Job interviews are innately demanding, as applicants strive to make a positive impression and companies try to determine the most qualified candidate. Time is limited and the stakes are high, so experienced hiring managers often use a combination of interviewing techniques to make sure they’re identifying the best person for the job.
Behavioural interviewing, used by Fortune 500 companies and many others, requires candidates to respond to job interview questions with specific examples of past experiences rather than generalised or hypothetical responses. The practice is based on the belief that past performance is the most accurate predictor of future performance and in fact is said to be 55 percent
predictive of future on-the-job behaviour compared to traditional interviewing, which is only 10 percent predictive.
However, hiring experts caution that utilising behavioural interviewing techniques shouldn’t come at the expense of developing a genuine dialogue that helps employers and candidates really get to know each other. The most effective recruiters view behavioural interviewing as one of the many tools, using questions about past experiences in a thoughtful way to establish an authentic connection and encourage discussion of core values and goals.
Getting the best interview results
To develop an effective behavioural interview, you need to make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of your company’s values and guiding principles. Using that information, you can determine which questions or exercises will reveal the candidate’s skills and behaviours in relation to your goals.
Beginning and interview with broader queries about education and experience and then easing into the more difficult questions can help relax a candidate and yield better results. Interviewing can be a stressful experience for most people, and so it is important to build a rapport and make a candidate feel comfortable before jumping in to the hard-hitting questions.
Once you’ve established a comfortable rhythm, you’re more likely to get substantial and informative replies to your behavioural questions. This provides a benefit to you as well as the candidate, who will feel that their time was well spent and leave with a positive image of your company.
Ensuring fair and equal standards
When conducted appropriately, behavioural interviews use the same job-related hiring standards for all candidates and give every qualified candidate a fair and equal chance to be selected. It provides a framework to ensure each candidate is engaged with in a consistent way, and evaluated according to the same criteria.
Creating authentic, successful teams
Behavioural interviews are the first step in a longer-term strategy to create authentic, successful teams that maximise the value of each new team member. By incorporating behavioural questions into your interview process, you can observe how each candidate connects with you and others, as well as the company’s core values and identity.
Experts agree that behavioural interviewing can be an effective tool for ensuring that new hires share your company’s principles and objectives, a crucial step in achieving the highest level of culture fit – one that will help your company succeed in the long run.