How to Gauge a Potential Employee’s Ethics and Soft Skills

When you’ve got more than one solid candidate to choose from as an employer, you’re in a pretty good position. The difficulty is deciding what factors will go into making your final decision. Two things that separate an average candidate from top talent are their ethics and soft skills. A behavioral interview can reveal exactly the kind of person you are dealing with. Asking a few probing questions that go beyond canned interview answers to know the real person.

Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult co-worker.

No one gets along with every person they work with, but what sets a great employee apart is the ability to deal with whatever comes along in the workday. Look for answers that indicate the candidate takes an approach that seeks the common ground. They should consider the best interests of both the company and themselves and should be honest and forthright when responding.

How well do you work in a group?

Legal support employees need to work well both independently and as a part of a group. Ask for specific examples of how they performed in a group setting including the role they played and the results attained. This question can also provide insight into their communication skills – another important soft skill.

What do you do when you don’t understand a task?

In the legal industry, big problems can arise if a legal support person doesn’t completely understand a project they are working on. Look for candidates who are unafraid to ask clarifying questions and know how to use the resources available to them if they are confused. Consider what works best in your firm. Would you rather have someone who can operate independently or someone who is not afraid to ask questions?

What would you do if…?

Ask candidates how they would behave in a hypothetical that is likely to arise. Does their response indicate they will do well in your organization, or are they trainable? Watch for red flags that indicate they would not be a good fit with your company?

At Kent Legal, our recruiters can help you identify candidates with the skills and experience you require. For the best legal support talent available in the greater Toronto area, contact us today.

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