Behavioral interviewing, a well-known technique, is widely used by organizations to ascertain a candidate’s competencies and soft skills during interviews, besides assessing job-relevant technical skills. The technique focuses on discovering how the job candidate has previously handled situations in a professional setting that is similar or akin to the role. It is an effective tool for predicting future job performance as it takes into account actual workplace scenarios, rather than hypothetical ones.
Behavioral interviews primarily revolve around open-ended questions that make candidates reflect on past experiences and share examples of how they tackled a challenge, approach to conflict resolution or managed their time. The questions are designed to reveal how the candidate thinks, prioritizes, and communicates. The interviewer can probe further to get a clear understanding of the actions taken, the reasoning behind them, and the impact of those actions.
Here are some behavioral interviewing techniques that can help in conducting an effective business interview:
- Prepare the Questions
Before the interview, carefully review the job description and identify the competencies required to perform the role. Based on the competencies, create a list of open-ended questions that delve into the candidate’s past experiences related to the competencies. It is vital to ask specific questions, as this will help gauge a candidate’s skills rigorously.
- Listen Actively
During the interview, the interviewer should actively listen to the candidate’s responses, taking note of their tone, pace, and choice of words. Active listening helps the interviewer to follow up with clarifying questions that can help the candidate elaborate on their responses further. Additionally, it makes the candidate feel heard and appreciated, which can help in establishing a rapport.
- Use the STAR Method
The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) is a popular framework for answering behavioral interview questions. The interviewer should ask questions that prompt the candidate to follow the STAR method. This helps the interviewer to understand the scenario, the candidate’s role in it, the actions taken and the outcome.
- Make Your Questions Difficult
While it may be tempting to ask easy questions that can enable the candidate to sail through the interview, it is essential to ask challenging questions. This helps to determine how the candidate handles stress, how they respond when they are outside their comfort zone and whether they can think on their feet.
In conclusion, mastering behavioral interviewing techniques is critical for employers looking to hire candidates who possess the required competencies and soft skills. The use of open-ended questions, active listening, STAR method and making challenging questions can help employers make informed decisions during the recruitment process. Employers must remember to structure interviews in a way that creates a comfortable atmosphere and allows candidates to present their best foot forward.