What are some questions that someone interviewing you about your career should ask you in order to get your very best stories and insights? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Paul Williams, creative marketing and branding expert, on Quora:

Behavioral Interviewing is a great way to gain insights about a candidate.

The purpose of any interview is to determine if a candidate is willing and able to perform well and be successful in the role:

  • Do they have the right skills?
  • Do they have adequate experience?
  • Are they willing to learn?
  • Are they the right culture fit?

Behavioral interviewing allows you to ask a candidate a question about a specific situation they've had in the past that may potentially match a situation they may encounter at your company.

For example, a behavioral interview question may be:

Please tell me about a time you had a customer who was very unhappy with their product/service experience? What happened? And how did you handle it?

The prepared interviewer already knows what type of answer they're looking to hear. For example, they want to hear that the applicant:

  • Listened to customer need,
  • Apologized in a genuine way,
  • Was patient and empathetic with customers,
  • Offered to make the situation better,
  • If customer wasn't calmed, called over manager to get additional support.
  • Did not treat customer disrespectfully.

The applicant has no idea what you're listening for. Which is great for applicants who try to beat the interview system by saying what they "think" you want to hear vs. what they've actually done.

You can create your own questions by following these steps:

  1. Determine what skills, behavior and attitude the job requires.
  2. Create questions - based on real or potential experiences - of situations someone in this role will experience. (Good, bad, easy and challenging).
  3. Write your own answer to the questions, the right way with right behaviors with which you want someone to respond.
  4. Boil your correct responses to key words or phrases, for example, when the candidate responds, listen for these traits:
    was patient,
    asks questions to ensure understanding, and
    found resolution.
  5. Have these key words written under interviewer question and listen for them during the response. (Of course keep these answer out-of-sight of the applicant).

Hiring the right, best-fit employees is the MOST important job any manager or leader can do. Employees make or break a company. A little more investment in the interview process will reduce churn, increase customer service scores, and ultimately increase sales and profits!

Take the time to source, screen, and interview properly!

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