Mastering Behavioral Interview Questions

When it comes to discerning top talent, many professionals who conduct interviews for a living know that behavioral interview questions are superior to other types of questions. But, even if you’re armed with terrific behavioral interview questions, you may not always elicit the responses from the candidates that can help you determine if they have the skills

you need.

“The fact is many people don’t know how to answer a behavioral interview question,” says Vicki Hoevemeyer, who has made a living out of understanding behavioral interview questions and wrote the book, High Impact Interview Questions: 701 Interview Questions to help hire the right person for every job.

“In many cases, interviewers need to push people to give them specific examples, because candidates will often just give a kind of generic response,” says Hoevemeyer. She offers these tips for getting better information.

1. Use the S.T.A.R. (STAR) system.

2. Don’t accept a situational response to a behavioral question.

3. Don’t let people off the hook.

4. Give candidates ample time to come up with an example.

5. When they really can’t come up with an answer, ask the question in reverse.

6. Don’t just assess answers - listen to the quality of the examples given.

7. Hone in on a specific piece of missing information when asking follow up questions.

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