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Monday, December 10, 2012

Behavioural Interviewing 101

Many progressive human resources managers favour behavioural interviewing.  It works on the premise that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in similar situations.  Accordingly, it structures questions to determine whether the candidate has actually demonstrated the behaviours, knowledge, and skills required for a job, often beginning questions with phrases like "Tell me about a time ..." or "Describe a situation ..."

So, for example, if you're looking for a strong people motivator, you might say:  "Tell me about an occasion when you took the time to share a subordinate's achievement's with others."  Or if you're seeking problem-solving or time-management skills, you might ask respectively:  "In your last job, what problems did you identify and solve that had been overlooked previously?"; or "How do you set priorities when scheduling your time?  Give examples."

"How" questions like the last one, requiring candidates to explain in detail how they did something, can be especially revealing, because appropriate answers demonstrating experience, skills, and knowledge are nearly impossible to fake.