All too often, the questions interviewers ask are answered hypothetically. The candidate relates what they would do in a certain situation. This is not actual data. Instead, candidates need to be asked questions they can give real examples of a time they did what they are saying they would do.
A method that helps get actual data is the ABC method. Effective interview questions are crucial in the hiring process to get ABC's. By asking the right question, interviewers can look for the answer to reflect the "ABC" Model.
With every question, the interviewer seeks to get an "A" activity that the candidate was involved in, then a "B" behavior (specific to them, what they did), and lastly the "C", the consequence or result of the candidate's actions.
By mining experiences and giving individual activities, behaviors, and consequences, the candidate will give a more accurate picture of their capabilities.
The following questions will be helpful in achieving your outcomes of getting the candidate to provide you with specific ABC's.
How good are your listening skills? How do you know?
We've all been in situations when we've misunderstood something we heard. When has this happened to you? Why did it happen?
Tell me about a time when someone misunderstood what you told him or her. Why did that happen?
In addition to asking questions of the candidate, observe the following behaviors during the interview.
Does the candidate:
Express information clearly?
Listen carefully and respond appropriately to questions?
Ask for clarification when the question is unclear to him/her?
Interrupt the interviewer? How frequently?
Give me an example of when you made a presentation to an uninterested or hostile audience.
Have you ever prepared or given a presentation to superiors? Tell me about one of those presentations.
What different approaches have you used in presenting to different audiences? Give me a specific example? How did you know you were getting your ideas across?
In addition to asking questions of the candidate, many interviewers ask candidates to deliver a presentation to an audience to observe and evaluate the presentation skills of the candidate.
What magazines or newsletters have you read recently and gotten useful, job-related information from?
Sometimes it's easy for us to "get in over our heads." Describe a situation in which you had to request help on one of your assignments.
To which industry or job-related organizations do you belong? What is the extent of your participation? What do you get out of it?
What kinds of writing have you done? Can you give me some examples?
What kinds of forms do you complete on the job? Tell me about one of the most difficult or most important forms that you have had to complete.
What are some of the most difficult writing assignments you have had? Explain.
Ability to Learn
What aspects of your job at (company name) were most difficult to learn? How did you learn them? How long did it take you?
Tell me about a situation in which you had to adjust quickly to changes in responsibilities. What did you have to learn? How did you handle it?
What did you have to learn to be effective at (company name)? How long did that take you?
Which bosses have you worked most effectively for and why?
Which bosses have been hardest to work for? Why?
Tell me about a situation when you had to adjust quickly to changes in organizational priorities. What was the impact of the changes on you?
How did you identify problems at (company name)? What sources of information did you rely on?
What were the biggest problems you've faced in the last six months? How did you handle them?
Have you ever recognized a problem before your boss or others in the organization did? What was it? What did you do?
What are some of the most creative or innovative things you have done in your present position?
Can you think of a situation you had to handle in which old solutions didn't work? What did you do to handle it?
What kinds of problems have people recently called on you to solve? Tell me about your contribution to solving the problem.
What was the last big decision, related to your work, that you had to make? How did you decide what to do? How long did it take?
What types of decisions do you make quickly? Examples.
What types of decisions do you take more time on? Examples.
What was the last big work-related challenge you faced? How did you handle it?
Tell me about a good decision you made in the last six months. What were the alternatives? Why was your decision a good one?
What were the toughest decisions you had to make while at (company name)? Tell me about them. What alternatives did you consider?
Can you describe a situation when you didn't get along with a coworker and how you handled it?
Tell me about a new procedure that you wanted your team to use. What did you do about it?
Describe a situation in which you were able to help out a peer or coworker.
What skills are important for dealing with customers? Tell me about a time when you used these skills.
Tell me about a time when you were effective in handling a customer complaint.
We don't always agree on the best way to handle customers. When was the last time you were criticized for the way you handled a customer? Why?
Have you taken on any extra responsibilities in your job? What are they? Why?
What do you do differently than others in your organization?
Tell me about some projects that you generated on your own. What prompted you to do them?
Relating to Others
Have you ever had difficulty getting along with coworkers? How did you handle the situation?
Have you had to listen to the personal problems of coworkers? What did you do?
How do you persuade others to try something new?
Have you ever submitted a good idea to your boss, only to have him/her not take action on it? What did you do?
Everyone has to deal with difficult people sometimes. Tell me about a time that you had a particularly challenging person to deal with. What did you do?
What were some of your big disappointments at (company name)? How did you cope with it?
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