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Three Steps to the Best Interview
Questions & Predicting the Future

Use this 3 step process for creating the best interview questions. Learn to conduct an interview so that you pick a winner every time. A simple behavioral interview question technique.

Would you agree that the best interview questions would be the ones that, like a fortune teller, could help you look into your crystal ball and predict a candidate's future work performance?  

Well, you could try to find a good fortune teller and add her to the interview team. Or  there IS an even better way to predict the future: use Competency and Behavioral-Based Interview Questions!

Definition of Competency & Behavioral-Based Interview Questions:

A method of using situational questions to elicit a response from a candidate that will describe the candidate’s past behaviors and actions in a specific situation or circumstance.


The best interview questions are based upon:  1) the competencies and behaviors required for success in the job, and that ask 2) the candidate to share detailed examples of their expertise, in each area.

Past behavior is one of the best predictors of future performance.

Competency and Behavioral-Based Interview Questions are the best interview questions to ask because:
Lip Service Lies, Past Behaviors Don’t.”

The Best Interview Questions in Three Steps...
(Exactly How to Create Competency/Behavioral Questions...)

Step 1: Pick the competencies, personal skills and
behaviors crucial for success in the job.

  • For example: If you have an open Accountant position, after reviewing the eight types of work behaviors listed in this Hiring Good Employees article, you probably would have pick Organized Workplace as a key behavior needed for success as an Accountant.

Definition for Organized Workplace: 
The job's success depends on systems and procedures;
its successful performance is tied to careful organization
of activities, tasks and projects that require accuracy.
Record keeping and planning are essential components of the job.



 Step 2: Develop interview questions for each key job area
using opening statements that ask for examples. Such as:

  • “Tell me about a situation where you...”
  • “Give me a specific example of a time where you had to..."
  • “How well did you handle it when...”
  • "Tell me about..."
  • Sample Accountant Best Interview Questions Using the Competency "Organized Workplace"
  • "Tell me about specific situations where you implemented procedures and systems. What worked? What didn't?"
  • "How important is record-keeping is to you. What system do you use?"
  • "Tell me about how you how you analyze data."
  • "Give me a specific example of a time where you were required to research data to make a decision. What process did you use? What worked? What didn't?"


Step 3: Press for specifics and listen aggressively.

  • If someone is strong in an competency area they will be able to provide solid and clear examples of work or situation from the past that demonstrate their expertise in that area.
  • During the interview take note of any areas that are answered with vague examples and press for more specifics.
  • Pay close attention to, and follow up on, ANY and ALL houghts or feelings of concern you have about the candidate. (This is VERY important...if the examples your candidate provides are vague, you could have problem - DO NOT skip over, move through or ignore your concerns or intuition!)

Startling Statistics...

Almost half of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months. In a Human Resource study of 312 companies that had collectively hired more than 200,000 people. 46% failed in the first year and a half, and only 19% had unequivocal success.

The study revealed what most interfered with the new employee's success:

  • 26% couldn't accept feedback
  • 23% were unable to understand and manage emotions
  • 17% lacked the motivation to excel
  • 15% had the wrong temperament for the job
  • 11% lacked the necessary technical skills

As surprising as these numbers are, even more surprising is that 82% of hiring managers had a sense that the employee wouldn't work out!!

They saw subtle signs of areas that could be potential problems during the interview. But they ignored the signs because they were either too focused on other issues, were too pressed for time, or they lacked confidence in interpreting them.

fortune teller - predicting performance

Don't let this be you! Be sure to use ALL Three Best Interview Questions Steps.

Pick the best interview questions by tying what you ask directly to what the job needs and then press the candidate for specific examples of past performance.

Be sure to pay close attention and listen aggressively and to follow up on any and all vague answers and concerns.

Following these steps will help you get a glimpse of your future with this person. It's kind of like having your very own Fortune Teller!


Three Conducting Successful Job
Interviews Resources for You...




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