Behavioral Interview Questions to Find the Right Fit
In the words of Jim Collins “Good to Great”, “The ultimate throttle on growth for any company is…the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.”
After years of hiring folks who either lacked the skills or didn’t fit our organization’s environment, we found behavioral interviewing the most objective way to screen our candidates. We are consistently asked what interview questions we use in our hiring process. We prefer to use behavioral interview questions. These type of questions ask the candidate to give examples, use situations, tasks, achievements and goals they have used in their current or past jobs. Behavioral interview questions are also open-ended questions as to eliminate a “yes” or “no”. These responses leave the person conducting the interview unsure of how the prospective employee would respond to the question posed.
We have broken these questions into two series. If you are not used to this type of interview feel free to practice and get comfortable. Perhaps role play with a fellow employee and listen to the answers and follow-up with another question to the answer. Most importantly, be a good listener. Make good eye contact and thank them for their time.
Know the job description you are hiring for well. Target these questions to that position and your company’s work environment. We do not use all of these questions listed, we target them towards the position and candidate. You will see some specific questions for positions on-site. We hope you find these useful and beneficial because hiring your next employee is one of the most crucial decisions you will make!
Ability to Accept Constructive Criticism
Tell us about a time when your work on an idea of yours was criticized.
Ability to Work Under Pressure
Describe a situation in which you were required to work under pressure and how you reacted.
Tell us a time when you were given a job or assignment where you had no prior training. How did you learn to do it?
Describe your three greatest accomplishments to date.
What was the most satisfying accomplishment in your last job?
Give us an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
Describe a time when you set your sights too high.
What are some obstacles that you have had to overcome to get where you are today? How did you handle them?
Tell us about a time when you had to use your spoken communication skills in order to get a point across that was important to you.
Can you tell us about a job experience in which you had to speak up and tell other people what you thought or felt?
Describe the most significant written document, report, or presentation that you’ve completed.
Give us an example of a time when you were able to communicate successfully with another person, even when that individual may not have personally liked you.
Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.
Have you ever had to “sell” an idea to your co-workers or group? How did you do it? Did they “buy it?
Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give us an example. Tell us of a time you had to manage a conflict/a dispute among direct supports or team members.
Tell us about a time when you worked with others who did not work well together. How did you deal with that?
Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses at work that tested your coping skills. What did you do?
Tell us about a high stress situation when it was desirable for you to keep a positive attitude. What happened? Give us an example of this.
Describe the most creative work-related project you have completed.
Give us an example of a time when you used your customer philosophy to deal with a perplexing problem.
Dealing with Difficult People
Tell us about a time in the past year when you had to deal with a difficult team member and describe what you did.
Think about a difficult boss or other person. What made him or her difficult? How did you successfully interact with this person?
Describe the worst customer or coworker you have ever had and tell me how you dealt with him or her.
Tell us about the riskiest decision that you have made; tell us about a difficult decision you’ve made in the last year.
Give an example of a time when you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
Give us an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision.
Tell us about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
Give me an example of a time when you had to keep from speaking or making a decision because you did not have enough information.
Think of a decision that you made within the last year that you’re very proud of. Describe it.
Tell us about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
Tell us about a time when you were given an assignment that was vague and yet you were still successful with it. What was the situation? What specifically did you do? What was the result?
Describe a time that you showed initiative. How have you demonstrated initiative?
Can you tell us about a time that you seized an opportunity and took the ball and ran with it?
Give us an example of a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
Have you ever performed duties that were beyond the scope of your job description?
Give an example of when you worked on an extremely difficult assignment with little or no resources. What did you do? What was the result?
One positive leadership skill is the ability to achieve and sustain the healthy accommodation of differences in the workplace, regardless of what those differences are. Share with us an example of your successes in fostering a healthy work environment.
Share with us the personal qualities that you believe define you as a leader and describe a situation when these qualities helped you lead others.
Give me an example of when you had to show good leadership.
What is the toughest group that you have had to get cooperation from?
Have you ever had difficulty getting others to accept your ideas? What was your approach? Did it work?
Describe a situation where you had to change your leadership style to have the desired impact?
Questions for Leasing/Assistant Managers
Tell me about the most difficult situation you had when handling a prospect or customer.
What happened and what did you do?
How do you handle it when the phone is ringing, someone is walking in the door and a vendor needs keys?
When an angry resident was upset about late fees and they are late, how did you handle that/ what was the outcome.
A prospect says they are very interested in leasing but need more time. What closing techniques would you use? Give me an example?
What is your current occupancy? What marketing efforts and plans do you have?
Do you have a role in social media? If so, tell me about your last campaign? Was it successful?
What is your closing ratio and or delinquency ratio? How do you impact that every month?
Questions for Maintenance Personnel
What are some of the problems you have faced in your previous positions? Give me an example of how you resolved it?
Have you ever been overloaded with work? How did you handle that? Did you delegate any of the workload? Tell me a success story how you managed your day? Tell me one that was not successful?
Have you ever had a resident unhappy and confront you or someone in the office? How did you handle that? What was the outcome?
Tell me about your preventative maintenance program at your previous job? How did you make time with all of the make-readies and work orders?
How do you communicate with the office staff? Give me a time when they did not give enough information on a work order. How did you handle that?
The second series are more behavioral interview questions to help you screen with various other skills, attributes, attitudes and competencies. Check back soon to our website for the second series. www.TheLibertyGroup.com
Senior Vice President of Personnel Services
Some questions provided by National Apartment Association
Sharon Armstrong and Associates