Rivermate | Product owner - Andrew Simon

Global Work Glossary

Table of Contents

What are behavioral interview questions?

Behavioral interview questions are a type of interview question employers use to assess a candidate's past behavior in specific work-related situations. These questions aim to predict future performance by evaluating a candidate's skills, work ethic, and cultural fit based on their previous experiences.

Key Points:

Purpose: Behavioral interview questions require candidates to share stories and experiences from past roles, providing recruiters and employers with insights into their behavior and thought processes. This helps assess problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, teamwork, leadership, and other key competencies. Development: HR professionals develop effective behavioral interview questions by identifying core competencies necessary for success in the role and crafting questions that prompt candidates to describe experiences demonstrating those competencies. The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) can help structure these questions. Examples: Common behavioral interview questions include scenarios like overcoming significant hurdles at work, working with difficult colleagues, managing projects with tight deadlines, adapting to workplace changes, and making unpopular decisions. Benefits: These questions ensure new hires possess not only technical skills but also interpersonal and soft skills necessary for effective collaboration and positive work environments. This can lead to increased productivity, better teamwork, and lower turnover rates. Evaluation: Responses to behavioral interview questions can be evaluated using a scoring rubric based on relevance, specificity, and impact. Interviewers look for specific examples demonstrating skills aligned with the role and company values. Improvement: Behavioral interview questions can be improved by ensuring they are open-ended, job-specific, and regularly updated to reflect evolving roles and industries. Training interviewers to probe deeper for substantial answers can also enhance insights. Global Hiring: Behavioral interview questions are essential in global hiring to assess candidates' reactions in diverse work situations and identify individuals who can adapt to the company's work environment and contribute to a diverse global workforce. They also help evaluate candidates' suitability for remote work settings. Legal Compliance: Care must be taken to avoid discriminatory questions based on age, gender, ethnicity, or disability. Questions should be relevant to the job and not elicit information that could lead to discrimination. Best Practices: Best practices for conducting interviews with behavioral questions include preparing questions in advance, using the same set of questions for all candidates, active listening, avoiding leading questions, and following up with probing questions for more detail. Fit in Hiring Process: Behavioral interview questions are part of the overall hiring process, used alongside other techniques like skill assessments and case studies to evaluate candidates comprehensively. Prioritization: HR teams ensure they prioritize the right behavioral interview questions by conducting job analyses, involving current team members and hiring managers in question development, and aligning questions with the demands of the role.

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