Part of my corporate experience is working in the retail industry at a mall overseeing the customer service center. We would experience turn-over as high school kids who worked as Customer Service Representatives moved away to go to college. I personally know it can become very time-consuming to interview someone and get excited thinking they are the right fit only to get them on the job and have a different side of them emerge! During the interview it’s easy for people to look right, and say the right things. Then it’s expensive to work with them or try to manage them out only to post the job and start all over again. I had to learn a way to save my time and the organization money!

One of the core groups I work now with are Human Resource professionals. They are constantly either interviewing potential employees for their employer or working with personnel supervisors and managers on what interview questions to ask of potential employees.

I have experience with this and so wishing to help with this significant challenge so many have of what questions to ask to cut to the heart of how an employee will behave once hired and on the job, I want to share incorporating S-O-A-R questions into your interviews you’re conducting.

What does S-O-A-R stand for you may ask?
• Situation
• Obstacles
• Action
• Results

The idea is you get the potential employee discussing a situation they’ve encountered in the past to assess their real-world experience and then you cut right to the challenges and barriers they faced, what action or behavior did they exhibit to overcome the challenge, and what were the end results?

I want to provide some examples; I’ll share for both the non-profit and corporate worlds. If you are inquiring about the potential employee’s experience with recruiting volunteers as they show it on their resume or are telling you they’ve recruited volunteers and you need to get deeper, you could utilize the following S-O-A-R.

• Situation – “Tell me about a situation where you recruited volunteers for no pay in the past?”
• Obstacles – “What obstacles did you encounter when recruiting these volunteers?”
• Action – “What action did you take to overcome this?”
• Results – “What was the end result of the event?”

How about a S-O-A-R example for the corporate world?

• Situation – “Tell me about the situation where you dealt with the most upset customer you’ve ever experienced.”
• Obstacles – “What did you feel were the obstacles for this customer?”
• Action – “What action were you able to take in this situation?”
• Results - “Tell me about the end results; was the situation resolved for the customer?”

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Author's Bio: 

If you need help crafting S-O-A-R questions and would like a customized presentation on this and other recruitment tools that will save you time and money, visit www.Joy Huber Programs. “We Recruited a Dream...But the Nightmare Comes to Work Daily!” and e-mail

For more great information check-out my CD Programs, “Retaining Super Stars for Super Teams” and “Talk to the Hand: A Woman’s Guide to Truly Thriving Amongst Difficult People" at Joy Huber Online. Or email me at