Behavioral Interviewing


As an employer, knowing how to organize a behavioral interviewing process inside your company leads to improved hiring success. Statistics show that through the use of a behavioral interviewing model new employees are four times more likely to be successful.
Traditional employment interviewing is based upon whether the candidate is liked rather than on their natural ability to succeed in the position to be satisfied. This traditional approach explains why people fail to achieve management’s performance expectations. The primary focus of the behavioral interview process is to identify behavioral characteristics necessary for success in the specific job.
Those behavioral characteristics that produce high performance are used as a basis for developing behavior based questions. As an example, a sales person may be required to show perseverance in a sales situation. Behavioral-based questions could be “Please tell me about a recent sale you were involved with where you experienced road blocks.” “What was the situation?” “What actions did you take to overcome the roadblocks and make the sale?”
Each candidate is asked the same behavioral-based questions that identify specific previous work related situations, the actions taken by the candidate in the situation, and the results of these actions. This formula is repeated for each previously identified high performance behavior.
Candidates can also employ behavioral-based interviewing to their advantage by identifying in the interview how their past successful behaviors and corresponding results causes them to be the best person for the job.


To prepare for a behavioral interview, take the following steps:
  • Make sure you have clearly defined the competencies for the role. General competencies include:
    1. Enthusiasm
    2. Knowledge/skills
    3. Problem solving
    4. Team building
    5. Personal attributes
    6. Leadership
    7. Communication
    8. Flexibility
    9. Decision making
  • Develop a series of questions which will enable you to find out if the candidate has these competencies. Questions might take the form of:
    1. Give me an example of how you have…
    2. Tell me about a situation where you…
    3. In the past, how did you deal with a situation where…
    4. Given your past experience, how would you best deal with…


There are three types of competencies you should look for:
  • Content competencies – which are work/role specific.
  • Functional/transferable skills – which are used generally with people, information or things, regardless of the specific environment.
  • Adaptive or self-management skills – which are personal characteristics.

The Richmond Group USA can help you or your company implement best practices in behavioral interviewing.