Hire the Best People with Behavior Based Interviewing Training

Hire the Best People with Behavior Based Interviewing Training

The resume and experience of someone only tells you half the story. When hiring new people the most important thing to keep in mind is whether the person will be able to work according to your company’s culture. All experienced managers know that having the skills on paper and the qualifications for a post is not enough for someone to work well within the company.

 That is why behavior based interviewing training is so useful for all managers and professionals that handle recruitment for a company. Being able to understand people’s behavior and what it signifies allows you to hire the people that will truly end up becoming an asset for your organization.

Why Behavior Based Interviewing is Necessary

When you hire someone you are making them a part of a team. If you watch sports you will know how important it is for a player to fit in well with the strategy and requirements of a team. There have been great players who performed horribly when they joined a new team because they didn’t fit in well with the game plan of the team. 

Every team has its own playing style and whenever the coaches and managers are looking for new players the number one thing they see is how the player will be able to fit into the vision of the team. That is also why there have often been teams that did not have any big stars but they ended up performing better than other teams. The same logic applies to hiring people in an organization. There are two basic reasons that this happens.

Every Company has a Different Way of Accomplishing Tasks


Each and every company has its own culture when it comes to work. There are organizations where a person is expected to work very hard on a specific set of instructions. These companies are managed by people who expect their workers to work within specified perimeters. If you hire someone who is not good at following each and every rule and instruction they will not be able to work well.

There are people who show their true potential when they are given a specific task. Then, there are people who only work well on open-ended tasks where they are given an objective and they have to come up with their own way of accomplishing it. These people fit in well in companies that give the minimum instructions and a lot of autonomy to the employees. Only behavior based interviewing training can help you realize what role a person will be able to play better.

The Culture of the Company Matters


An organization is by definition a group of people working together. This means that you need to hire people that will be able to fit in well with the organizational culture because only then will they be able to work with their teammates. Behavior based interviewing training allows you to assess a person’s behavior through which you can extrapolate how they will perform when they join the organization.

This isn’t information which you will be able to understand reading someone’s resume. This is information you can only gain if you know how to assess people properly. Often, people who seem to be the right fit on paper end up being wrong for your company, and people who seem mediocre on paper end up becoming the company’s biggest assets. Behavior based interviewing is the science of avoiding the former.

Get the Whole Interviewing Story, Not Just the Magic Dust

a book is open surrounded by the lights of magical dust

Job candidates are great at painting a very rosy picture of their accomplishments and their cultural fit for the open position…but only behavior based interviewing training can help you get at the whole story behind the fa├žade.

Certainly from the resume and quick fact checking, you can find out your candidate’s job history…where they worked and for how long and with what job title. You can also learn the basics of their education. But, beyond those details, how much can you really know about their attitude, their personality, their work ethic, their values, and their ability to get along with others? These factors are what you need to uncover. You need to probe for cultural fit. With a solid background in behavior based interviewing, you and your team can dig beneath the surface to learn what you really need to know…the whole story.

Here are some research-backed areas to explore for cultural fit based upon behavior based interviewing training best practices:
  1. Eagerness to learn and improve.
    When you have an employee who is eager to learn and improve, you have an employee who has a better chance to be engaged, committed, and ambitious. Certainly these are traits that every company can benefit from. Dig into the candidate’s passion and level of curiosity for the new and unknown.
  2. Acceptance of risk.
    An employee who is willing to take a certain amount of risk is one who can deal with mistakes and learn from them. Someone who manages only the familiar and comfortable will not be a worker who stretches and innovates. Ask about what they are most and least proud of. Then probe for when they stumbled and how they handled the situation.
  3. Willingness to collaborate.
    Especially if you are a team- or matrix-based company as so many are these days, make sure your new hires know how to work well with others. Are they out for themselves or do they recognize and support the strength of a good team pulling in the same direction and helping each other toward the common goal? Ask for examples of when they cooperated with others to reach a goal…and then ask if the persons they referenced would see the situation in the same way. This gives you a check on the veracity of their story.

How to Insure Against a Bad Hire

A woman interviewer sits with a folder across from the job candidate

Behavior-based interviewing training experts do not want all of your interviews to go well.

Just think about it.  Most interviews go pretty well. Job candidates are on their very best behavior and often seem to have the perfect answers to your standard interview questions. But can you be sure they will perform as well on the job as they did in the interview?

