What Are the Benefits of Incorporating Behavioral Interviewing Questions Into Your Hiring Process?

by James A. Loizzi on March 19, 2013



“I know he can get the job but can he DO the job? I’m NOT arguing that with you….but can he DO the job? I know he can GET the job……I’m not arguing that with YOU! I’m not ARGUING THAT WITH YOU!” Mr. Waturi’s exasperation is palpable in the quirky 1990 romantic comedy Joe vs the Volcano as he’s desperately trying to ascertain whether or not a particular individual can actually perform the duties required for a job. What’s obvious to Mr. Waturi, and most hiring managers out there, is that getting the job and actually doing the job are quite different things. Most staffing firms rely on two, maybe three interviews to determine a candidate’s technical ability and business acumen. Incorporating aspects of behavioral interviewing into your hiring process can certainly help determine if, in fact, he or she really can do the job.

Behavioral interviewing strategies utilize open-ended questions that are designed to elicit a more detailed response from the candidate than a traditional interview question would.  According to Dr. Katharine Hansen Ph.D., the premise behind behavioral interviewing is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in similar situations. She further ascertains that behavioral interviewing is said to be 55 percent predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only 10 percent predictive. Knowing whether or not your candidate is going to be a technical success in his or her new contract is reassuring, but predicting fit within specific environments and with specific types of individuals equate to longer lasting, more fulfilling relationships. Behavioral interviewing does just that – produces detailed answers derived from experiences that can be very accurate predictors of future job performance.

There are a number of aspects to behavioral interviewing, but key objectives evaluated include leadership, decision making, ambition, analytical thought, creativity, collaboration, and flexibility. Whereas a standard interviewer may ask a candidate to review his or her past job history, describe a favorite aspect of a particular assignment, or detail what role he or she played on the project, behavioral interviewing will expose thought processes and emotions that motivated a particular behavior. For example, asking “How do you make complicated decisions? Can you provide an example?” will evoke a response based upon similar past scenarios, giving the interviewer a fairly reliable look into his or her professional future.

Using behavioral interviewing in conjunction with standard interviewing processes will provide a broader analysis of the candidate’s technical skills and situational behaviors, resulting in a much richer overall understanding of his or her abilities. Behavioral interviewing is not only beneficial for the staffing firm; for the candidate, it reveals personal strengths and weaknesses so that future assignments can be tailored for the best professional fit.

At Resource 1, we use an in-depth, behavioral-based interview process that allows candidates to translate their past achievements to build future success. Make sure your candidates can not only get the job, but can DO the job. Don’t be Mr. Waturi – call Resource 1.

By: Jim Loizzi