Behavior Based Interviewing
Planning an Interview
Interviewing Questions (Appropriate & Inappropriate)
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Explanation of Behavior-based interviewing looks at taking job related experiences of the
Behavior-Based past (behaviors) to make good decisions. It is about uncovering an
Interviewing candidate's past work behavior because it is the best indicator to their future
work behavior. Additionally, behavior-based interviewing will help you
make decisions about the candidate based solely on job-related information-
not your own intuition.
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Planning an Interview
Planning for an Effective planning results in an efficient process and a better selection
interview decision. Here are some tips for effective planning:
Know the schedule - Where is the candidate going after he/she meets with
you? Do you need to bring them somewhere, or is someone coming to pick
Prepare questions before the interview.
In a group interview, plan out the interview ahead of time as a group.
In a situation where you are one of multiple people on your team
interviewing the same candidate, plan who will ask which questions.
Interview the candidate -- do not get interviewed by them.
Make fact based decisions based on information collected throughout the
Keep the interviews short, concise, and on schedule. Understand that the
candidate most likely has a schedule of interviews, and you are one person
on the list. A day of interviewing can be draining to the candidate, nerves
are high, and people are trying to make a good impression.
Be considerate of other people who may be interviewing after you. Try
not to run over the allotted time, as scheduling can be tight.
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Multiple Considering that several people may be meeting with the candidate, it is
interviewers for important to be aware of which questions may be repeated, who will ask
one candidate which questions, and the types of questions to avoid.
HR’s Role The Human Resources department will ask a series of questions, which are
focused more on employment and St. John Fisher College.
Examples of these questions are:
Reasons for leaving current and previous jobs
Desired type of position
Available start date
Relocation requirements if applicable
Work location preference
Basic technical skills and knowledge
Other topics discussed:
College history and culture
Human Resources is responsible for working with any agencies, signing
agreements, negotiating fees etc. All calls from headhunters and agencies
should be directed to the Human Resources Department.
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Questions and It is inappropriate, and may be unlawful, to ask certain questions during an
Topics to avoid interview and you should be aware of these prior to an interview. Many
questions can be asked after a person is hired, but asking before a person is
hired could cause legal ramifications.
Examples Following are some examples of topics that should be avoided.
Personal life (marriage-including maiden name, spouse, children, home
Race, national origin
Citizenship (do not assume person is/is not a citizen)
Disability One extremely sensitive area during an interview can be that of disability.
Some disabilities can be visually obvious, while others may not. If you are
talking with someone who has a noticeable disability, such as a missing
limb, it is not legal to ask about it. You can explain the functions of the job,
and ask the candidate whether he/she would be able to perform them.
If the candidate discusses their disability with you, they may want to ask
about accommodations needed.
If you feel further explanation is necessary, please contact Human Resources.
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Questions you Questions that candidates may ask you are common as well. You may get
may get asked questions about the following:
A typical day in our office
Pros/Cons of St. John Fisher College
Average age/experience level of our employees
It’s a good idea to have some answers prepared in case these questions arise.
If you are asked a question that makes you feel uncomfortable, or that you
don't know how to respond, tell the candidate you are unsure, and that it
might be a better question for Human Resources.
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Avoid Closed Avoid asking questions that can be answered by a single word. Single-word
Ended answers don’t give you much information, and they don’t' give the candidate
Questions an opportunity to tell you all you need to know about that person.
Examples of questions that don't provide you with much valid information
Do you like working with people?
Did you like your last job?
Do you like working with PCs?
Open Ended Instead of asking questions that can be answered with just a single word, you
Questions Are want to pose questions that invite the candidate to talk about what he or she
Beneficial has done in the past. As the candidate talks, you have an opportunity to get
the information you need in order to make an informed hiring decision.
Use open-ended questions that ask for specific examples of past job behavior.
Past behavior is the best indicator of future performance. This means asking
focused questions that prompt the candidate to talk about past job experiences
in very specific detail.
Instead of asking hypothetical questions about how the candidate might
handle some future task, ask specifically how the candidate handled
something similar in his or her past position. Since past behavior is the best
indicator of future performance, you want to get the candidate talking about
how he or she handled situations similar to those that will be experienced in
the new job. Keep your questions focused and ask for specific information.
Here are some examples:
What have you done to make your job or your area more efficient or
This job involves dealing with difficult clients. Think of a time when you
had to deal with a difficult customer and tell me what you did.
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After the Interview
Documenting Documentation is very important in the interview process. It is an important
the Interview tool for many reasons, one being a great way for you to recall certain things
about each candidate. Often there will be several candidates interviewed for
one position, and after so many hours of interviews, it can be confusing as to
who said what.
Certain things cannot be documented legally, and audits can take place to
ensure our college is recording proper facts and observations of our
Good and Bad It is important for you to document your thoughts clearly. An effective
Note-taking interview will have good notes to document it. Here are some examples of
good and bad note-taking.
Good notes should be:
Bad notes are:
Personal (not job related)
Hiring Interviewers have a very important job in today’s business environment.
decisions Interviewing and selecting the right personnel is one of the most critical
things you must do to reach organizational goals. The hiring decisions made
today will influence the college for a long time to come. Because of this,
organizations cannot afford to base hiring decisions on gut feelings. As
interviewers, you’ll need a system to help ensure you make the right hiring
decisions and rely on “more than a gut feeling”.
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