Job interviews are crucial aspects of the hiring process, often giving an interviewer a better, more well-rounded view of what a prospective candidate would be like in the position. One way to get the most out of job interviews and glean the most pertinent information from them is to focus on a strategy that uses "situational" questions that give the candidate an opportunity to describe HOW they may handle a situation.
The strategic style of behavioral interviewing focuses on the candidate's past behavior by asking questions that lead to specific, concrete examples of how they would act or react in certain situations.
An example of a behavioral interview question is "Can you tell me about a time when a customer was unhappy and what you did to resolve the problem?" This type of open-ended question can give you a much clearer impression of the candidate and how they would behave in common workplace scenarios, while also giving you a chance to ask detailed follow-up questions.
Here are 4 major benefits of behavioral interviewing:
1) Provides Real Life Examples
Anyone can say on a resume that they have great time management skills, remain calm under pressure, or have leadership potential. One of the best things about behavioral interviewing is that it pushes job candidates to go beyond the resume and job interview clichés (which may or may not mean anything) and provide solid, concrete, real life examples of their previous job experience.
For example, if the job you're staffing is an office manager who must wear many different hats and manage multiple projects simultaneously, your behavioral interview questions will help you see if someone has experience in a similar role and how they handle jumping from one task to another. Behavioral interviewing questions help you get past vague generalities to see exactly what your candidates have accomplished in previous roles and what they are therefore capable of.
2) Easily Customized
Traditional interview questions like "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" often have little to do with your actual company, workplace culture, or the open position.
On the other hand, behavioral interview questions can be tailored and customized. For example, if hiring for a sales role, you can ask a specific and customized question that fits the actual role you're hiring for, like "Tell me about a time you overcame objectives to close a difficult sale."
3) Matches Employees to the Right Job
Sometimes candidates have great skills and work histories but are simply not the best match for a specific job. Behavioral interview questions help you see beyond the things you instinctively like about a candidate to more useful and solid details about their experience.
Someone may be very nice and have done well in positions where they worked in a team environment, but you are hiring them for a position with a great deal of autonomy and time spent working alone. Behavioral interview questions will give you a very clear idea of whether they would be able to thrive in that type of work environment.
4) More Comfortable for Job Candidates
Not everyone interviews well. Some great candidates who would be excellent employees simply get too nervous during interviews to show themselves in the best light. Behavioral interviewing questions tend to make candidates less nervous since the focus is on telling a story and providing specific examples instead of a more vague emphasis on making themselves look good.
Behavioral interview questions can be especially effective when interviewing a more anxious or introverted candidate, since this style of question helps get them out of their own head and helps them focus on specific experiences and skills.
As you can see, behavioral interviewing can help ensure you get the best possible employees, which is why it's one of the techniques we use at Brannon Professionals. To learn more about how we can streamline your staffing needs and help you snag the best talent, contact us anytime.