Is “Behavioral Interviewing” a New Technique?

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Behavioral Interviewing

No, behavioral interviewing has been around since the 70’s when industrial psychologists developed a way of “accurately” predicting whether a person would succeed in a job. They concluded that if candidates were asked questions that requested examples of past behavior it would be an indicator of their future behavior.

So, employers began using this interviewing technique to determine whether you were a good fit for the job. The technique is of growing interest to companies who would like to choose the “right” candidate, especially in today’s market with so many candidates for them to choose from.

The types of questions that are asked using this technique are used to find out how and what you did in the past and the skill sets you used in the process – if you did it before you can do it again!
The difference between a behavioral question and other questions is what the question asks for. A behavioral question will be very specific. For example when asked, “Tell me about a time when you solved a problem,” the key words are “a time.” This answer calls for a “specific” example of a “specific” incident.

When traditional questions are asked they usually include the word “if.” When “What would you do if…” questions are asked you can use your imagination to come up with an answer. For example, “What would you do if you had a problem to solve?” The word, “if,” is the clue word that indicates the interviewer wants to hear your thought process – how you think through a problem. This question does not require a past experience example.

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