If you’re the person who does the hiring for your company you’ve probably seen it all. From the unqualified to the over-qualified. Sure, you weed through the resumes and are as selective as you can be with whom you call for interviews, doing the best you can to select the most likely candidates for your position. Sometimes you hire the most qualified based on your interview, then find out that they are a terrible fit for the job. What’s missing? You do the interview and ask your questions, you get your impression of the person from a 20 minute conversation. That’s not a long time to get to know someone and what they’re really all about. How do you know if you found the best fit for the position and your company?
The fact is, people, shall we say, embellish their resumes to show themselves in the most positive light, and you can’t always rely on the information to be absolutely true. Face-to-face interviews can also be misleading. Candidates know what you’re looking for and often will tell you exactly what they think you want to hear in order to get hired. You cannot use simple ,”yes or no” questions to determine one’s suitability for your job. You need to go deeper than that to find the best fit. That’s where behavior-based interviewing techniques come in.
Behavior-based interviewing techniques give you a clearer picture of your ideal candidate because the interviewee cannot predict the questions, nor rehearse or tailor their responses to fit the job requirements. This interviewing technique allows you to draw out the candidate and have them describe real life situations from their own experience. The way they reacted or problem-solved in past situations can give you a much clearer picture of their suitability for your job. While you are discussing these circumstances, you have the opportunity to ask additional questions and delve deeper into their thought processes. This is far more effective than closed-ended questions that allow the candidate to give a short positive or negative response and leave you to try to get deeper into the question.
Some examples of behavior-based interview questions:
- Describe a time where you were able to persuade someone to see things your way. How did you do it?
- Give me an example of a time when you had to make an “executive decision”, or a “split second” decision. What was the situation, and how did you decide? What was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
- Give me an example of how you go about prioritizing a process. How do you decide which is most important?
- How do you handle conflict resolution with your peers? Describe a situation where you had to deal with someone who was being unpleasant to work with.
As you can see from these questions, there is no “right” answer. Stress this to your candidate. Take thorough and detailed notes during your interview and delve deeper into how the person felt in the situation, did they get stressed or angry? Did they stay calm and confident? Answers to all of the above questions will give you a great deal of insight into your candidate’s character and personality. This will give you far more information from one short interview than other interview styles. You’ll be able to use these questions to find out if your candidate is the right fit for the position. Are they introverted, extroverted, hot-headed or sedate? You know best the personality that is needed. These behavior-based interview techniques will help to clarify who has the potential to be successful in this work. After interviewing a variety of candidates, you can compare your notes and the right candidate should stand out fairly quickly! Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but this process gives you a greater chance of success.