How to Interview Candidates for Interpersonal Skills


Yes, the hard skills a candidate brings to the table are essential to their success. But there is so much more to doing a good job than just having the right skill set. What about their interpersonal skills? How do they interact with others on the job, including co-workers and managers? Before you make a hiring decision, you should be asking interview questions that get to the bottom of someone’s interpersonal skills. Here are a few behavioral questions that can help.

  • How do you deal with disagreements? There is no workplace in existence that doesn’t occasionally experience the disagreements between co-workers or with management. However, it isn’t the disagreement that counts, but the way a person handles themselves during and after. If a candidate has a hard time answering this, they may struggle with office disagreements or their aftermath.
  • How do you handle office friendships? Knowing how people interact with one another on a positive basis is also essential to determining how someone will fit into your office environment. Your reception of their answer may depend on your company culture. For example if you encourage your team to meet outside of work hours, someone who prefers to keep to themselves may not be a good fit for your business.
  • How do you resolve office conflict? Conflict is different than a simple disagreement with another person. A disagreement can be a solitary experience, but conflict can occur when someone can’t let go of a disagreement or when desperate personalities simply can’t get along with one another. How do they handle this when they’re involved or when conflict is going on around them?
  • How do you meet new people? You also want to get a sense for how your candidate will work with new people. Shy or introverted people shouldn’t be discounted for your opportunity, but they will require a different level of interaction than their extroverted counterparts. But knowing how they handle meeting new people will help you determine their fit within your organization.
  • How do you contribute to the team? Teamwork is also a top indicator of performance. Many people will simply refer to themselves as a “team player” without elaborating on the definition of that term. You want to drill down. Talk to them about times in their career when they had to work with a team to achieve an important goal.

Are interpersonal skills important for your business?

At Professional Staffing Group, we work closely with our clients to find the right candidates the first time. Contact us today and let us help you connect with the best professionals in our region.

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