The Benefits and Promises of Behavioral Interviewing

Category: Info
Author Name: TrainingABC
Posted: 02-12-2019 05:22 AM
Views: 2232
Synopsis: For years, behavioral interviewing has been considered one of the most effective ways to increase the odds of a successful hiring decision.  Learn how this employee interviewing technique works.

Regardless of the size or sector of your organization, you are competing against others in finding (and hiring) the best talent that you possibly can. While there is no single playbook that you can read and leverage to find stellar talent in the marketplace, there are several best practices that you can use to increase the odds that you find that one next great hire.


One of those best practices is using (and telling your direct reports) to use behavioral interviewing. Instead of simple and common interview questions like “tell me more about you” or “what’s your biggest weakness,” behavioral interviewing goes further below the surface and provides a more complete picture of how a prospective employee truly operates. Ultimately, by embracing and leveraging behavioral interviewing techniques, you and your organization will be in a better position to make complete, informed decisions when hiring your next employee.

Manager conducting behavioral interview.

Behavioral Interviewing: The Basics


Before proceeding to discuss behavioral interviewing, it is critical to provide a basic definition. Behavioral interviewing is a type of questioning that is used to discover if a candidate has the skills and competencies that are necessary for the job. Behavioral interviewing is founded on one large assumption. The assumption is that how the candidate has performed in past careers or past jobs will provide some significant insight into how the candidate will perform at your organization.


Again, by capitalizing on behavioral interviewing, you are attempting to scrape below the surface and see how the candidate has reacted in certain situations. Those situations could be common for the role or more difficult situations or scenarios that you expect will occur. That said, the particular behavioral interview questions may vary depending on your particular needs and what you would like to examine in the interview.


If you haven’t yet conducted an interview containing behavioral interviewing questions, you may be looking for examples of these types of questions. Some simple Google queries will lead you to hundreds of sample questions. While there are no restrictions in borrowing any of these behavioral interview questions, you will, of course, want to ensure that you are using these questions to extract some value that is particularly helpful for your organization.

Leader giving job interview.

Some sample questions include:


  • Tell me about a time that you encountered a conflict when working with a team. How did you respond to that?
  • Give me an example of when you had to deal with a difficult client.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to handle multiple responsibilities within a tight time frame.
  • Share a time when you had to speak with your manager about a setback or failure with a particular project.
  • Give me an example of when you had to think on your feet and quickly develop a solution to an unexpected problem.


Again, these are just a few examples of behavioral interview questions. You will want to meet with your colleagues and develop a game plan on particular traits or characteristics that you want to test. Typically, some of the areas that you will want to test involve teamwork, communications skills, the candidate’s ability to operate under pressure, the candidate’s creativity, and the candidate’s work ethic.

There are some other considerations if you intend to rely on behavioral interviewing. First, it is helpful to alert the candidate that you may be asking some behavioral interview questions. While this increases the odds that the candidate will come into the room with some inauthentic, scripted answer, you will gain more insights this way rather than ambushing them in the interview. If you’re concerned about authenticity, you can always ask thoughtful, probing follow-up questions. In addition to providing candidates with advance notice, you will want to ask the same behavioral interview questions (including the same words and the same order of questions) to each candidate. By doing this, you are ensuring that you can accurately compare candidates’ answers. Finally, you want to objectively evaluate candidates’ answers. Whether you use a checklist or something similar, ensure that are grading candidates based on a set of identifiable, measurable criteria.


An Effective Interviewing Method

Behavioral interviewing can provide your organization with a collection of extremely valuable insights about prospective hires. Therefore, we encourage you and your colleagues to think about incorporating this practice into your interviewing procedures.


Who knows: you may be able to discover an extremely important insight or fact about a candidate that can help you find your next great hire. Or, just as important, it may help you avoid hiring a poor candidate for your organization.

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