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Top 7 Behavioral Interviewing Strategies

By Annette Estes

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If you go online to find behavior interview questions, STOP! The questions are all good, but do they relate to the position you’re trying to fill?

Stock behavior interview questions probably won't get the answers you need to get the right person for a particular job. You need customized questions that relate to that specific job.


    First, you need to know exactly what the job requires for superior performance in three areas:

    You need to know the job's task distribution. Does it require project tasks, routine tasks, or troubleshooting tasks – and in what percentages of each?

    You need to know how the job needs to be done - what behaviors does it require for superior performance?

    And you need to know what motivators the job rewards. For example, if the job rewards service to others, then you need someone who is passionate about helping people to fill the position. That person will be intrinsically motivated to be a superior performer in this job.


    Next, you need to know which types of tasks the applicant prefers doing on a daily basis.

    Then you need to know what behaviors the candidate brings to the position.

    And you need to know what motivates the applicant to do the job the way it needs to be done for superior performance.


    How can you discover all this beyond a shadow of a doubt? There's only one way I know of to be sure you're getting the right person for the job and that is with behavioral interviewing and job benchmarking.

    First, you benchmark the job using a team of your best current employees and their manager to determine the ideal job requirements. They do this using a job benchmark assessment that gives you the ideal task quotient, behaviors, and motivators the job demands.

    Before conducting the behavioral interview, you assess your candidates in the same three areas. Then you compare their assessments to the job benchmark. Those who most closely match the benchmark are the ones you want to hire. They will be the right people for the job.


    You want to use a job benchmark assessment that gives you a number of specific questions to ask based on the job's requirements.

    For example, let's say you're filling a customer service position. The job benchmark shows it requires a task quotient of 42% troubleshooting. One behavior interview question the job assessment suggests is, "Tell me about a time when you had to solve problems that occurred unexpectedly."

    The primary behaviors the job demands are frequent interaction with others and customer orientation. Two suggested questions are, "How do you handle frequent interruptions by other people? How about your response to people who ask you question after question?"

    The primary motivator the job rewards is Theoretical (a passion for knowledge). A suggested behavior interview question is, "Which is more important, action or knowledge, and why?" (The best candidates will say "knowledge.")

    All of these questions are based on the job's requirements established by the benchmark. In each behavioral interview you ask the same questions in the same order to get comparable feedback from each candidate and to comply with EEOC regulations.


    Job benchmarking and behavioral interviewing can cut in half the time you spend recruiting employees. And this process guarantees you'll hire top talent. You'll also save money by retaining them. An added bonus is that with an employee assessment, you'll know if the answers you're getting are truthful.


    Imagine, in one hand you have a report that accurately identifies the job's requirements for superior performance. In the other hand you have a report detailing the candidates' qualifications. In front of you, you have a report that compares the candidates and shows you which one best matches your ideal job benchmark. That's the one you should hire.


    According to Quintessential Careers, behavioral interviewing is said to be 55% predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is 10% predictive. But to get the best results, behavioral interviewing must be done right.

Get tips on hiring the best people in your industry by subscribing to the author's free behavioral interviewing newsletter and be sure to order her ebook Superior Employee Performance. Annette Estes is a Certified Professional Behavioral and Values Analyst with The Estes Group, a global performance management company. ©2009 Annette Estes.

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Annette_Estes

Article Submitted On: October 13, 2009