How to Conduct a Behavioural Interview

This type of job interview is gaining in popularity. It lets the recruiter identify the future behaviours of candidates in a given situation, based on his behaviour in past situations. How do you prepare for a behavioural interview? 

Its growing popularity stems from the fact that the behavioural interview is the most effective way to predict a match between a candidate and a company, work team or manager. “It’s the Sherlock Holmes of the job interview,” says Flora Lhote, CHRP, recruitment manager and partner at Cortorev.

The behavioural interview can gather evidence through the candidate’s past behaviours, which are much better predictors of the future than traditional questions or scenarios projecting the candidate into the future. “Because it is based on personality traits that have taken a long time to develop, it predicts 55% of future job performance rather than only 10% for the traditional interview,” adds Ms. Lhote.

This type of job interview also lets some candidates who are lower performing in the interview reveal their true potential by recounting their past experiences. It also outsmarts the smart kids who try to give the ideal answers to traditional questions.

The ABC of the behavioural interview
The recruiter must first ask the manager what the essential behaviours are to stand out in the job. Most employers will identify a dozen, which is far too many, according to Flora Lhote. “They have to be limited by asking what he thinks are the differences between a good and an outstanding candidate in order to come up with four behaviours,” she explains.

The recruiter and the manager then identify sub-criteria – or indicators – of the targeted behaviours. For example, to assess whether a candidate has a good capacity for influence, we will try to find out if he has been able to adapt himself to his contacts or to the needs of his past customers.

The final assessment is also done together with the manager who, through the testimony of the candidates he has heard, can identify the signs of the profile sought, but which he has not necessarily been able to target upstream. The sum of all the indices makes it possible to determine which will be the ideal candidate. “By using this form of interview, we assess the candidate’s history and not their way of telling  the story,” Flora Lhote concludes… elementary, my dear Watson!

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