The resume looks great, the prescreening phone conversation went well and now it’s time to meet the candidate face to face. Often times, the interviewer has less than an hour to make their determination on a candidate, so the questions must be effective in getting the information necessary to make an educated decision about a candidate’s qualifications and potential success in a position. Sounds easy, but figuring out what those questions are, is not as easy as it may sound.
Behavioral Interviewing is an interview technique that relies on questions around how the candidate behaved in previous situations. The idea is that past behavior is a predictor of future success. Experience has shown that people are more likely to repeat behavior, rather than change, so by understanding what has happened in the past one can somewhat predict the future. By implementing behavioral interviewing techniques, companies often find a decrease in employee turnover, as they are able to hire qualified employees for the positions with a better fit.
Behavioral interview questions are open ended and force the candidate to talk about what they did in certain past situations verses how they might respond in the future. When asking traditional questions, the candidate is able to form an answer they think the interviewer wants to hear or how they’d like to perform, if given the chance. Behavioral questions, however, direct them to talk about what actually happened and to give a specific example of a past situation. Any interview will be a combination of behavioral based and traditional interview questions. Traditional interview questions allow the interviewer to assess experience as written on the resume, clarify skills and ask basic questions. The combination of both types of interview questions will result in a good assessment of the skills, experience and fit for the position.
In order to conduct an effective behavioral interview, the interviewee must prepare in advanced. The resume, job description and any other collateral information should be carefully reviewed. Determining specific skills and behavioral traits necessary to be successful in the job is imperative. Once you’ve identified those skills and behaviors, you can begin designing your questions that will help you assess if the candidate possesses those skills and behaviors.
What are you favorite behavioral interview questions?