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Crazy Smart Mentoring Topics: Behavioral Interviewing

behavioral interview questions and answers for management positions

Crazy Smart Mentoring Topics: Behavioral Interviewing

Crazy Smart Mentoring Topics: Behavioral Interviewing – Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Done correctly, the mentee experience can radically advance your career and change your life. The mentee typically has the most to gain from the relationship, and can benefit the most by being bold in conversations with their mentor. eMentorConnect offers this third installment of a five-part series on game-changing mentoring topics, to help mentees make the most of their mentorship opportunity.

Part 3: Behavioral Interviewing

Part of the candidate interviewing process? Got a mentor?

Talk to your mentor about how to look past aptitude and interview for attitude!

‘Behavioral interviewing’ is now considered a gold standard among recruiters. Carefully crafted questions sidestep the traditional emphasis on skills, and focus on revealing a candidate’s attitude in the workplace. When you understand the strengths of the behavioral interviewing technique, you can be confident you’re making the most of precious interview minutes.

For example, Monster.com interviewed three top behavioral interview experts who said it’s a mistake to ask hypothetical questions about the experience. It also suggested that you don’t ask a behavioral interview question about the last time someone used a skill. Instead, ask a question about the most effective way they used that skill.

Do you need to step up your interviewing game?

If you’re periodically tasked with conducting interviews or participating in the interviewing process and aren’t highly familiar with behavioral interviewing, it’s time to turn to your mentor to step up your interviewing game – and your value at work. When meeting with your mentor, reflect on the last interview you held:

  • Were you properly prepared for the discussion?  Why or why not?
  • Did you feel you asked the right questions?
  • If it went well, what aspects went well? If it didn’t go well, why?
  • Did you feel you got a strong sense of how this candidate would handle situations specific to your work environment?


Your mentor can help

Next, work with your mentor to design a behavioral interview plan that incorporates fresh questions and techniques. Are you asking leading questions? Or questions specifically designed with behavior in mind? We all know the saying that past behavior is a predictor for future behavior. When you start with opening phrases such as “tell me about a time,” or “describe for me,” you’re already on the right path. Discuss with your mentor specific open-ended questions that will address the desired skills for a particular role (client-facing, team-facing, management skills, adaptability, etc.). Work together on creating questions that you both feel will be more effective in hiring the right person for the right job.

Now, dig into the details of that experience that encourage the candidate to show off their mental agility.

Why Should Your Company Care?

When you have people on your team who can consistently identify the best and the brightest, you’ve set up your company for success. On the flipside, hiring the wrong person can bloat your training and recruitment budget.  A weak hire can lead to poor employee morale, decreased productivity and even tarnish your company’s image. Public reviews on job sites like Glassdoor are increasingly the jobseeker’s first stop for learning about a company’s culture. When they see a string of complaints, that’s a red flag that something’s not right.

A custom mentoring program designed by eMentorConnect can turn your good interviewers into great interviewers. A recent eMentorConnect survey showed that before participating in a mentoring program, mentees had a 38 percent rate of understanding the topics covered in their mentorship programs; after the program they catapulted to 90 percent. Tap into the diverse benefits of a strong mentoring program: click here for a demo today!

Liisa Andreassen

Liisa is a freelance writer and editor. She has a strong background in writing about management, marketing and HR technology. She also has a passion for connecting people – personally and professionally.