When it comes down to it, it’s almost always more challenging to assess a candidate’s soft skills than their hard skills. Usually, you won’t find clear information about a job seeker’s interpersonal skills outlined on their resume, so you’ll need to dig deeper during the interview to get the information you need.
Luckily, there are a few questions that are ideal for the task, providing you with the ability to gather valuable insights regarding how a candidate interacts with others. If you are looking to gauge a candidate’s interpersonal skills, here are a few questions to try.
Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Work Closely With a Difficult Co-Worker. Were You Able to Make It Work? If So, How?
This question lets you know how they deal with tough situations, whether they are able to put their feelings aside and remain professional, and what techniques they use to avoid potential conflicts with their peers.
Have You Ever Disagreed With a Supervisor’s or Manager’s Decision? If So, How Did You Approach the Situation?
This question lets you know how the candidate deals with a potential source of conflict between them and their manager. You’ll be able to discover if they tend to be vocal about their concerns and how they approach having a conversation, or if they are more inclined to follow their supervisor’s decision regardless of how they feel.
Can You Provide Me With Three Examples of Actions, Attitude or Behaviors That Led You into Conflict at Work? If You’ve Encountered Them Before, How Did You Handle the Situation?
A question like this helps you assess which personality types the candidate may have the most trouble working with, and what they did to maintain a productive work environment. It also gives you a chance to assess whether a job seeker may integrate well with your current team. If they identify traits some of your top performers possess, then the candidate might not thrive in your workplace.
When You Begin Working for a New Employer, What Do You Do to Build Relationships With Your Co-Workers and Supervisors?
This allows you to gauge how social your potential new hire may be and what approaches they use to begin forging working relationships. Again, this will enable you to get an idea of whether they may fit into your company culture, which can be critical for long-term success.
Ultimately, by asking the right questions, you can measure a job seeker’s interpersonal skills and determine whether they would successfully integrate into your workplace. While these questions don’t have inherently right or wrong answers, they do provide you with powerful insights, so consider adding a few to your usual list of questions to see what you can discover.
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