What is Behavioral-Based Interviewing?

The traditional, unstructured interview is becoming obsolete. Now more than ever, finding that unicorn candidate with experience and drive—and holding onto them— is key. Behavioral-based interviewing provides an effective alternative, collecting more pertinent information, and bolstering results compared to unstructured interviews.  

Today we’ll be discussing behavioral interviewing, its benefits, and what questions to ask during the interview process.

Identify Exaggerated Resumes

Exaggerating on resumes is as common as it ever was, with over ¾ of job seekers using some level of fabrication. When it results in a new employee that lacks experience, things can go bad quickly. Bad hires cost employers fortunes every year, each one draining organizations around $15,000 apiece. Determining whether a candidate is fabricating experience could be the difference between a bad hire and a simple rejection. This is where behavioral interviewing shines.

Self-reported soft skills like leadership, critical thinking, and adaptability are all easily tested through questioning. If, when presented with scenarios where good leadership is the solution, the candidate completely fumbles, it’s unlikely they have any true leadership experience. 

Alongside more specific questioning that targets their experience, you’ll be able to uncover the person behind the resume. Whether or not they measure up is up to them.

Pinpoint Those With The Right Attitude

Behavioral interviews focus on decision-making and putting candidates on the spot. Those who have the experience but are unable to answer behavioral questions properly are more likely to be uninvested in their career. These folks might be able to ace a task-based assessment or sport truly impressive resumes, but if their attitude isn’t in the right place they’ll become a burden in the workplace.    

An unwillingness to work with others, a mean streak, or a lack of motivation to do a job properly can be uncovered through behavioral interviews. Their hypothetical responses to workplace situations are a good indicator of how legitimate professional interactions might play out—although it should be noted that this isn’t foolproof.

Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral-based interview questions should make the candidate think and provoke thoughtful responses from experienced job seekers. Your inquiry should focus on both critical-thinking skills, and make them draw from their experience in order to give a proper answer. Here are some more general behavioral questions you can ask:

  • “Tell us about a time where you took a risk and you succeeded/failed.”
  • “Give us an example of you going above and beyond your prescribed duties.”
  • “Describe a time you took on a challenge at work. How did you handle it?”
  • “If you’ve come into conflict with a coworker, how did you resolve the situation?”
  • “When have you stepped up and taken a leadership role at work?”
  • “You are written up for something you didn’t do, how do you handle the situation?”

Alongside questions pertaining to experience, and the foreseeable future of their career, these behavioral inquiries provide insight into the personalities of your candidates. Behavioral interviews are becoming more common as a way to combat bad hires and can help increase retention.

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