November 27, 2020

Behavioral Interviewing

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Have you ever wondered, while interviewing a candidate, how will you suspend your own personal biases during the interview? Well, if you have, you might want to read on and learn how to do just that.

Behavioural interviewing is a relatively new mode of job interviewing. Employers such as AT&T and Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) have been using behavioural interviewing for 15 years, and because increasing numbers of employers are using behaviour-based methods to screen job candidates, understanding how to excel in this interview environment is becoming a crucial job-hunting skill.

What is Behaviour Based Interviewing? Behaviour-based interviewing focuses on your past experiences, behaviours, attitudes, personal skills and capacities that are job-related. It is based on the belief that past behaviour and performance predicts future behaviour and performance. You may use work experience, outsides activities, hobbies, volunteer work, school projects, family life as examples of your past behaviour. However we suggest to focus on job related performance as much as possible.

Behavioural Interviewing Questions. This is the key to matching behavioural interviewing questions with specific soft sills or competencies. Below is a short list of 22 competencies with their definitions and suggestions for effective interviewing hints.

1. Conflict Management: Addressing and resolving conflict constructively. Listen for proactive identification and resolution of concerns and issues.

2. Employee Development/Coaching: Facilitating and supporting the professional growth of others. Listen for a belief in the potential of others and promoting of learning and development.

3. Interpersonal Skills: Effectively communicating, building rapport and relating well to all kinds of people. Listen for self-awareness, understanding and an ability to communicate effectively with others regardless of differences.

4. Teamwork: Working effectively and productively with others: Listen for a strong commitment and contributions to team members working towards a specific goal.

5. Self-Management: Demonstrating self-control and an ability to manage time and priorities. Listen for composure, assertiveness and emotional stability.

6. Empathy: Identifying with and caring about others. Listen for genuine caring, compassion and initiative in assisting others without expectations of rewards.

7. Planning/Organising: Utilising logical, systematic and orderly procedures to meet objectives. Listen for logical, organised and systematic approaches.

8. Customer Service: Anticipating, meeting and/or exceeding customer needs, wants and expectations. Listen for extraordinary efforts in responding to customer needs and wants to insure satisfaction.

9. Written Communication: Writing clearly, succinctly and understandably. Look for clear and understandable knowledge or written communication.

10. Presenting: Speaking effectively to small and large groups. Listen for awareness, accuracy and composure.

11. Persuasion: Convincing others to change the way they think, believe or behave. Listen for persistence, determination and a “never-give-up” attitude in efforts to meet goals.

12. Goal Orientation: Energetically focusing efforts on meeting a goal, mission or objective. Listen for the ability to maintain their direction in spite of obstacles in their path.

13. Flexibility: Agility in adapting to change. Listen for a positive attitude towards lots of activity, multi-tasking and change, in general.

14. Continuous Learning: Taking initiative in learning and implementing new concepts, technologies and/or methods. Listen for a positive attitude towards self-improvement, learning and the application of knowledge.

15. Personal Effectiveness: Demonstrating initiative, self-confidence, resiliency and a willingness to take responsibility for personal actions. Listen for a strong sense of self, personal responsibility, courage and resilience.

16. Problem Solving: Anticipating, analysing, diagnosing and resolving problems. Listen for an analytical and disciplined approach to solving problems.

17. Negotiation: Facilitating agreements between two or more parties. Listen for seasoned expertise in negotiating ‘win-win’ agreements.

18. Management: Achieving extraordinary results through effective management of resources, systems and processes. Listen for shrewd business sense, understanding of operational issues and an ability to improve the bottom line.

19. Leadership: Achieving extraordinary business results through people. Listen for an ability to obtain the trust, commitment and motivation of others to achieve goals and objectives.

20. Decision Making: Utilising effective processes to make decisions. Listen for an ability to make timely decisions under difficult circumstances.

21. Futuristic Thinking: Imagining, envisioning, projecting and/or predicting what has not yet been realised.

22. Creativity/Innovation: Adapting traditional or devising new approaches, concepts, methods, models, designs, processes, technologies, and/or systems. Listen for ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and unusual approaches.

Be sure to probe for as many details and specifics as possible such as names, dates and other verifiable information. Skilled interviewers will also ask candidates for their thoughts or feelings about a situation to gain further insight.

How Can I Prepare for A Behavioural Interview?

Be familiar with the type of positions for which you’re applying.

Reflect on your own background. What skills do you have that relate to the job you are applying for?

Think of examples from your past experience where you demonstrated those skills. How can you give an example about your use of particular skills or knowledge?

Be prepared to provide examples of when results didn’t turn out as you planned. What did you do then? In hindsight, what would you do differently?

Identify two or three of your strengths and determine how you will convey these assets during the interview.

Once you land your desired position, keep a personal achievement diary to help document demonstrated performance.

How Do I Prepare For a Behavioural Interview If I Am The Interviewer or Company Hiring?

If the job could talk; what would it say? About:

• The behaviours of the person who will always be able to deliver superior performance?

• The attitudes of the people doing
the job?

• The attributes or soft skills needed for superior performance?

Job Benchmarking with a system such as TrimeTrix*, reveals why, how and what an individual can contribute to a job. It identifies a complete hierarchy of competencies or personal skills. It allows you to clarify any position issues. It prioritises and validates the competencies required. * TimeTrix is a free software time tracking system

This can be done for any:

• Leadership/Management Exempt position

• Professional Exempt position

• Hourly non-exempt position

Anytime you need an unbiased opinion about whether someone is right or wrong for the job, the computer will analyse the input of up to ten respondents to identify the importance of the 22 soft skills competencies.

Where can you do this? Answer: through the Internet! Have up to ten respondents identify the importance of the 22 soft skills competencies and then see how your candidate matches up.

The premise behind behavioural interviewing is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in similar situations. Behavioural interviewing, in fact, is said to be 55 percent predictive of future on-the-job behaviour, while traditional interviewing is only ten percent predictive.

Good luck with the process of Behavioural Interviewing and Well-Run Concepts encourages you to use the Behavioural Interviewing questions provided in this article to get you started.

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