Behavioral Interviews: Why You Should Conduct Them & How To Implement at Your Company

by | Jun 1, 2015 | Blog, Uncategorized

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or

Traditional interviews are a thing of the past. They’re so 80’s, in fact!

Since the late 1980’s, there has been a real move toward behavioral interviews. And for good reason.

Behavioral interviews have an accuracy rating of around 70 percent! That ensures a better match for the job, which means lower turnover for you and greater job performance and satisfaction for the employee. Woot woot! Cue your happy dance.

So, what are behavioral interviews? We’re glad you asked. Because, when it comes to interviewing, behavioral-based questions make all the difference.

A behavioral interview is a structured interview based on the idea that the best indication of future behavior is past performance in a similar situation. The goal is to predict successful job performance based on examples of specific behaviors.

The magic is in the questions. Behavior-based questions are structured around the competencies needed to successfully perform the available job.

Take these for example:

Traditional Interview Questions:

Where do you want to be in 5 years?
What kind of supervisor do you like?
What are your strengths? Weaknesses?

Behavioral Interview Questions:
Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a specific type of problem.
Can you recall an instance where you had to be the leader of a team?
Describe one decision you regret. What did you learn from the experience?

As you can see, the set of behavioral questions ask for a candidate’s past behavior in situations similar to those they would encounter in the new position. By relating a candidate’s answers to specific past experiences, you get an indicator of how they will act in the future.

Why it makes all the difference:
Behavior-based questions ensure the selection process is:

-Consistent & transparent
-Based on the competencies & proficiency level of the job
-A good predictor of performance

Now you’re probably wondering: How do I do that?! We’ve got you covered.

3 Steps to Implementing Behavioral Interviews At Your Company

1. Conduct a thorough analysis of the skills needed for successful performance of the position.
2. Select what knowledge, skills, and abilities must be assessed during the job interview.
3. Develop interview questions that identify the presence of these competencies. (See examples above for inspiration.)

Now that you’ve got the 411, you can say “later” to the ’80s traditional interview style and hello to the #modern behavioral-based style. (The daily usage of “bae” and “yolo” is, of course, optional.)

Speaking of interviews… is there a human resource vacancy at your office? Check out our HR Consulting services and let us keep you on track while you work at finding a replacement.

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