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Hire Smart: Conducting Behavioural Interviews

December 29, 2016

Behavioural interviews have been practiced by major companies in the world since 1970s. Basically, what makes behavioural interviews different from the traditional ones are how it assesses the applicant’s thinking pattern and influence behaviour. For example, while traditional interview commonly focuses on ‘How would you react in case A?’, however during behavioural interviews HRs will ask ‘How did you react in case A?’

Here, it can be underlined that behavioural interview is aimed to find out how an applicant reacted in the past in a particular situation to predict his future reaction toward the similar situation.

Seen as more effective method to screen out one’s potential, behavioural interview emphasises on specific and situational, rather than general questions. As a part of smart hiring strategy, this interview process helps digging out more information about applicants, to see if they are suitable for the job role.

HRs should devise a strategy in order to derive the best results of this interview process, so you can gain more knowledge about the candidates. This piece has some tips to improve company’s behavioural interview strategy.

See: Attracting Top Talent and Improving Employee Engagement are Top Priorities for HR in 2017

Define goals and expectations

What are you seeking from a candidate? Before conducting behavioural interviews, you should first define the goal of the interview and what you expect to get from this. It is true that everyone has different characters and unique personalities,however setting certain standards is needed to bring about better assessment towards the candidate’s responses.

If the interviewer does not have idea about what kind of answer he wants to hear, then how could the interviewee? Therefore, it is better to make specific inquiries rather than broad ones.  Not only is it easier to understand, but these questions further demonstrate candidate’s skills and competencies.

Pursue suitable answer

In an interview, some people have tendencies to answer theoretically than based on their own reality. Whereas, the main point of behavioural interview is to find out candidate’s past experience, not hypothesis towards imaginary cases. If the interviewee replies to your question with theoretical responses, then you need to pursue until they provide genuine answers that match with your query.

Do not stop when they fail giving suitable answers. For example, if you ask a candidate about past experiences in dealing with internal conflict, but he explains about his strategy to succeed in the future, then you need to keep asking until you find the relevant suitable answers.

If it seems that he goes too far, then bring him back to right track. If they cannot provide examples of their past experiences, then you might need to give an example such that they follow the lead.

Dig deeper to seek details

When the answer is a given, dig deeper by asking follow-up questions to seek more details from the interviewee. People tend to explain in general ideas, so to narrow it down and open up candidate’s characters, you need to throw some follow-up questions related to the issues being talked about.

If you are curious or interested about something, ask them to tell more about it. If you think something is ambiguous, ask them to clarify. If you think something is wrong, ask them to confirm. Pay attention to every detail and make sure that everything makes sense.

Also read: Best Onboarding Practices for Companies

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