When you own a business, hiring quality employees is one of your most important responsibilities. It is critical to get individuals that not only have the basic skills to do the job, but are also capable of helping take your business to the next level. Those that are unsure how to conduct an interview may try to Google search a list of interview questions and hope that they get a good impression from the individual in the moment. However, Behavior-Based Interview questions are much more effective for narrowing down choices to the best candidates for the job.

So what are behavior-based interviews? This style of interviewing focuses on a potential employees past successes in the work place and how they have worked through various problems. 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 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.

Using a Behavior-Based Interview is a powerful and extremely effective way of finding candidates that are truly the best for the job. Strong candidates will have the ability to demonstrate past success through their behaviors, choices, and problem solving skills that can then be a better predictor for how that individual will perform in a new job. This style will steer clear of the questions such as, “What is your biggest strength?” or “How are your customer service skills?” Instead, these 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. Behavior based questions may take a little extra time, but the end result is well worth it.

Imagine that you are hiring an individual for a customer service representative for your company.

Some behavior-based questions you might ask would be:

1. Describe a time when you had to deal with an upset customer. How did you respond and what was the end result?

2. Share an example of when you had an innovative solution to a common problem.

3. 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

These questions are open-ended, and encourage the applicant to share specific instances of their behavior. By knowing this history, you can feel more confident that the individual can complete the tasks for the available position. Whether you are running a small business or a large corporation, this model of interviewing could be the best possible way to find the most skilled employees for the job.