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What are behavioural interview questions and why do they matter?

Behavioural interview questions are queries which require candidates to share specific experiences where they had to use a certain skill. A candidate’s answer should give evidence as to how they dealt with a previous issue, demonstrating potential performance and capabilities.

Employers will ask behavioural questions in order to observe which candidates are likely to excel in their organisation. It can be beneficial for employers to have a list of behavioural questions on hand when conducting an interview. This preparation will ensure all interviews are consistent, giving all candidates equal opportunity to make a lasting impression whilst sharing skills, knowledge, and past experiences. Incorporating behavioural questions into your interviews will assist in improving your organisation’s recruitment process. 

According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019, 57% of professionals struggle to assess soft skills accurately. Soft skills are personal, social and communication attributes which are needed for success in the job. These skills can often be hard to evaluate. Behavioural questions can highlight which soft skills a candidate processes, the most important soft skills vary depending on sector and roles. LinkedIn surveyed over 1,300 professionals to identify the most common soft skills hiring managers look for when conducting an interview, as well as the types of behavioural questions they ask in order to pinpoint if a candidate possesses this specific soft skill.

These are the top 6 skills identified in the survey, ranked in order of importance:

  1. Adaptability
    • The ability to change to accommodate different conditions. This soft skill is necessary in an ever-changing work environment.
  2. Culture Add
    • People who inject diversity into an organisation, positively contributing to an organisations culture.
  3. Collaboration
    • The capability of working within a team in order to complete a task or achieve a goal.
  4. Leadership
    • Someone who takes on the role of a leader, inspiring and leading teams to meet deadlines and goals.
  5. Growth Potential
    • People who are capable of motivating themselves to improve their knowledge and understanding, so they can develop their role.
  6. Prioritisation
    • Carrying out the process of deciding which tasks are of biggest priority in accordance to importance or urgency.

Determining which soft skills candidate must possess to be successful in your organisation can help employers tailor the questions used in interviews. Behavioural questions will help employers uncover a candidate’s true potential. For any further recruitment enquiries please contact the Absolute Personnel team on 01743 461239.

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