You had better be sure. A recent study from CareerBuilder highlights the negative impact of a bad hire. The cost in dollars can be more than $50,000 according to 27% of U.S. employers. Perhaps even more costly is the loss of productivity, the decrease in employee morale and the increase in problems with client relations.

Here are some of the statistics around what can happen when you make a bad hiring decision:

  • Over a third of U.S. employers report a serious loss of productivity. It takes time to ramp new employees up to speed. When they don’t work out, there is time wasted in recruiting and training another worker. 

  • 32% of U.S. companies report that bad hires negatively affect employee morale. How? Substandard workers drag down team targets and, while they are tolerated, hardworking employees are discouraged from extra effort and feel unappreciated.

  • Nearly one-fifth of U.S. employers surveyed also spoke of the impact on client relations and sales. When customer-facing employees do not represent your company well, clients are apt to back off and look to the competition for better treatment.

The solution?  Better interviewing approaches. It takes a proven behavior based interviewing training program to teach your hiring managers and interviewer teams how to dig beneath the surface of a savvy job candidate’s replies in order to get a true picture of their values, their work ethic, their strengths, and their culture fit. Their technical skills should be easily checked by reviewing their resumes, making some calls and running them through some scenarios. But what is equally important is learning about their attitude and true behavior on past jobs. This needs to be your focus.  And only proven behavior-based interviewing techniques combined with role-plays can give you that critical predictive insight.

To have better interviews, make sure that you:

  1. Define the Job.
    Define a clear and relevant job profile with all key stakeholders that includes the metrics for success along with the critical few motivational, interpersonal and intellectual behavior-based competencies necessary to succeed.

  2. Select an Interview Team.
    For most jobs, an interview team of four people is enough to adequately cover the assigned behavior-based competency probes.  Use a larger team if it makes sense culturally to get input and buy-in from a larger audience.

  3. Pre-Screen Interview Candidates.
    Review resumes, perform phone screens and use customized hiring assessments to ensure that only qualified candidates are interviewed by the team.

  4. Use Behavior-Based Interviewing Techniques.
    Use what you learned in behavior-based interviewing training to better predict future on-the-job performance and behavior by looking for past and present evidence that they are a good match for your specific job profile and organizational culture.

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Make Sure Your Interviewing Process is Fair

Cartoon of a businessman saying to a lion at the Roman Colosseums, "I just came for a first interview, not to be fed to the lions."

Interviewing can be very stressful for the job candidate. It may not be quite as risky a process as this cartoon suggests, but a lot rides on the outcome for the job seeker. 

Candidates need to impress the interviewer—be confident and articulate, ensure their qualifications are expressed clearly without appearing to brag, indicate their sincere interest in the position and their respect for the company, and so on. They are understandably nervous. It is your job as an interviewer to make them feel comfortable, assess their readiness and fit, ask the behavior-based interviewing questions that can predict their on-the-job behavior and ensure that the selection process is fair.

We recommend that all interviewers be well versed in what can be learned in a quality behavior-based interviewing training workshop aligned with your specific employee brand and organizational culture. Effective behavioral interviewing training teaches a competency-based process that depends upon the proven principle that past and present behavior is the best predictor of future employee performance and retention.  It typically includes:

  1. The Job Description.  The first step is to define each job in terms of the critical few behavioral competencies needed for success. 

  2. The Behavior-Based Methodology.  Then you must learn how to ask behavior-based questions (without telegraphing what you are looking for) that effectively probe beneath the surface of a candidate’s resume and rehearsed answers to uncover their true capabilities, attitudes and motivators.

  3. The Legal Boundaries.  You learn what questions are legal and compliant and what questions are not.

  4. The Hiring Decision.  Finally you make the hiring decision according to a standard and agreed-upon process that weighs candidates fairly against the parameters for success.  

Some companies rely upon candidate assessments to help with employee selection. If you use one of these tools, be wary. You need to be sure that the assessment is:

  • Legally compliant
  • Aligned with your employee brand promise, organizational culture and values
  • A proven prediction of job performance
  • Designed to provide relevant, work-based exercises
  • Creating a positive candidate experience
  • Scientifically valid and reliable

Otherwise, you are depending upon an assessment that measures the wrong things, sifts out the wrong people and may lead to accusations of an unfair process.

As anxious as the job candidate may be, job interviewers should be anxious too. They are the ones making important hiring decisions that can dramatically affect their team. Selecting top talent is a challenge. As a company leader, be sure your interviewers have the behavior-based interviewing tools and skills to do their job well.

Learn more at: http://www.lsaglobal.com/behavior-based-interviewing-training/