals. If the interviewee answers that he or she would like to take on a role of more responsibility within your company, there’s a likelihood of being a more stable candidate who can be developed.

What are the signs that an employer is a good one to work for? Let’s face it; job seekers are usually looking for a career where they can shine. They are in it for the money, the title or the advancement opportunities. However, it’s rare that a candidate will step outside of his or her personal needs to choose a company based on it’s merits. Look for candidates who speak about wanting to work for an organization with high ethics, community responsibility and an environment where employees collaborate to create new and better things.

Describe your last job/ boss in three words? When you ask this question, be prepared for the client to either laugh or look stunned. This non-traditional interview question is sometimes better than an employment verification check as the reaction of the candidate speaks volumes. A candidate who has positive work experiences will answer with positive words and generally more than three will come to mind. Someone who has left on bad terms will have trouble with this one, or may refuse to answer it. Take note of the candidate’s verbal and non-verbal responses.

If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you be? This is a fun interview question to throw in, especially to break the ice with nervous candidates. Who the interviewee picks can say a great deal about his or her personal values. The best candidates will choose a super hero who is all powerful and then will go into detail how they will change the world in a positive way. Look for those who explain how being a superhero can benefit mankind and you have the makings of great employees.

Want more tips on effective interviewing? Check with the employment professionals at Concorde Personnel today.

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