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Behavioral Interview Questions

If you have been interviewing candidates for jobs, you will realize that plain or simple interviewing cannot yield the best results in terms of predicting the suitability of the candidate for the job. If you just ask patently routine questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?, or ‘tell me some of your achievements” you will get routine and perhaps well rehearsed answers as these are extremely common and generally anticipated questions with no element of novelty. As such, it has been observed that behavioral interview questions are more effective in bringing out a better assessment of the candidate, enabling enhanced assessment to find out how fit the person is for the job he/she has applied for.

Behavioral interview questions present certain situations or tasks and the candidate is quizzed about to judge with what kind of responses he/she comes up with. Based on these responses, certain important inferences can be drawn about the candidate’s personality, knowledge, adeptness and proficiency. For instance, a person who has applied for an HR job could be given a scenario or a situation related to employee relations and asked as to how he/she would handle the situation. It is obvious that the behavioral question is an open ended one and the candidate cannot just come up with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. He/she would necessarily have to dwell on one’s assessment of the situation and also launch into explaining as to how he/she would deal with the situation, the interpersonal dynamics and the solution offered.

The effectiveness of behavioral interview questions can be gauged from the fact that the answers to these questions will provide adequate pointers as to the analytical ability, problem solving and creativity of the person. It also allows the interviewer to determine the presence of mind and quick thinking abilities of the candidate. There may be certain situations that the candidate may not have personally faced. But the moot question is whether he/she is able to relate this situation to other situations that he/she may have faced in his/her career and extrapolate the same here, or to draw from their knowledge base to try and answer the question suitably. In any case, it is a great indicator of the ability to draw from experience and display skills required to do the job effectively.

Behavioral interview questions can be quite probing as the candidate is grilled on how they handled situations, the rationale for decisions taken and explanation for solutions offered. These questions also reveal the stress handling ability as well as the values and beliefs of the candidate, all of which make objective evaluation easier and more predictable.

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Posted: 17/09/2013 01:42:26

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