Behavioral Interview: How To Prepare for a Behavioral Interview
Behavioral interviews are the best tool you have to identify candidates who have the behavioral traits and characteristics that you have selected as necessary for success in a particular job.
Additionally, behavioral interviews ask the candidate to pinpoint specific instances in which a particular behavior was exhibited in the past. In the best behaviorally-based interviews, the candidate is unaware of the behavior the interviewer is verifying.
As you read my tips in How to Conduct an Effective Behavioral Interview below, please note that the actual behavioral interview is preceded by behavioral trait identification and a job description. The upfront work makes the behavioral interview effective and successful.
How to Conduct an Effective Behavioral Interview
Start by identifying what you want the employee to do in the open job. Use job evaluation and write a job description to describe the requirements of the position.
. Determine the required outputs and performance success factors for the job.
. Determine the characteristics and traits of the individual whom you believe will succeed in that job. If you have employees successfully performing the job currently, list the traits, characteristics, and skills they bring to the job.
. Narrow the list to your key behavioral traits for the job.
. Write a job ad or job posting that employs the behavioral characteristics in the text. Make sure the characteristics or requirements section of your job description lists the same behavioral characteristics.
. Make a list of questions, both behavioral and traditional, to ask each candidate during the behavioral interview. A structured list makes candidate selection more defensible and allows you to make comparisons between the various answers and approaches of your interviewees.
. Review the resumes and cover letters you receive with the behavioral traits and characteristics in mind.
. Phone screen the candidates who have caught your attention with their qualifications, if necessary, to further narrow the candidate pool.
. Schedule interviews with the candidates who most appear to have the behavioral characteristics, along with the skills, experience, education, and the other factors you would normally screen for in your resume review.
. Ask your list of behavioral and traditional questions of each candidate you interview.
. Narrow your candidate choices based on their responses to the behavioral and traditional interview questions. Complete the selection process using these recommended steps.
. Select your candidate with behavioral characteristics that match the needs of the job in mind.
Ref: Susan M. Heathfield, About.com