Link Past Actions to Future Behavior with 8 Interview Questions

Hiring new employees isn’t cheap. In fact, a widely-held belief is that it costs six-to-nine months’ worth of salary every time an employer replaces an employee. If you multiply that cost by each time your business has experienced turnover, you could be in for a surprise at how much money your company actually spends to fill positions.

With the high cost of turnover, it’s especially important that you utilize the hiring and interview process to the fullest. Interviews, in particular, can help you make the right hiring decision, but you have to ask the right questions. It’s natural to question someone about what they’ve listed on their resume or what they think they’ll do in the future, but you need to go deeper than that. To hedge your bets on making the right hire, and keeping turnover costs minimal, it’s important to uncover a person’s character, work ethic, skill level, and personality. And, the easiest way to do that is to ask behavioral questions.

Inquire About the Past
US News explains that “behavioral interview questions don’t ask you to speculate on how you might approach something. Instead, they ask you to describe how you really did approach something.” These questions would include such phrases as “describe to me…,” “tell me about when…,” or “give an example of….” This line of questioning relies on the old adage “past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.”

Behavioral assessment is an effective tool to help interviewers go beyond the normal superficial interview inquiries and glean valuable information to help them make the best hire possible. Many successful organizations use this tool during their hiring processes, and have found it especially beneficial. So, here are eight of the top behavioral interview questions shared by Inc. and Monster to consider incorporating in your next interview.

  1. “Has there ever been a time when your workday was over but your tasks weren’t finished? What did you do?”
  2. “When have you been most satisfied in your life?”
  3. “Tell me about a time that you were challenged ethically.”
  4. “When you’ve had ethical issues arise at work, whom did you consult?”
  5. “Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.”
  6. “Tell me about a recent project or problem that you made better, faster, smarter, more efficient, or less expensive.”
  7. “Discuss a specific accomplishment you’ve achieved in a previous position that indicates you will thrive in this position.”
  8. “Tell us about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted– like a promotion you wanted and didn’t get, or a project that didn’t turn out how you had hoped.”

Interviewing potential employees is a skill that takes time and experience to learn. But sometimes you don’t have that luxury when you need to find the right hire, right now. So, take advantage of all the resources out there so you can quickly learn what questions not to ask, how to link past performance with future success, and how to find the perfect employee. The cost of turnover is just too high not to.

A Burden You Don’t Have to Bear
If you don’t have the time and resources to dedicate to hiring new employees, you can also turn to the services of a staffing company like Express Employment Professionals. Our ISO 9001:2008 registered processes ensure the quality of our workers. With 700 offices in the U.S., Canada, and South Africa, we’ve been helping as many people as possible find good jobs by helping as many clients as possible find good people for more than three decades. In 2013, we employed nearly 400,000 people.

Express offers a full range of employment solutions, including evaluation hire, temporary staffing, professional search, and human resources. Express focuses on a wide range of positions, including professional, commercial, and administrative. For more information, visit

What are some of your favorite behavioral interview questions? Let us know in the comments section below.

Refresh Leadership is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

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