Align Behavioral Interview Questions with Real World Problems

By: Monster Recruiting

Why do we create such a stigma around actually discussing real world problems in behavioral interviews? It’s time to present real problems in the interview to uncover an aptitude for real solutions with candidates. It’s time to flip the script and focus on behavioral answers instead of behavioral interview questions. 

As discussed in Rethink your Behavioral Interviews, here are some behavioral interview questions that align with the 6 P’s of Passion. These principles will help ensure that you are getting all the information you need to make a solid business decision:

Purpose: Why they do what they do
Sample questions:
-    What are the 3 most important things to you in a job?
-    What makes you unique?

Plan: How they do what they do
Sample questions:
-    If I gave you a project [use a real world example], what would you do first? [follow up with questions about what happens next]

Sample follow up questions:

Tell me more about…
-    How did you handle?
-    What would you have done if that failed…
-    What did you originally want to accomplish that you didn’t
-    How was the result received
-    How did you promote/champion the project
-    Who else was involved in the success
-    What buy in did you need to achieve?
-    What challenges did you face?
-    Tell me about a project that was implemented mainly because of your efforts. What was the plan? What was the outcome?

Process: How they achieve what they do
Sample questions:
-    Describe a situation where you had to embrace a new process, technology or idea that was contrary to yours. How did you approach it and add it to your process?
-    Tell me about a career goal you set for yourself. How did you reach it? What points of failure came about? How did you overcome those hurdles?

Persistence: What happens when what they do fails
Sample questions:
-    Tell me about something that didn’t go according to plan at work. What was the outcome?
-    What is the biggest change you had to deal with in accomplishing a task? How did you adjust?

Persuasive Communication: How they get others involved to generate success
Sample questions:
-    Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone to go along with your process. What steps did you take? How did it turn out?
-    Have you ever had to gather support from coworkers or a group to complete a project? How did it turn out?

Pride: How they celebrate what they do
Sample questions:
-    What is the biggest goal you’ve achieved in your career?
-    How do you measure success?

Keep in mind — these questions are simply examples. Let the flow of conversation drive your follow up questions. Your candidate’s answers will lead the conversation to points where you will know when to ask specific questions. 

In so doing, you’ll go beyond resumes and the information in a job description. Instead, you'll focus on the person and the all-important behaviors that drive real-world job skills.