Join Cindy Mayer for an in-depth discussion in this video Writing effective behavioral interview questions, part of Hiring Your Team.
In this video, I'm going to explain how to use behavioral interviewing to increase the likelihood that you'll make good hiring decisions. If you've ever heard the old adage, the best predictor of future performance is past behavior, you have a good understanding of the basic premise of behavioral interviewing. It's the process of asking questions to get information from the applicant about past experiences. Specifically, past experiences that are similar to those they would encounter in the role you're hiring for. What does this really mean for you as a hiring manager? Well, behavioral interviewing has been found to improve hiring outcomes by as much as 55% when compared to a traditional interview. So learning this type of interview process can dramatically increase the chances, that you'll hire the right person for the role. Let's look at how this works.
It can be boiled down to three basic steps. First, as the hiring manager, select the specific knowledge, skills, and qualifications that are critical for the applicant to have to do well in the new role. Again, you can identify these in the job description. Second, write open-ended questions based on the requirements you've selected. These are questions that will get the applicant to share experiences where they were successful in the past. Third, if you feel that the applicant didn't answer the question fully, you can use tactful followup questions to get more information. In preparing your behavioral interview questions, there are some basic guidelines to follow.
First, these are almost always written as open-ended questions. This is to ensure that the applicant provides a description of past experiences and behaviors, not simply a yes or no answer. Because you weren't asked in a yes no question, there's no right answer. The applicant is merely describing a past experience. In addition, the questions are rooted in past performance allowing the applicant to relate what they actually did in a situation rather than a theoretical answer.
Let's take a look at a common tool used to build an effective behavorial interviewing question. This is called the STAR method. STAR is an acronym that represents asking the applicant to describe the situation they were in, the task that they needed to accomplish, the actions that they took, and the results of those actions. Let's try it out. As an example, let's compose a question to assess an applicant's experience with working on a team. First, for the situation they were in, we might start with, tell me about a project.
Note that this is an open and a beginning. Next, for the task that they needed to accomplish, we would select something from their past, such as where you worked with a team. Next, for the actions that they took, we could ask, how did you balance tasks? Finishing with the results of those actions, we would add, to meet the project goals. Tell me about a project where you worked with a team, how did you balance the tasks to meet the project goals.
Now let's say the applicant didn't address how they balanced the tasks in their answer. An example of a follow-up question might be, what project management tool or technique did you use to manage the tasks? As you can see, a well-written behavioral interview question can provide great information on a persons past successes. Investing the few extra minutes to create these types of questions will improve your chances of hiring the right person for the job.
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- Assessing your needs
- Screening resumes
- Choosing your interview setting
- Understanding the types of interview questions
- Following legal guidelines
- Understanding interview bias
- Conducting an effective interview
- Dealing with interview challenges
- Conducting background checks
- Determining the offer package
- Writing a compelling offer letter<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.