Behavioural vs Situational Interview Questions

Hiring in the manufacturing industry is often done a little differently to other more ‘corporate’ sectors. For starters, decisions are not always made based solely on what we can see on a resume – reason being, there’s often a lot to be said for the hands-on, more technical skills which a piece of text just can’t do writing, and cultural fit goes a long way in these tight-knit environments.

Which makes your interview process and technique all the more important to get right.

When hiring individuals for your manufacturing business, it’s crucial to identify the behaviours an individual will exhibit as well as finding those key skills and a great cultural fit.

We can do this by utilizing behavioural vs situational interview questions.

The idea behind behavioural interview questioning isn’t to find out what they can and can’t do, but to understand how they go about doing so. It applies to both their actual job responsibilities and how they interact with the team, their day to day communications and approach to problem solving. Behavioural questions are particularly helpful to understand how an individual faces and overcomes challenges in the workplace – which, as we all know, manufacturing can present a multitude of at any given moment.

Behavioural vs situational interview questions: what does a behavioural question sound like?

Examples could include the following:

  • How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
  • How do you work when faced with time pressure or a strict but very tight deadline?
  • How do you adapt and respond when your workload is increased significantly for a short period of time?

You’ll see that these questions are likely going to begin with the word ‘how’ and are often left extremely open-ended. This allows the candidate to interpret them as they like, which can be very telling in itself. Do their answers demonstrate accountability for their own behaviours and actions? Do their answers speak of a positive, logical approach, or an emotional upending? Consider writing a list of the ‘behaviours’ or general ‘feel’ for your business and the working environment as it is, so you can match these attributes to your interviewee’s answers.

As for situational questions – well, these are ultimately going to allow us to visualize a scenario and get a feel for how they’ll respond in kind on a more technical and practical level. Instead of the more abstract behavioural side of things, a situational question throws the candidate a curve ball in that they need to draw upon real-life experience to answer.

Behavioural vs situational interview questions: what does a situational question sound like?

Examples of situational questions could include:

  • Describe a situation in which you had to use initiative to solve an urgent problem on the job.
  • Tell me about a time you worked on a team project where your colleagues had differing ideas on how to complete the task. How did you resolve the situation?
  • What has been the most challenging situation you’ve found yourself in throughout your career so far, and what did you learn from it?

All of the above questions can be tweaked to relate directly to your environment and industry – the automotive sector for instance, and common challenges which arise, or food production and the strict safety protocols which are to be adhered to. Situational questions help us envision this individual in our own facility, reacting and responding to the daily issues and happenings which arise – and ultimately whether or not we feel they’ll be able to be successful within.

As a recruitment partner, this is all part of our job. We interview the industry’s top talent on behalf of the clients we work with, so that when you do receive a resume for the position, we’ll have many of the answers ready. Here at NLG, our team is both educated and experienced in probing for the right information – the information that’s going to help you make an informed decision, and save you time doing the qualifying yourself.

To learn more about our in-depth outsourced recruitment process services, or for more interview tips like those outlined in this article, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Any views or opinions expressed within this blog do not necessarily reflect the official policy of  NLG. Any points made are for general information only, and none should be relied upon as a basis for making any business, legal or other decisions. Neither NLG nor the author can be held responsible for any reliance placed by you on any information or material within this article.

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