5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Behavioral Interview: Guest Post

Today’s post is from Danielle Jenkins a recruitment marketing expert at Professional Resume Writers.

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One way to check a recruiter’s success is to look at the quality-of-hire rate. Although it can be challenging to measure because quality is subjective to the company’s requirements, a general way to assess this is by looking at an employee’s life cycle within the organization.

Employee turnover is such a big challenge in many businesses. Not only is this bad news for the company’s profit and loss, but it is also bad for the company’s productivity if you need to continuously replace those who have left.

Recruiting new people is more expensive for the company compared to keeping the tenured ones because recruitment and training is costly. This is why it is very important for recruiters to not just hire the top candidates, but to also offer the job to applicants who they think will fit within the culture of the organization, and share the same mission and vision of the company.

How Can Recruiters Hit Their Hire Rate and Still Maintain Quality of Hire?

This is where the importance of the behavioral interview comes in. The behavioral interview allows the recruiter to have a glimpse at the applicant’s predictive behaviors and abilities. By asking a series of behavioral-based questions, the recruiter can determine whether the candidate can live up to the company’s expectations.

Those who have been able to display recommended or positive behaviors in the past are more likely to continue displaying them in the future. The better the hire quality, the higher the company’s return on investment.

What is a Behavioral Interview?

Behavioral interviewing is a technique focused on an applicant’s previous experiences, where they are asked how they were able to demonstrate certain skills, knowledge, or behavior. The interview offers a look at behavior patterns and potentials so you can evaluate whether the person is a good fit for the company.

Benefits of Using the Behavioral Interview During the Recruitment Process

  1. You get to know the applicant better. Because behavioral questions focus on previous experiences and how they reacted, you get a glimpse of the applicant’s personality and how they deal with various situations. This helps recruiters learn more about the candidate than what appears on their resume. The recruiter can then use these observations to submit a more well-rounded evaluation.
  2. If the resume is impressive, your behavioral interview questions will help you learn more about situations where the applicant was able to display certain skills and knowledge that your company is looking for.
  3. It helps make the applicant open up. Behavioral questions are designed to prompt your applicant to talk about scenarios and cite specific examples. This can help them feel comfortable with revealing details because they are discussing things they are very familiar with.
  4. It helps measure the applicant’s communication skills. In this type of interview, your applicant will need to expound on examples given, thus making it easier for the recruiter to gauge their communication skills.
  5. It helps the recruiter match the right candidate with the job. Instead of just relying on the skills and achievements written on the candidate’s resume, the behavioral interview will paint a more comprehensive picture of the candidate’s ability to meet the demands of the job.

How to Ask Behavioral Questions During an Interview

Use information written on the candidate’s resume as the basis for your questions. For example, if the resume says, “excellent customer service skills,” you could ask the applicant to provide a specific example of when they were able to display this.

To get a better picture of the incident, you can ask follow-up questions or ask them to expound on what happened, including the result.

Formulating Behavioral Interview Questions

When writing behavioral questions, apply the S.T.A.R. method, as this model not only encourages applicants to compose their answers in an organized manner, but it also helps you get all the important information you need to make a solid evaluation.

S: Situation (Can you tell me about a time when you were able to show excellent customer service to someone?)

T: Task (What was your role, and what were the challenges you faced during that specific time?)

A:  Action (Can you tell me what you did when that happened?)

R:  Result (What happened afterward? Or: What was the result?)

So, your question might look like this: “Tell me about a specific situation wherein you were able to provide someone with excellent customer service. What did you do to resolve the situation, and what was the result?”

Now the question is, Can applicants cheat their way through a behavioral interview? For sure, many candidates already know how to prepare for an interview and have researched common interview questions. But will this invalidate the result? Although applicants can go to great lengths to increase their chances of getting the job, it is the recruiter’s role to cross-reference information collected from the applicant.

It is important to remember that previous experiences are good indicators of an applicant’s future performance. They also allow you to uncover the applicant’s habitual and recent behaviors, which can further help you assess an applicant’s suitability for a particular position. Additionally, the behavioral interview can help the recruiter identify strengths and weaknesses, both of which are important factors in applicant evaluation.

The candidate’s resume is important and reveals certain essentials but provides only a partial picture. If you want to ensure that you are hiring the right person who can see themselves growing with the company for years to come, use behavioral questions.

Balancing the “hire rate” with the “quality of hire” can be challenging, but by supplementing your structured interview questions with behavioral questions, you will have a better chance of finding applicants who can provide real value to the company.

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