Improve Hiring Success with Behavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural-descriptive interviewing is an approach that looks at past behaviour as a predictor of future performance. The goal of the interview process is to predict future job performance based on a candidates responses from previous specific behaviours, which illustrate desired competencies through careful probing.

Interviewers look for behaviours in situations similar to those to be encountered in the new job. By relating a candidate’s answers from past experience, you develop indicators of how the individual will likely act in the future.

Behavioral questions ensure more spontaneity than traditional questions since candidates can’t practice as easily for them in advance.

Here are a number of examples of behaviour-based interview questions

Organizational, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills:
  • Describe a situation that you have encountered (or how you would handle such a situation if you have not been faced with one) when you had responsibility for the operations of a unit. You determined that staff was not being used in a way that helped meet goals, but many of them were very resistant to change. What options did you explore to handle the situation? What did you do to overcome the resistance? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about an accomplishment in a work setting that makes you feel good to remember and why you are proud of it.
  • Describe a problem you confronted without success. If you could go back in time, how would you handle it differently?
  • Give an example of the most significant problem you have faced and solved at work. Describe the process you used to find a solution.
  • Tell me about the most difficult co-worker with whom you have ever had to work. What actions did you take that proved helpful? What did you find made things worse? What would you do differently if you were faced with a similar situation in the future?
Initiative and flexibility:
  • Describe your vision of an ideal supervisor. Now tell me about the worst supervisor you have ever had.
  • Tell me about a project that you undertook that was your idea and that you had to persuade others to let you do.
  • What new skills have you learned in the past 12 months? What would you like to learn in the next year?
  • Describe a significant change in your job responsibilities and the steps you took to manage the transition smoothly.
  • Tell me about a situation when you abruptly had to change what you were doing.
  • Tell me about a time when you worked on a project that did not turn out well. How did you handle that?
  • When you take on a new project do you like to have lots of guidance and feedback up front, or do you prefer to try your own approach?
  • How do you measure your own success?
Teamwork, sensitivity to the needs of others, ability to work well with others:
  • Describe a sensitive situation in which you were able to guide your actions by your understanding of others individual needs or values.
  • Describe a time when you felt it necessary to modify or change your actions in order to respond to the needs of another person.
  • What kinds of people do you not enjoy working with?
  • Tell me about a work situation that bugged you.
Creativity:
  • Describe the most creative, work-related project you have done.
  • Give me an example of a time when you had an unusual idea that worked well.
  • When was the last time you “broke” the rules and what did you do?
  • What is the most interesting thing you have done in the past year?
Managing priorities:
  • Describe a situation when you were asked to meet two different deadlines given to you by two different managers and you could not do both. How did you handle this?
  • Describe how you handled a request to take on an exciting new project that you really wanted to do at a time when you already had more to do than you could do well.
Honesty, integrity and judgement:
  • Have you ever experienced a personal loss from doing what is right?
  • In what business situations do you feel honesty would be inappropriate?
  • Describe a situation when you were faced with making a decision that involved important conflicting needs between an individual and your employer and explain how you handled it.
Ability to influence others:
  • Describe a project or idea that initially met resistance but that you were able to “sell” to others and implement.
  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with the others in a group about something important but were able to work with them to reach a consensus that you felt was a good one.
  • How have you handled a situation when you needed to “correct” your boss?

Download a free ebook from Gaping Void

The team over at Gaping Void has put together an ebook, available for free download – Leadership In The Time Of Coronavirus Part 1 of 3

There are probably few people on the face of the earth today who are not aware of the crisis we are currently facing. Your social media feeds are likely full of responses, from silly memes, to cliched advice, to weird treatments that will eliminate infection.

One of the popular memes going around says something to the effect that, “when this is over, let us remember it wasn’t the CEOs and billionaires who saved us, it was the janitors, nurses, grocery workers, …” That’s not really true. There has been great leadership exhibited at all levels, from heads of state to retail staff.

Strong leadership is critical for an effective response to the crisis; from everybody.

Head over to Gapingvoid and download the ebook. It is 12 pages of great advice for being a leader in in this time of coronavirus.

Part 2 of 3 is now available for download – Love in The Time of Coronavirus.

7 Free or Almost Free Things to Do as a Family

Today’s post is perhaps a sidebar to leadership development. However, work-life balance is a key factor in being able to give strong leadership to others.

Right now, we are finding our way difficult circumstances as we work to contain the virus outbreak. Schools and businesses are closed. People are working from home, or e-learning.

