Select the Best Candidate with Behavioural Questions

When it’s time to expand your workforce, selecting the best applicant for the job is never straight-forward. While some companies are choosing to stick with the tried-and-tested, traditional method of asking for a resume and a cover letter, others are getting applicants to go the extra mile to prove their suitability in a company.

There are often numerous stages of the application process. A resume, a cover letter, a questionnaire, cognitive and personality tests and portfolio screening. If they pass everything, the applicant reaches the final gatekeeper: the interviewer.

As the interviewer, you have a limited time to establish whether or not this candidate is the one. To help matters, steer away from one-size-fits-all hypothetical questions and go for behavioural questions instead. These questions are aimed at finding out how the candidate has acted in specific situations in the past, so you can predict their future performance.

Before you start… Decide which core behaviours you want your ideal candidate to demonstrate. Take into account the industry, job role, level and company values. For example, are you making a labour hire for a sales role or a creative role, a leadership or an entry level position?

Here are some key qualities that interviewers look for in a candidate and questions you can ask to discover if the person sitting opposite you is the best addition for your workforce.

Problem Solving

Q1: Talk me through the steps you follow when trying to work out how to solve a problem. Why do these steps help?

Q2: Which past project or role best demonstrates your problem-solving abilities?

Customer Service 

Q3: Have there been any times that stand out for you, where you’ve “inherited” a customer? How did you establish rapport and gain their trust?

Q4: How do you deal with unsatisfied customers or clients? How have you resolved situations like this in the past?


Q5: Tell me about a time that you’ve brought an innovative, creative or “out-of-the-box” idea to your team or project.


Q6: Describe a leadership role you’ve taken on, both in and out of the workplace. How did you establish yourself as a leader to gain trust and respect from others?

Q7: What do you find most difficult about leadership? How do you overcome these difficulties?


Q8: Has there been a time when a customer was extra-resistant to buy from you and you overcame the resistance? How did you do it?

Q9: What steps have you taken to establish a customer base from scratch?


Q10: Tell me about a time when a member of your team was not pulling their weight for a project. How did you handle it?

Behavioural questions will give a good indication into the professional past of your candidate, when the need for labour hire arises. Make the right decision when screening candidates, and contact First Personnel if you need competent, committed staff for your business.