Interviewing potential employees is a difficult process because it is almost impossible to tell how an individual will perform once hired. Traditional interview questions are easy to manipulate because the candidate can simply tell the interviewer what he or she wants to hear. Behavioral interviewing, however, helps managers to dig deeper into the candidate’s psyche, revealing more about his or her ability to work as part of an organization.
Here are several behavioral interviewing tips for hiring managers:
1. Identify Traits
Before conducting an interview, come up with a list of 5 to 10 behaviors that could cause an individual to succeed or fail on the job. Use your past hiring experience to identify these behaviors. This gives you a baseline to use when conducting your interview, since you will have a better idea of what you are looking for in an employee.
2. Use the Same Questions
Your questions should be consistent for all candidates who are applying for similar positions. If you use different questions, it can be difficult give each candidate a fair evaluation. Using the same questions allows you to make a direct comparison and gives you a much better chance of finding the right employee.
3. Prepare the Candidates
Before any candidates visit your office, make sure that they are prepared for this style of interview. While you might think that it’s a good idea to spring behavioral interview questions on the subject to see how he or she reacts, this actually goes against your goals. You want your candidate’s best side to come out during the interview because this gives you more insight into how this person would perform on the job.
4. Ask Probing Questions
Avoid asking questions that the candidate can respond to with a yes or no answer. Encourage the candidate to elaborate on his or her responses to get a true feel for this person and how he or she would fit into your organization.
5. Focus on Real Life Situations
Any questions that you ask should look at what the candidate did in a real situation, rather than what he or she would do in a hypothetical situation. This shows you that the candidate actually has the abilities that you desire in an employee. Asking hypothetical questions allows the candidate to tailor his or her answers to what you want to hear, but doesn’t provide as much insight into the candidate’s true value.
6. Have Desired Answers
You should have a list of desired answers in mind before conducting the interview. This gives you a method with which to evaluate the candidate based on his or her answers. If you don’t have an idea of what you want to hear, the evaluation process becomes much more difficult.
7. Evaluate as a Group
Since multiple people are likely involved in the interview and hiring process, go over what you have learned about the candidate as a group. Start by looking at your reservations about a candidate, then go into the positives. This helps you to keep a realistic view of each interviewee through the process.