Interviewing: Facts are the Key to making it more than a gut feeling

Category: Articles
Posted: 12-05-2010 03:58 AM
Views: 1007
Synopsis:

Facts are the buried treasure of any interview. As an interviewer your main objective is to dig through everything and get the facts that determine if the candidate has the knowledge, skills and ability to do the job you are hiring for effectively. The way to accomplish this is through behavior-based questions. These are questions that are designed to uncover past behaviors that can be used to predict future behaviors.

Make Interviewing More Than a Gut Feeling with facts.

Facts are the buried treasure of any interview. As an interviewer your main objective is to dig through everything and get the facts that determine if the candidate has the knowledge, skills and ability to do the job you are hiring for effectively. The way to accomplish this is through behavior-based questions. These are questions that are designed to uncover past behaviors that can be used to predict future behaviors.

These behaviors are the best ways to uncover facts that will aid you in make a bias-free hiring decision - a hiring decision that is based on more than a gut feeling. Hiring decisions that are based on facts alone will give you the best chance to make successful hires and thus have a successful business.


The purpose of an interview is to find out if a candidate has the skills and experience to the job. It's critical that you find factual information from them that will bring out this knowledge. Simply asking them if they have a skill will not give you any valuable information. Every applicant steps into a job interview putting their best face forward intent on giving you a great first impression. Interviewers need to dig below the surface for the buried treasure. The first step in this process is to prepare behavior based questions. Proper preparation will allow you to formulate questions that are designed to find the facts that you need. The questions you design should prompt the candidate relay information about how they handled situations in the past. If designed correctly, the questions will uncover nuggets of facts invaluable in the hiring process.

Once you have asked a candidate a behavior-based question it is imperative that you allow them to answer. Don't be afraid of silence. Silence is a valuable tool. It allows the applicant to think about the answer and provide you with a more thought and fact-filled answer. Make the candidate feel at ease by saying, "Take your time," or "I'll give you time to think about a response." If they get off track and aren't providing relevant information be sure to redirect and get them back on the tracks. Make sure that you probe with action words like "What exactly did you do?" so that you can get all the facts possible.

If a candidate can't give you much in the way of facts (even with probing and silence) you will immediately know that they don't have the knowledge, skills and experience to handle the position. However, if they have numerous facts, you will know that there is a high probability that they will have the skills necessary to be successful in the position. Avoid gut feelings, preconceptions and biases and dig for facts in your interview. Behavior-based interviewing questions are the best tool to achieve these facts. A fact-based hiring decision leads to a successful hire and a more successful business.

Charlie Bentson King is a writer and producer of hiring and interviewing training videos for TrainingABC. TrainingABC is a distributor of behavioral interviewing video and DVD programs such as More Than a Gut Feeling.

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