Policies and Training

Behavioral Questions Help Screen Potential Employees

The process of assessing and diagnosing mental health issues in a potential employee is complicated. Certain questions can offer valuable information about an individual’s behavior and reactions to work situations.

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Success in the workplace is strongly influenced by a person’s emotional well-being. Determining who you hire for a job not only plays a part in forming your company’s culture, it can help ensure the safety of the workplace and other employees.

Almost half of new employees fail within 18 months of hire. Most the time the reason is for poor attitude or low emotional intelligence. Employees who struggle to deal with stress, overcome obstacles, and resolve conflict can sometimes be a danger to themselves and others. Certain interview questions are designed to identify whether a person can move past negative feelings including anger, doubt, and anxiety.

Screening applicants properly needs to go beyond asking common questions that result in rehearsed answers. Behavioral questions like these samples below can draw revealing answers from the job candidates.

  1. Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work? Everyone makes mistakes but people with low emotional intelligence often do not take accountability for them.
  2. Describe your former boss. Information the applicants disclose can indicate if they are holding a grudge or want to get back at a former boss. People with low emotional intelligence have a tendency to be easily offended. They become defensive when presented with tough feedback from bosses.
  3. When presented with a conflict or disagreement between you and a former colleague how did you solve it? Was the outcome successful or did you end up disliking the former coworker? No one gets along with everyone. People have different personalities, and disputes are inevitable in the workplace. If a person is not able to solve a situation and walk away amicably, resentment, fights, or even violence could pursue.
    This question can also determine if applicants can be positive and productive team members. It gives a glimpse of how they express what is on their mind and how well they communicate.
  4. What percentage of your life do you control? People who do not believe they have control of their own life can be passive or may make rash decisions. Often, they do not believe they can change outcomes. They become overwhelmed and may be prone to play the victim.

The Warning Signs

During the screening process, it is important to listen. Are the responses straightforward or offensive?

Responses to these questions let you know how potential employees are feeling, how they have treated others, what actions they would take in certain pressure or uncomfortable situations and more. Record the words they use in their responses that stand out to you. Are they negative or positive?

It is also important to observe body language. Behaviorally, you can judge if they are frustrated, overly anxious, or excitable as they speak.