Hiring is by far the biggest concern our clients encounter. Finding the right people to work at your company is high-stakes. Poor performers can take a catastrophic toll on your success.

Most seasoned CEOs say that entrepreneurs should be spending as much as 50% of their time getting the right talent in the door. Yet, the actual hiring process tends to remain more of an art than a science for start-ups — regardless of the structure and rubrics they try to impose.

This makes the types of questions you choose to ask during interviews of paramount importance. You only get a narrow sliver of time with each candidate, so how do you maximise the amount of information you gather?

Traditional Interviewing renders little information about the candidate’s past behaviours because it focuses on hypothetical situations. A behavioural interview is a job interview focused on discovering how an applicant acted in a specific employment-related situation. We believe, at OP Consulting, that past performance in the workplace is often the best predictor of future performance behaviour.

Instead of asking, “how would you behave in a certain situation”, the interviewer should ask, “how did you behave?” The goal is to elicit stories of how candidates have responded to past situations which they could face at your company. That means questions should be SPECIFIC and phrased in unexpected ways to avoid boilerplate responses.

Here are some questions you should consider asking, next time you interview a candidate:

· What happened?

· What was your reaction?

· What did you say?

· What did you do?

· What was the result from…?

· Walk me through the steps you took.

· What were the outcomes related to what you did?