How Behavioural Interviewing Takes the Guess Work Out of Recruiting

Interviews an essential part of the hiring process.  

With the help of a successful recruitment consultant, the right questions can provide interviewers, and the companies they represent with a better insight into how each candidate might perform in a specific role. Today, one of the best ways to gather the most pertinent information from an interview is to focus on a strategy that allows you to evaluate a potential hire’s attitude, behaviour, and approach to work.  

Behavioural interviewing exists around the idea that how someone acted in a previous role will also predict how he or she might perform in the future. A behavioural interview involves identifying the competencies or skills you need for your position, before using open-ended questions to push candidates to reveal truths about themselves. For instance, if you were looking for a CFO with experience working alongside the latest accounting technology, you might ask: “Can you describe a time when you used new software to support your team?”  

How Behavioural Interviews Improve the Hiring Process 

Rather than asking simple, transparent questions like “How well do you think you did in your last role?”, behavioural interviewers probe candidates about how they performed in specific situations, and why they acted a certain way. This is a highly effective way to identify applicants who might exaggerate their abilities.  

Behavioural interviews: 

1. Identify the Best Candidate: 

After your recruitment agency gives you a list of talent to consider, a behavioural interview will offer competency-based prompts that give you an insight into how the candidate behaves and acts in real-world situations. For instance, you might ask a CMO to “Tell us about a time when you had to work according to tight deadlines to achieve marketing results”.  

Prompts like those encourage your candidates to talk about their experiences and give the interviewer a glimpse into the nature of each potential hire.   

2. Ensure Clarity and Remove Personal Bias 

Today, companies are working harder than ever to embrace diversity in their recruitment strategy. However, bias can still get in the way. Behavioural interviews remove bias from the hiring decisions by pushing hiring managers to look for specific skills and competencies in each applicant. These interviews encourage you to envision different people in a role.  

By taking the behavioural approach, you can reduce the chances that you’ll end up hiring someone because of the number of years of experience they have, or the way they look. The result can be a more diverse company.   

3. Reduced Turnover Rate

Another reason why recruitment is better with behavioural interviews is that they can reduce turnover rate. Asking specific competency-based questions not only gives an interviewer more insight into their candidate, it also gives a potential hire information about what they can expect to do in their new role.  

During an interview, hiring managers can even ask critical questions that might be important to their retention strategies, such as: 

  • Can you tell us about why you chose to leave your last employer?
  • Based on what you know about this organisation, what would you change if you had the chance? 
  • Where do you think you’ll fit best with our company culture, and which parts will you struggle with? 

4. Create a Leadership Development System

Your organisation’s core competencies are some of the fundamental building blocks for your company culture. As your business continues to grow, it’s the competencies that you value most that will lead you towards success and distinguish you in the marketplace. By hiring people based on those behavioural traits, you can rest assured that you’ll have plenty of future leaders and influential figures in your staff ready to mentor and guide employees 

You can even implement development plans for new recruits that guide them towards leadership promotions based on their answers to questions like “Can you tell me about a time when you acted as a leader in your previous role?”  

How to Improve Your Behavioural Interviews

As with any part of recruitment, a good plan can make the process go more smoothly. There’s no one-size-fits-all method for the perfect behavioural interview, but there are things that businesses can do to improve their chances of gathering as much useful information from their candidates as possible. For instance: 

  • Standardise the Interview structure: When you use a consistent structure to interview clients for a specific position like a CMO, or CFO role, you reduce the risk that bias will get in the way of your hiring methods. A standardised format also provides a list of competency benchmarks you can use to simplify the process of choosing between candidates.
  • Gear questions towards experiences, rather than technical skills. If you’re looking for an executive leader to bring onto your financial team, you might focus all your attention on their accounting skills, leadership abilities, and education. However, with a behavioural interview, you’ll need to focus on discussing the past experiences of clients, to ensure they don’t just list the skills you can already see on their CV. By asking about specific experiences, you can envision how your new hire might perform in a real-life situation.
  • Drill down into every answer: With a behavioural interview, the more in-depth an explanation is, the better. You’ll want to get as complete a picture as possible to determine whether your candidate possesses the competencies that matter to you. When you as your would-be CTO how their technical skills helped them to solve a problem for a problematic client, remember to elaborate. Drill down to find out what they learned from that experience, what specific technology they used, and what they’d change if given a chance to do it all again.  



About JobFitts

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from; HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.