What are the benefits of behavioural interviews?

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Interviewing is a tricky business, and finding the right employee for your organisation is about far more than simply identifying the right skills and experience. You'll also need to make sure that a potential new hire has the right personality to fit in with your organisation, and will be able to cope with the pressures of any situation they might find themselves in. 

These aspects of a candidate can't be found on their CV, and instead it's during the interview process where you'll be able to best judge their way of working. This is where behavioural interviewing comes into play, providing a methodology that can give interviewers a better idea of everything from past reactions during stressful situations to compatibility with company culture. 

Behavioural interviewing uses open-ended questions to gather as much insight into a candidate's personality as possible.

What is behavioural interviewing?

In essence, behavioural interviewing is a strategy that uses open-ended questions to gather as much insight into a candidate's personality as possible. Unlike questions with a simple yes or no answer, or ones that simply require the regurgitation of information on a CV or video resume, behavioural interviewing demands more thought from candidates, requiring them to think on their feet. In turn, this provides a far better idea of their suitability for a particular role, or how they react under pressure. 

Behavioural interview questions can vary wildly depending on a variety of circumstances. A typical example is something like: "Give me an example of a stressful situation from your last role, and how you coped with it." 

It's the follow-up component of this question that will really give you an idea of a candidate's past behaviour, encouraging them to explain how they've coped with difficult situations in the past and reducing your chances of getting a rehearsed answer. 

The benefits of behavioural interviews

When it comes to the pros and cons of behavioural-based interviewing, there are lots of benefits and very few drawbacks. Perhaps the most important upside to behavioural questions is that they demand real-life context. It's very easy for a candidate to say that they're driven and dedicated when asked for their greatest strengths, but being able to provide a concrete example of how those traits were used in the past gives a far more complete picture of their skill set.

Behavioural interviewing isn't just good for interviewers, it also helps candidates show their best side.

These questions also provide interviewers with far more wiggle room to match a candidate to a particular position by digging into their past reactions to specific scenarios. For example, if you know that a role requires communication with difficult customers, you can ask how a candidate has responded in similar circumstances. In addition, behavioural questions can be very easily customised, making it possible to tailor your questions to the needs of a certain role. For example, asking about a previous sales success when interviewing for a sales position. 

Finally, behavioural interviewing isn't just good for interviewers, it also helps candidates show their best side in a more comfortable environment. Everybody gets a little nervous when being asked a seemingly endless stream of questions, and behavioural interviewing reframes things as less of an interrogation and more of a conversation. 

For all of these reasons, behavioural interviewing has become the strategy of choice for many of the world's leading organisations. It's particularly popular in industries such as IT and technology, where traits such as creativity and quick thinking are absolutely vital. For more information on how to secure the perfect fit for your business, contact The Recruitment Company today.

By Geoff Millar