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Staffing Agency Guide to Behavioral Interviews: Questions and Tips

August 23, 2022
Phil Cohen
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As a staffing agency owner or recruiter, conducting interviews is an important part of the job, whether it’s a temp staffing company or permanent placement. Asking the right questions and understanding how to evaluate a candidate’s answers will help you succeed as a recruiter or staffing company owner.

A popular form of interviewing for staffing agencies are behavioral interviews. A behavioral interview can help you understand how a candidate has acted in the past during a particular situation. The questions asked are probing, specific questions. They allow you as the interviewer to begin to understand if past behavior is an indicator of future behavior in various situations.

Since the questions in a behavioral interview are more specific, it is more difficult for candidates to lie or simply tell you what you want to hear. With that being said, behavioral interviewing is a great way to understand a candidate more deeply, but it is not always the best interviewing option.

For example, if you’re interviewing someone for an entry-level position, you might not get the best answers because the candidate probably doesn’t have enough experience to adequately answer. However, you can tailor them to their experiences after reviewing their resume if you prefer behavioral interviews.

If you think your client would benefit from a behavioral interview, here are the best questions and practices to help you become a professional at behavioral interviews.

Behavioral Interviews Questions for Staffing Agencies to Ask

Depending on the skill set you want a potential candidate to have, you’re questions will be tailored differently. Keep the job description in mind as you interview applicants to compare them to the ideal match.

The following lists common traits for various jobs and examples of behavioral interview questions for each.

1. Analytic Skills

Tell me about a time where you had to use your analytic skills to solve a problem?

Describe a time where you solved a problem in a unique way.

2. Detail Oriented

How do you keep yourself organized when you’re under high-stress situations?

Describe a situation in which you had to pay attention to the small details.

3. Strong Communication Skills

Tell me about a time where you successfully conveyed an idea or concept to upper management.

Describe a time when your listening skills paid off.

4. Teamwork

Can you give me an example of when you were working in a team, what the task was, and what role you played in that task.

Tell me about a time where you had to work with someone that you didn’t see eye-to-eye with. How did you go about the situation to get the job done?

5. Confident

Was there ever a time where you had to be assertive in the workplace? What was it and how did it play out?

Have you ever had to make a decision that other people didn’t agree with? How did you overcome that?

6. Leadership

Describe a time when you had to motivate others.

Can you tell me about a time when you had to teach someone how to do something?

7. Flexibility

Explain a time where you had to change directions or tasks without any notice. How did you handle it?

Tell me about a time when your schedule was interrupted and how you handled it.

Best Practices for Behavioral Interviewing

  • Ask for additional details when necessary.
  • Keep questions entirely situational. Avoid yes or no questions.
  • Look for how they answer the question. Does it make sense and is it cohesive?
  • Be aware of body language that depicts a candidate’s personality.
  • Take notes so you don’t forget what stood out to you — good or bad.
  • Let the candidate do the talking. You don’t need to walk them through an answer, even if it’s a little uncomfortable.

The better your staffing agency is at interviewing and placing great candidates, the more clients you’ll have. Consider payroll financing for a small business to support your continual growth. Factor Finders can get you started with invoice factoring.

Now that you’ve picked the best candidates for the job or jobs at hand, learn how to train them correctly using these new hire training tips!

Give us a call or fill out our online form to get started!

About the Author

Phil is the owner of PRN Funding and sister company Factor Finders. He has been an authority in the factoring industry for over 20 years, serving on the board of directors for several factoring associations.

Learn more about Phil Cohen