Maybe you’re finding yourself with more family time than you might usually experience. Here are 7 things to do as a family that have little or no cost.

  1. Catch up on your reading – take advantage of the extra daylight and free time to dig into those books you’ve been putting off reading. Make sure you add some fiction to the list.
  2. Have a movie or television binge-day – pop some popcorn, get everone in the family room, log onto your favourite streaming service and watch some movies, together. Or maybe it’s time to introduce your children to some classic television shows from your youth.
  3. Tune up your photography skills – dust off the camera(s), read some photography tips and spend some time taking pictures of everyday objects. Take a photo “walk” around the house or property.
  4. Get active – Turn off the small screen and get the whole family active. Depending on your circumstances and location, it may have to be indoor activity; dust-off Wii Sports and get playing. Maybe you’re able to get out into the yard toss a ball or play some badminton. Even raking and yard-work would do.
  5. Start a blog or a Facebook page – Blogging may be past its peak, but there are still lots of blogs out there. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, why not start a family blog to keep the rest of your relatives informed as to what is going on in your life? Or, if blogs seem passé, get the family connect via Facebook.
  6. Watch online concerts or plays – In this time of closures and self-isolation, many performers and venues are streaming content online, at no charge. Pick your favourite genre of music or live performance and check out Facebook pages, or artist websites to see what’s available.
  7. Plan special family meals – skip the turkey or roast beef dinner. Now’s a great time to get everyone involved in the kitchen. Have a DIY pizza night. Spread out a variety of fixings and everyone designs there own pizza. Now’s a good time to experience variety by having family members take turns making meals.

We have great opportunity to work on building a strong family. Don’t bury yourself in all the negative media reports. Take this opportunity to grow closer as a family.

How to Motivate and Inspire Others

The Green Bay Packers were a lacklustre team prior to the arrival of Vince Lombardi. The now legendary coach turned the Packers into the dominant NFL team of the 1960s. Why such a turnaround? Frank Gifford says it wasn’t Lombardi’s knowledge that made the difference, it was his ability to motivate the players. “He could get that extra ten percent out of an individual,” Gifford says. “Multiply ten percent times forty men on the team times fourteen games a season—and you’re going to win.”

We have all known those people who bring out the best in others—coaches, teachers, parents, bosses. They seem to possess a knack for inspiring people. How do they do it? How do they inspire and motivate people?

Here are four actions that will help motivate and inspire others:
  1. Identify with people. Don’t say, “Look at the challenge you face,” but rather, “look at the challenge we face.” If you want people to look at a problem from your point of view, don’t stand across from them and yell. Go to their side and identify with them and guide them to your side.
  2. Acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. Don’t hide things from those you’re working with or try to sugarcoat the problem. Face the facts.
  3. Have a call to action. Challenge others to specific action. You can think, discuss, investigate and plan all you want. Until you get people to take action things are not going to move forward.
  4. Assign tasks. Once you have a response to action, lay out the plan. An effective leader can cut the problem down to size. Assign each person a task that they can manage.

The people who make an impact on the world don’t have to be geniuses or the best looking or the most talented. They are those who can inspire others to action.

7 Ways to Develop Your Employees

One of the ongoing challenges of operating a business or running an organization is that of employee recruitment and retention.

One strategy that can improve recruitment and retention is training. Investing in staff training and development can alleviate skill shortages by improving your current staffs abilities to handle increased or new challenges.

Training may sound expensive, but the cost of turnover is even more expensive. Replacing and employee can cost between 50 and 100 percent of a positions’ annual salary! With this in mind, take a look at the following 7 ways to develop your employees.

