In any organization, it is of immense importance that the hiring process is strong. For this, it is essential to include the right tools for accurately evaluating the candidates and identifying the right employees for the job. A bad hiring decision can cost the organization both time and money. This is truer if the job description is not prepared and skills and abilities required on the job are uncertain. Along with this, the traditional interview technique is based on gut feeling and interviewer’s likes and dislikes which adds to a wrong hiring decision. But, any hiring process with job description and behavioral interviewing at its core would result in saving money and time and ultimately, decrease turnover.
Behavioral interview makes use of situation-based questions to understand whether the employees possess those characteristics required for the job. This evaluation is made on the basis of the behavior demonstrated by them in the past. Therefore, the premise of behavioral interview is that, past behavior is a successful predictor of future behavior on the job. For instance, instead of asking what the candidate “would do” in a specific situation, the interviewer would ask what they actually “did” in a particular situation.
Further, the questions of behavioral interview are specific and probing in nature compared to the traditional interview questions. The required competencies for the job can be pulled from the job description and the required behaviors under each competency can be listed from the competency model of the organization. This helps to prepare an appropriate list of situation-based questions for any role at any level in the hierarchy. Usually, behavioral interview questions begin with “give me an example of…” or “tell me about a time…” followed by the behavior or competency in question. The goal of this interview is to understand the behavior of the employees. Behaviors can be understood using assessment tools like DISC and the interviewers are provided tools to identify DISC behaviors of candidates. This helps in identifying potential strengths and challenges and then event questions are asked to gauge effectiveness of behavioral priorities of the individual.
Behavioral interview allows the employer to get more evidence-based specific responses from the candidate rather than sugar-coated and generalized responses. Often, interviewees may succeed at impressing the interviewer with hypothetical responses but fail to provide specific examples from the past that would support their claims of possessing certain characteristics. Thus, the illusion of the candidate being impressive breaks as the candidate suddenly gives glib responses. This shows that behavioral interview is very objective in nature. Such type of interviews also aid in screening for employees fit for the job.
Even if the candidate has no prior job experience, the interviewer expects them to at least relate with their school and college days for such situations. The premise that if the candidate has done it before, he or she will do it again holds true for both negative and positive behaviors. If a candidate has been a top performer in the previous organization, there are high chances that he or she will be a top performer in this organization also. But this may not be always true. Environmental factors in the organization may not let the employee perform to his optimum.
Therefore, behavioral interview must be combined with different assessment tools and other generic questions that would highlight the candidate’s interest in the position and expectations from it, about their work style and how will it fit with the organization, about their career goals, strengths and weaknesses and the like. Although, behavioral interviewing is not the remedy for complex recruitment and selection process but it largely simplifies the process of hiring the right candidate for the job. It is the most practiced and evaluated interview method from the past thirty years and has eventually become the central component in the hiring process. Behavioral interview predicts 55 percent of the future behavior than traditional interview which predicts only 10 percent of the behavior. This indicates that behavioral interview can become a powerful tool for the right hiring decision and should be used to its maximum capacity by organizations.
Strengthscape’s Hiring Expert certification is a highly effective training program on behavioral interviewing techniques. The training is designed to provide key insights into behavioral training and enable participants to practice the skills in the safe learning environment of the training room.