Use behavioural-based questions to spot the best talent

behavioural -based interview questions

To help you find the best person for the job, there are three key areas you will need to gain an understanding of during the interview; technical skills, attitude and cultural fit.

Behavioural-based interviews allow hiring managers to assess a candidate’s performance as a result of questions that delve into detail about their past experiences. For example, how they have handled difficult people or tricky situations. Using behavioural-based questions helps you to better understand a candidate’s actual experience and approach, and find out how they will actually perform in the workplace.

Before the interview, make a list of essential attributes that the successful candidate needs to possess, and tailor your questioning around these.


Technical skills

Depending on the level of the role you’re recruiting for, you will almost certainly be looking for evidence that the interviewee has past experience in something similar. You need to know that they are up to facing the challenges of the position.

It’s important to recruit someone with the right level of skill – too inexperienced and you will need to train them. On the other hand, over-experience means they risk being bored and may not stay in the job.

Here are some examples of behavioural-based questions that can help you assess a candidate’s skills:

  • Tell me about your best work related achievement over the last 12 months. What skills did this involve and how did it benefit your organisation?
  • Tell me about a complicated work related problem you’ve had to deal with. How did you tackle it and what was the result?
  • Think of a project or situation where you made a mistake. What happened, how did you rectify the problem and what did you learn from it?



Positive attitude is a great asset to any team. People who also have a strong work ethic are particularly admired in the workplace, so it’s important that you recruit someone with the right attitude to work and someone who won’t be a drain on everyone’s energy. Often if employers have two people with the same qualifications and experience to choose between, the person with the most enthusiasm and excitement for the role will come out on top.

Here are some behavioural-based questions to help you uncover a candidate’s attitude to work:

  • When have you accomplished something you didn’t think was possible? Tell me about the situation and how you achieved it.
  • Describe a situation where the poor efforts of a colleague reflected negatively on you. How did you handle it and what was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time you’ve pulled the team together. How did you build morale and influence others?


Cultural fit

Gaining an understanding of how your candidate behaves in certain situations is key to determining whether they will be a good fit in your team and the company as a whole. In some cases, it is easier to identify the type of person who won’t be a good culture fit for the team!

During the interview you will need to ask questions about how the person interacts with direct team members, broader colleagues and managers.

Here are some behavioural-based questions to test your candidate’s cultural fit:

  • Describe the best manager you’ve ever worked for. How did that person influence your performance in the work environment?
  • Tell me about the most difficult person you have worked with, what did you do about it and what was the outcome?
  • How would you describe your ideal work environment? What kind of company culture do you most enjoy being part of?


This article was originally published on Michael page Greater China Blog
Edited by: jobsDB HK