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Great businesses are built on people. People who not only have the right skills and experience but who have the potential to do great things in the role, the team and in the company. However, screening candidates for potential is the toughest part of an interview. Oftentimes, you assess someone’s potential by looking at their soft skills and unique perspectives. Yet, in a 45-minute conversation, it’s really difficult to fully understand the person behind the profile.

The good news is that behavioural interview questions are a proven way to reveal a person’s potential, specifically their ability to adapt, grow, collaborate, prioritise, lead, and strengthen company culture. By looking at an individual’s past behaviour, as well as his or her skills and experience, you’ll instinctively know if he or she possesses all of the qualities you need in your next hire.

Six soft skills that reflect potential

Potential can be interpreted in many ways, but there are common soft skills and characteristics found among successful hires and high-potential people. Here are the most important soft skills hiring managers to look for during interviews (ranked in order of importance):

1.    Adaptability

2.    Culture

3.    Collaboration

4.    Leadership

5.    Growth potential

6.    Prioritisation

In this article, we will cover three of the six skills. First, let’s go over adaptability.

How to screen for adaptability

Sixty-nine percent of hiring managers say adaptability is the most important soft skill they screen for. It makes sense: to stay competitive today, your company needs to be able to adapt to a changing economy and business needs. That means you need employees who can adapt as well, and high-potential people often have this ability.

How to screen for culture

When we talk about culture fit, we don’t mean falling into a “hire like me” mentality. If all of your employees act and think the same, your company won’t thrive. Instead, look for candidates who share the same beliefs and values as your organisation, but also bring a diversity of thought and experience that will drive your company forward. We call this a “culture.”

Plus, research shows that employees who are a good culture fit are more likely to stay with your company and will have greater performance and job satisfaction.

How to screen for collaboration

Done right, collaboration keeps the business moving at a fast pace. Done wrong, employees find it extremely distracting. When you look at an organisation’s top collaborative contributors and look at employees who are recognised as top performers, there is about a 50 percent overlap. So hiring people who can collaborate effectively and work well with others is essential to success.

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