Nov 10, 2008

Behavioral Event Interviewing

Chris posts about how a manager was getting an interviewing process all wrong. He mentions a lot of important points that managers should keep in mind.

As he suggests, it's great to get candidates to open up and talk a lot in the interview. Ideally as a manager you should not be taking up more than 20% of the total 'airtime' of the interview.

Use comfortable body language to make the interviewee comfortable. Maintain good eye contact. If the interviewee seems tense or nervous, offer a glass of water.

You need to get to know what all a job applicant has done - and his inner drive and motivation. One of the better forms of interviewing is the Behavioral Event Interviewing method. Research has proven that BEI is a better predictor of future performance than the traditional 'hypothetical/situational' interview.

Of course, it is most useful when there are competency models that help you to gauge what you should be assessing a person for. Without that it'll be like driving on a road to nowhere.

So what is a Behavioral Event Interview?

It's an interview that focuses on a critical event in the past where a candidate has been successful and attempts to find out what exactly he/she did/thought/felt through that process. The interviewer needs to isolate such events clearly and then probe deeper and in detail. These behaviors are the visible part of the competencies that one is assessing for.

BEI is not easy to do. And is much tougher to conduct than a regular interview. And needs lots of coaching and practice to be effective.

Need help? Call me :-)