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Conducting Behavioral Interviews: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers

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Blog

DATE
April 20, 2023

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Staffing

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Behavioral Interviews are an effective way to assess the skills and qualifications of candidates for life sciences positions. By asking questions that focus on past behavior, you can better understand how they would handle certain situations in the workplace. When conducting a behavioral interview, it’s important to keep the conversation focused on specific examples from previous experiences rather than generalities or hypotheticals. This will give you insight into how a candidate has handled real-world situations in their past roles.

What Are The Benefits Of Behavioral Interviews?

The benefit of a Behavioral Interview is that it allows candidates to demonstrate their capabilities through past experiences rather than relying solely on their resumes and cover letters. By taking the time to ask meaningful questions, you’ll get an accurate picture of each candidate’s background and expertise to determine who is best suited for the job.

How To Conduct A Behavioral Interview

You’ll want to ask questions about technical and soft skills such as communication and problem-solving. Make sure your questions are open-ended and allow the candidate to provide details about their experience. You may also want to include questions about how they handled challenging situations or overcame obstacles.

It can be helpful to develop a list of important qualities for the job before conducting the interview. This will ensure that all of the questions you ask during the interview are relevant to the position.

Some examples of qualities that might be important for a life sciences position include:

  • Analytical skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Communication skills.

Using STAR Method To Gauge Candidate Responses

The STAR method refers to Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This method allows you to better understand how the candidate has handled different situations in their past experiences.

  • Situation:Ask the candidate to explain a specific situation they were part of in their previous roles.
  • Task:Have them explain what tasks they had to complete.
  • Action:Which actions did they take to resolve the problem?
  • Result:What results were achieved as a result of their efforts?

By evaluating their responses with the STAR method, you’ll gain insight into how the candidate approaches different challenges and can determine if they are well-suited for the job.

Questions About Analytical Skills

Analytical skills refer to a person’s ability to collect and evaluate information and identify patterns and trends. By asking thought-provoking questions, you’ll gain insight into the candidate’s problem-solving skills and how they would approach difficult situations. This can help you make informed decisions when it comes to hiring for life sciences positions.

Interview questions that focus on analytical skills could include:

  • Tell me about a time or situation when you needed more information to solve the problem. What did you do?
  • Describe a time when you had to make an important decision at work. What approach did you take?
  • How do you choose between two courses of action?
  • Walk me through how you would troubleshoot X problem.

Example Question And Answer

Question: Tell me about a time or situation when you didn’t have enough information to solve the problem. What did you do?

 Situation: In my previous role, I was tasked with troubleshooting a hardware issue. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough information to diagnose the problem.

  • Task: To get more information, I consulted with our technical support team and researched online resources for possible solutions.
  • Action: Then, I tested different potential solutions on equipment simulators until I found one that worked.
  • Result: Ultimately, I successfully resolved the issue, which led to a cost-effective solution for the client.

Questions About Attention To Detail

Organizations need employees who can pay close attention to detail and ensure accuracy when working with complex information. Those with this skill can identify small discrepancies or problems in data or processes, helping organizations stay on track and avoid costly mistakes.

Questions related to attention to detail could include:

  • How do you go about organizing your daily tasks at work? What tools and technologies did you use?
  • What methods do you use to check for quality under time constraints? What tools did you use?
  • Describe when you found an error that your manager or senior leadership made. How did you approach the situation, and what was the outcome?

Example Question And Answer

Question: How do you go about organizing your daily tasks at work? What tools and technologies did you use?

  • Situation:In my last role, I was required to develop detailed project plans and manage several complex projects simultaneously.
  • Task:To achieve this, I had to maintain an organized list of tasks and prioritize them according to deadlines and importance.
  • Action:To track these tasks, I used a combination of online tools such as Asana and Trello to maintain my project plans. I also used Microsoft Excel to develop detailed spreadsheets that tracked all the projects I was working on.
  • Result:This allowed me to always stay on top of my work and ensure that all deadlines were met. It also helped me identify any potential issues in advance so that they could be addressed quickly.

Questions About Problem-Solving Skills

Employees who have strong problem-solving skills can think critically and come up with creative solutions to difficult challenges. By asking questions related to problem-solving abilities, you’ll understand how the candidate would approach problems and make decisions in their future role.

Interview questions that focus on problem-solving skills could include:

  • Describe a situation at work when you faced a problem you could not solve. What did you do?
  • How do you go about troubleshooting problems?
  • Tell me about a project where you had to manage or work with a cross-functional team.

Example Question And Answer

Question: Tell me about a project where you had to manage or work with a cross-functional team.

  • Situation: At my previous company, a large client asked us to undertake a major project requiring collaboration across multiple departments.
  • Task: As a senior in my department, I was asked to manage communication between my department and other department leaders to ensure all aspects of the project stayed on schedule.
  • Action: I established regular communication protocols for each team, created check-in points to monitor progress, and set up tracking systems to measure success.
  • Result: Our team successfully delivered the project on time, meeting our client’s expectations. Additionally, we identified areas of improvement in our processes that could be used in future projects.

Questions About Communication Skills

Good communication skills are essential for any successful organization. Interview questions that focus on the candidate’s communication abilities can help you determine if they can work effectively in a team and interact professionally with clients or customers.

Interview questions that focus on communication skills could include:

  • Describe a situation where you had to communicate complex information in an understandable way to clients or colleagues.
  • Tell me about a time you faced conflict at work and how you addressed it.
  • How would you describe yourself? How would your colleagues describe you?

Example Question And Answer

Question: Describe a situation where you had to communicate complex information in an understandable way to clients or colleagues.

  • Situation: At my last company, a client requested detailed information about a new product that our team was working on. They needed this information to show their leadership what we were working on and ensure the project was progressing.
  • Task: As a lead on the research project, I was responsible for providing this information in an understandable way so that our client and their leadership could make informed decisions.
  • Action: I used a combination of skills, such as report writing and presentation skills, to develop a clear report that included any questions they had asked during our conversations. In addition, I also provided visuals to help explain the data in an easy-to-understand format.
  • Result: My approach allowed our client to relay our progress to their leadership without confusion. This resulted in mutual understanding and a smoother collaboration between our two companies. By providing accurate information and using skills such as report writing and presentation skills, I was able to create an effective way of communicating complex information.

Conclusion

Behavioral interviews provide a great opportunity to assess the skills and qualifications of a candidate. By asking questions focusing on past behavior, you can gain valuable insight into how they have handled real-world situations in their past roles. Additionally, asking questions about problem-solving and communication skills will give you an understanding of how the candidate would approach problems and make decisions in their future role.

How Astrix Can Help

Astrix utilizes behavioral interview questions as a key pre-screening tool to identify and select the most qualified talent for various positions. By delving into candidates’ past experiences and actions, Astrix ensures a thorough assessment of their skills, qualifications, and overall suitability for specific roles.

Our thorough pre-screening process involves assessing candidates’ past behaviors, decision-making strategies, and real-world experiences in their respective fields. This comprehensive approach helps employers save time and resources by narrowing the pool of applicants to only high-quality candidates equipped with the right skill set and potential. By leveraging our vast network and resources, Astrix can also provide additional insights into candidates’ backgrounds, helping businesses make informed decisions when it comes to hiring.

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