Behavioral Interviewing is Getting Businesses Top Talent

Behavioral Interviewing : The HR Tech Weekly®

Tell us a few things about yourself.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Do you still care about this job at all?

See those questions above? Those are traditional interview questions (well, OK, minus one). And if your organization is using them, they’re likely passing on stellar talent because of archaic processes.

So let’s get this right out of the way, here and now:

Traditional interviews usually offer inaccurate reflections of a candidate because of too many close-ended questions.

Sure, they can tell you a little about a candidate, but “[they offer] very little to predict how they will perform if you should choose to hire them.”, according to Balance Point.

If you’re looking into incorporating behavioral interviewing questions (and you really should), then you’ll get the same insight retrieved through traditional means—plus indication into how they’ll perform as an employee.

What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Behavioral Interviewing?

A candidate can say whatever they’d like during an interview. Since we’re all trying to present ourselves in the best light, candidates should be expected to speak positively about themselves. If they don’t, refer them to a counselor—be the hero they need.

Traditional questions give candidates the leeway to say whatever they’d like without demonstrating abilities with professional examples.

Tell us a few things about yourself.

I’m awesome. I’m incredible. And I have accomplished everything. Literally everything.

What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths? Well, I’m very motivated and passionate about the projects I work on. I’m punctual and hard-working. Hmm. Weaknesses? Well I guess I care too much. I’m almost, and I hesitate to say this, but I’m almost too hard-working.

If any hiring department is impressed by those answers, they deserve the employee they get.

Behavioral Interviewing Questions

Instead of vague questions that don’t speak to a candidate’s professional experience, behavioral interview questions crack that chestnut and get to the meat of the matter: what he/she has accomplished (or not), how he/she responded, and how those experiences impact their decisions now.

So what are some behavioral interviewing questions?

  • Describe a time when a client/customer was dissatisfied with your work/support.
    • How did the situation conclude?
  • Tell us about a time you led a project, how did it turn out?
    • How did you get your team to realize the project’s vision? How did you pull it all together?
  • Name a time when you and a coworker just couldn’t see eye-to-eye. How was the situation remedied?

Even without knowing about “traditional interview questions”, you can quickly tell that the responses to these will offer a boatload more insight into a candidate than any question posed during a traditional interview.

Seriously, Behavioral Interviewing is So Much Better

How much better?

Well, the Journal of Applied Psychology has done some very extensive research into this. And they found (courtesy of Omniview)…

…drumroll, please…

…that “under a typical hiring scenario [using structured behavioral interviewing questions], 90% of your hires would be successful on the job.”


Here’s a good rule to live by: if you’re given a 90% success rate regarding anything in this world, take it.

It just makes sense. Behavioral interviewing causes a potential candidate to reflect on their past experiences. It helps you to better understand the roles they’ve had, the details of those roles, any challenges and responses, and how they’ll carry those previous scenarios out in another organization.

Isn’t Behavioral Interviewing More Stressful on Candidates?

As opposed to talking about how great I am throughout the interview? Well, yes. You got me there.

And yeah, openly talking about failures and setbacks during a dream-job interview is rough.

But Glassdoor study findings show that “more difficult job interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction” and “a 10 percent more difficult job interview process is associated with 2.6 percent higher employee satisfaction later on.”

So go ahead! Ask some tough questions! It might make candidates sweat under pressure now – but they’ll be happy, productive, and successful well into their role.

“So where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

With high turnover rates, going through the same motions that bring you right back to where you once began? Or working with a team of top talent as a result of fresh, engaging interview questions?

The choice is yours.

About the Author:


Todd Giannattasio

CEO & Founder at Tresnic Media

Helping businesses build their brand and acquire customers with strategic content production and promotion.

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2 thoughts on “Behavioral Interviewing is Getting Businesses Top Talent

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