Hiring for Leadership, Part 3 — Behavior Based Hiring

Hiring Based on Behavior

Your applicants have been through job interviews before. They know what to expect and may have practiced answers for questions they anticipate. Using a behavior-based interview approach will avoid rote responses by utilizing questions that encourage quick thinking and involved response.

This process hinges on the belief that skills can be taught, but attitude and personality cannot. It is better to hire someone with passion and enthusiasm who can learn the actions necessary to perform job-related tasks. The interviewer will also be able to gauge how well a prospect will fit in with the existing workforce.

The key is to present the applicant with open-ended questions requiring extended responses. Let them tell you their stories, their successes and failures, what they perceive to be their strengths and weaknesses. Your active listening abilities will be put to good use, as will your character judging abilities.

Here are some examples of behavior-based interview questions.

  • “Why are you considering leaving your position with your current employer?” This answer can help you delineate between applicants who are looking for a new challenge and ones who are having personal issues with management or other employees.
  • “Who was your favorite manager, and why?” There is no correct answer for this question, but the applicant’s answer will tell you what kind of management style they thrive under. You will also get an idea of how the prospect will function within your organization’s culture.
  • “In this position, you may face this hypothetical situation. How would you handle that?” Giving your interviewee a real-life situation distances them from their past experience, eliciting an off-the-cuff response. This provides insight into the applicant’s work ethic.

We’ve given you overviews of both skills-based and behavior-based hiring techniques. But which one is the most effective? We’ll conclude this discussion in our next blog.


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