Behavioral Interviewing: Get It Right the First Time

Jim sat at the interview table and held up Lisa’s resume. “So I see that you worked in an office before. Do you know MSWord and Excel?” he asked.

Lisa smiled confidently. “Oh yes, we used that at my company.”

“Great,” responded Jim. “And I assume you’re okay with working for such a small company like ours?”

“Yes,” Lisa replied enthusiastically. “I look forward to it!”

After he shook her hand and showed her out, Jim wondered how much he’d really learned about Lisa. It seemed like all the candidates he’d interviewed today were so nice and agreeable, and they all said they knew the software his office position required. But so had the last worker he’d had to let go yesterday. When it came right down to it, she hadn’t been very happy working there, and she hadn’t been able to perform the job. How was he ever going to decide which candidate was best? And would whomever he chose actually work out, or would he have to start over yet again in another few months?

Like many busy employers, Jim could’ve used some advice on how to conduct a behavioral interview. If only someone had told him that there’s more to hiring than just making sure someone’s resume matches a list of qualifications. The truth is, every position also has a set of core competencies that are required for an employee to succeed in his or her job. Once these competencies have been identified, behavioral interview questions can be developed that aid the interviewer in understanding whether the candidate’s abilities and experience are a match.

Can you identify with Jim’s concerns? Have you ever worried about making a hiring mistake because you don’t know the right interview questions to ask? Since the best predictor of candidates’ future behavior is their past performance, behavioral interviewing is crucial to making a well-informed hiring decision. It allows you to ask open-ended questions that don’t cue the candidate to what you hope the answer to be.

Recently, Scott Kuethen, Amtec’s CEO, conducted a free webinar on behavioral interviewing that covered this topic in depth. Click here to see the slides from the webinar. Your newfound knowledge will give you confidence to conduct future behavioral interviews and, as a result, make smarter hires!

Are you conducting a job search right now? Here’s where to find top candidates.

By Marcianne Kuethen

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