  1. Training
    • A well-designed training program that maximizes learning before, during and after instruction translates into positive, lasting changes on the job.
    • Effective programs should include orientation, on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
    • Internet-based learning is an option that allows employees to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule.
  2. Self-directed learning
    • This approach puts individual employees in control of their own learning, allowing for personal differences in learning styles and encouraging ownership of the learning process.
    • When using this approach, many employers work with employees to develop a learning contract or personal development plan. The contract or plan, which is signed by both parties, outlines clear learning goals.
  3. Coaching and mentoring
    • Demonstrated benefits of these approaches include improved quality and quantity of work, transfer of learning and, for employees, improved communication and problem-solving skills.
    • Effective coaching and mentoring programs depend on the skills and personality of the mentor or coach, adequate time for coaching and mentoring sessions and established time-lines and goals.
  4. Job enrichment
    • Job enrichment increases the employee’s authority or responsibility within their current position. Examples include committee work, special assignments or serving on cross-functional teams.
    • This approach increases interest and motivation by allowing employees to try new skills, build new relationships and explore new areas of specialization.
  5. Job rotation and cross-training
    • Job rotation moves an employee through one or more different positions. The rotation can last several hours, several months or even a year or two. Cross-training is a specific type of job rotation where an employee learns the skills of a different position.
    • These approaches can effectively add diversity and interest, prepare individuals for promotion, rejuvenate work units and improve communication.
  6. Lateral moves
    • In a lateral move, an employee moves to a different position with similar status, pay and responsibility. A lateral move may offer new challenges or encourage the development of different skills for an employee who may not necessarily want increased responsibility.
    • This approach increases flexibility and communication among work units and, in small businesses with few opportunities for advancement, helps to retain valuable employees who might otherwise leave.
  7. Job aids
    • Job aids include checklists, tip sheets, wallet cards, posters, pictures, code lists, flow charts and diagrams—anything that offers on-the-spot practical help or reminders. Job aids can reduce the amount of information employees need to recall by providing easily accessible facts.
    • Well-designed job aids are concise, written in plain language and make good use of white space and graphics for easy interpretation.

Effective training and development better equips an organization to meet business challenges from filling staffing shortages to retaining current staff. Developing employee skills help generate the kind of performance that carries employers and employees forward.

Put Things in Their Place to Get Organized

One of the oldest organizing adages is often attributed to Ben Franklin, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Whether Ben was the first to say it is debatable, the truth of the saying is not. The single-most important step you can take when organizing is ensuring you have a place to put everything.

Containers organize things by type: pens and pencils, cosmetics, groceries, tools, etc. They keep food fresh. They are effective for document storage and retrieval. They make clean-up easier. From the office to the home, from the boardroom to the bathroom, containers make organizing easy.

Before you run out and stock up on containers, you need a plan. You need to know the types of things you’re going to store, along with size and shape. You can then determine the type of storage option to use:

  • Cabinets
  • Shelves
  • Drawers and dividers
  • Bookcases
  • Magazine racks
  • File cabinets or drawers
  • Baskets
  • Boxes

It’s also helpful to consider the material the container(s) is made of in relation to its use. Wooden file boxes might be impractical for lifting in and out of archive space, while cardboard file boxes might not be sturdy enough for daily use.

Start with a plan

Analysis how you spend your time in the office. List of the tasks you perform there and the functional zones in your office. For example: paperwork, computer work, telephone use and reading. Ideally, these zones should not overlap.

Determine the equipment and material you need for each zone. For example computer work requires a computer and monitor; perhaps a printer or scanner. For paperwork, you will need pen, notebook, etc.

Now, work out how best to assign your office layout to each of the zones. The computer work and paper work could quite easily be side by side or even overlap. Figure out the best arrangement of your office to suit your needs.

You can start organizing your office by keeping the essential items on your desk: your computer, scanner, telephone and in box. First, you need to clean the desk. Clean out each drawer of your desk to increase space for other office supplies. Organize supplies like pens and paper clips in different containers to make them accessible for you whenever you need them.Use trays for organizing papers and storage boxes for your dated files. You may also use a separate drawer for your personal items. For the magazines and catalogs, keep them in magazine boxes.

Sort the Clutter

Go through all the material in your office; or at least, sort through the piles of unorganized material. Ideally, you go through everything. Practically, you may need to get organized in stages. Place boxes on the floor and start sticking items into the boxes. Sort items in a way that makes sense. For example, put filing together, shredding in another box and so on.

Get rid of the old items you no longer need or use: old bills, receipts or other paperwork, outdated software manuals, equipment you’re no longer using or books that you will never read. Recycle those items that can and dispose of those you can’t recycle. Shred confidential papers that don’t need archiving.

Give Every Object a Home

Set up appropriate containers for items. Look at the list above, determine what you need and go to your local office-supply store to stock up.If your space is limited, look up. Many storage options can be mounted on walls or stacked vertically. Also look at space below. Containers can be put available space under furniture or equipment.

Put It Away

Once you’ve gone through you clutter and sorted things into the right containers, assign convenient locations for everything and put everything away. This should be easy if you’ve made the right decisions in advance. Don’t cut corners, you’ll pay a price for that later.

Disorganized people make life difficult by having to always make a decision on where each item should go. Organized people have systems so the correct place for each item is obvious, requiring little thought in processing.

Firefighters talk about “containing” a fire. In the same way, containers can help you control your organization fires.