a woman having an interview

The Hands-down Best Way to Improve Interviewing Success

At Ian Martin, we help hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses with their hiring. While these companies span a broad range of industries, there’s one thing they all seem to have in common: the people who oversee their hiring are always short on time.

If you’re a frazzled member of the “I can’t do it all” camp, we’ve got good news. A simple shift in the way you ask candidates interview questions cannot only save you time, it can also ensure the candidates you ultimately select have a much better chance of being really great hires.

It all boils down to two words: behavioural interviewing. Large companies have been relying on behavioural interviewing techniques for decades, and for good reason. This strategic way of asking interview questions has been proven to be nine times more effective in predicting employee success than. Are you liking the sound of those odds? Read on.

In behavioural interviewing, instead of asking what a candidate would do in a hypothetical situation, the interviewer always asks how the candidate actually behaved in previous relevant situations.

Studies have proven that the best predictors of future behaviour are past behaviours, and this is why these questions are so much more effective. In each interview you’re simply looking for real-life examples that help illustrate if the candidate has the skills and capabilities you’re looking for.

Here are some examples of how behavioural interview questions can be framed to get a much clearer picture of how the candidate will actually perform on the job:

The Competency You Need
Rather than ask…
Time Management
How do you manage your time? Tell me about a project that your planned and how your organized and scheduled the asks?
Attention to Detail
How is your attention to detail? What is the most detail oriented part of your current job. How do you manage the details accurately?
Would you say you’re an effective communicator? Give me an example of a difficult situation you’ve faced that required careful communication.

Candidates should be coached to recount these stories of their past performance using the STAR method, which stands for:

  • Situation: give a summary of the situation they faced
  • Task: speak to the goal they set related to that situation
  • Action: list the specific things they did to achieve that goal
  • Result: explain what they ultimately accomplished and learned through the process

For behavioural interviews to pack a real one-two punch, in addition to asking the right questions you need a scoring system to allow all interviewers to independently and objectively score all responses for comparison. This elevates candidate selection decisions from gut-feel impressions to true, numbers-based performance assessments and helps to eliminate hidden biases that can sneak their way into interview situations.

If you’re thinking that coming up with a new list of interview questions every time and making your own scoring system sounds like an awful lot of work, don’t give up yet. As part of every services package, Hiring Advisors can create a customized Behavioural Interview Guide for the position. The Guide breaks the interview into simple steps and includes a series of specific behavioural interview questions tailored to the position’s unique skills, qualifications and required capabilities. Your Behavioural Interview Guide also includes a customized Interview Scorecard that each member of your interview panel can use to assess and compare candidates’ responses.

Taking advantage of a Behavioural Interview Guide saves time in three different ways:

  1. It eliminates the need to prepare your own interview questions and scoring system.
  2. It allows interviewers to quickly hone in on the skills, qualities and capabilities they are looking for during the interview to get better candidate information faster.
  3. It significantly decreases the chances of a bad hire, which will save you the time and expense of having to rehire for the position in the future.

If you would like to see a sample of a Fitzii Behavioural Interview Guide or talk to a Hiring Advisor about using behavioural interviewing techniques, contact us today.

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