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Product Insight: Why A Behavioral Interview Matters in Your Hiring Process

Posted by Lino Jimenez on March 17, 2015

This is a blog written by Lino Jimenez, Jr., MA, Industrial Organizational Psychology, a Hireology Product Manager, focusing on our selection content.

Your applicants know the questions you’ll ask. They will prepare to flatter you with stories from their resume. And you risk hiring the most charming of candidates, and not the most qualified.

I used that knowledge when I applied to the open positions for my last two employers. I knew I would get the job when I met them for the in-person interview. I wore a sharp looking suit. I studied the most commonly asked interview questions. I practiced reciting a compelling story for each of the bullet points in my resume. Predictably, I had answers to all the questions they asked of me in the interview.

Run of the Mill Interview Questions

  • “What are your strengths?"

  • “What are your weaknesses?”

  • “Why our company?” 

A lot of hiring managers might use these questions, and they typically prove unuseful. Ask yourself --can you meaningfully tell the difference between your candidates’ responses to “Why our company?” I bet not. If you have three finalists who say that their weakness is that they “work too hard,” how will that help you?

Behavioral interviewing offers a better way to interview candidates. Instead of asking general interviewElements_of_Success questions, you ask job related questions that draw out an applicant’s experience. After you note the candidate’s response, you’ll compare those responses against performance standards for your job.

When you focus your questions on job specific behaviors, and ask candidates to give you specific examples to support her answer, you’ll rate candidates on the skills and abilities that they bring to the job. You’ll hire not on luck or looks, but performance.

Improve your hiring process by downloading our white paper all about behavioral interviews!

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Lino Jimenez

About the Author

Lino works as Hireology’s Product Manager for Selection Content. When he’s not helping improve customers’ hiring decisions, he’s deep in the research of selection theory and other I/O psychology topics. He graduated with a Master of Arts degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He also dabbles in programming.