Using behavior based interview questions is one of the most common formal interviewing methods used. But what is behavior based interviewing?

Using the Past to Predict the Future
The core premise for behavior based interviewing is that past performance is one of the best predictors of future performance. Applying that to interviewing, this methodology centers around asking questions that gather data points about the past.

Not Just About Success and Failure
But it is not just about seeing which applicant was successful in the past, or the most successful in the past, and then hiring that person. That does not work as people can be successful at different times for different reasons.

What you want to look for when you ask behavior based interview questions are patterns of behavior and decision making. It is not necessarily the amount or level of success, but more so the thought processes that the applicant used and went through in different situations.

These data points will tell a lot about the individual and can provide clues as to how they might act and react in different situations if you hire them.

Behaviors to Look For
When using behavior based interview questions, there are certain behaviors or situations that you will want to look for. We can’t necessarily tell you exactly what those should be as they can vary from one job to another.

But here are some examples of things that you can look for past performance or behavioral patterns:

  • Handling a challenge
  • Learning a new job or skill
  • Dealing with a conflict
  • Managing a project
  • Closing a deal
  • Making a mistake
  • Working as part of a team
  • Being a self-starter

Developing Behavior Based Interview Questions
While behavior based interviewing is a more powerful way to interview someone, it might not be the easiest. The reason why is that developing the right questions can take a little thought.

But here is a trick. Start with thinking about the characteristics, qualities, or attributes that someone should have in order to be successful in the role that you are looking to fill.

Once you have that list, you can then develop a question or two for each point that probes for the applicant’s past behavior in that particular area.

For example, let’s say that a key attribute for a particular position is to be successful at working as part of a team. Once we know that, we can ask some of the following questions to determine how the applicant performed or behaved.

  • Tell me about some jobs that you have had where you had to work as part of a team.
  • What did you like/dislike about that job?
  • If you had your choice, would you prefer a position where you worked independently or as part of a team?
  • Can you share an example where you were part of a team that worked well together?

InterviewScripter helps make it easy to create behavior based interview questions.