On paper, the candidate looks near perfect. The phone screening went well and you decide to bring this person in for an interview to take on the crucial role you need filled.

Finding great talent for your small busincultural fit, hiringess is becoming increasingly more competitive. Retaining that top talent is where the true test lies. And in order to make the grade, your interview process must dig into arguably one of the most important factors of a new hire: a cultural fit.

You know the types of questions you need to ask to gauge a candidate’s technical skills, but what types of questions will lead you to determine if he/she is a good cultural fit?

According to the experts from PrimePay’s HR Advisory, interviewing by using a more behavioral format prompts the best responses that will allow you to understand how the candidate combines his or her skillset to get the job done. Incorporate real situations your candidate would potentially face and based off the answers provided, you’ll be more likely to understand if its going to be a cultural fit.

Here are some practical examples of things to ask to truly understand your applicant:

  1. What are your short-term and long-term goals? “This will give you a good idea if their goals reflect the goals of the company or the team they will be working on. It will also give you a sense of possibly how long they will want to stay or how quickly they will look to grow into a different position,” said Dan Krupansky, recruiter for PrimePay.
  2. How do you handle conflict? Ask about a particular case where the interviewee handled working on a team or project with someone who challenged his or her ideas.
  3. What are your methods to problem-solving? Engage in a conversation on how the job seeker overcame a problem. (Ex. How they dealt with an angry customer on a busy day).
  4. What’s your style when it comes to working in teams? Have the candidate describe what working on a team project is like and to cite examples of handling a difficult team member.
  5. Can you describe a time that you mentored another team member successfully? Or have the person explain how he or she delegates tasks. This question will measure their leadership qualities.
  6. Tell me about a time you made a mistake and how you dealt with it. Ask about what the candidate learned from both the mistake and how it was handled to judge their ability to act under pressure.

Once you’ve had this conversation, compare the applicant’s answers to real examples of issues that may arise (or real projects that have been completed) within your company. Analyze their behavioral characteristics to ensure they align with your cultural goals.

After all, for entry-level employees, it costs companies between 30-50 percent of that person’s salary to replace them. So you want to make sure you hire right…the first time.