I also "listen" to my characters' voices. Brankaresh sounds like a politician. Eileen is strident but honest, the kind of character that lands themselves right in it. There was no question as to who my main character in The Trouble With Mother was going to be. Someone who lands themselves in it, who is brave, prepared to stand up for what she believes in no matter what the cost to herself - Eileen had to be my "star". I love writing about and for her. Her tagline is hypocrisy is something that happens to other people. She doesn't care that in itself is a hypocritical statement.
I quiz myself as to whether my character motivations are strong enough. Are their traits and motives strong enough to carry a story? If they are, I get on with the story. If not, I rethink my characters until their motives are strong enough.