Behavioral Interviewing

Posted by Paladin on November 07, 2008

Behavioral interviewing is based on the theory that past behavior is a strong prediction of future behavior. The interviewer asks specific questions seeking information about candidate’s skills, character, and performance based on examples of past behavior. By using these answers, the interviewer can rate the candidate based on past actions, not “gut feelings” or “intuition”. The key in behavioral interviewing is to “paint a picture” of the candidate, and thinking about the decision or behavior without bringing in unnecessary details.

Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers says that behavioral interviewing, in fact, is said to be 55 percent predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only 10 percent predictive. Traditional interview questions ask you general questions such as “Tell me about yourself.” The process of behavioral interviewing is much more probing and works very differently.It is important to probe further for more depth or detail such as “What were you thinking at that point?” or “Tell me more about your meeting with that person,” or “Lead me through your decision process.” If the candidate hastold a story that’s anything but totally honest, the response will not hold up through the barrage of probing questions.

Examples of behavioral interviewing questions.

1.Describe a time when you have improved procedures in your company. Be specific.

2.Tell me about a high stress situation when you needed to keep a positive attitude.  What happened?

3.Give me examples of how you were able to overcome adverse conditions to accomplish a task.

4.Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

5.Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

6.Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.

7.Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.

8.Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.

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