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Competency-based Behavioral Interviewing Training

Newsletter • volume 5 • number 6

The goal of any selection interview is to learn enough about a candidate to be able to predict future-on-the-job performance and behavior. That information can then be used to make an informed hiring decision or recommendation.

Behavioral interviewing is a technique based on the idea that candidates' past and present behavior is the best predictor of how they will behave in the future. But behavioral traits don't appear on a resume — they can only come from an interview. Furthermore, interviewers need to obtain repeated examples of behavior to confirm they really exist.

Interviews not based on behavioral interviewing techniques inevitably focus exclusively on education, experience, and knowledge — exactly the information that's already on the resume. While these are clearly important, they only reveal what a candidate actually did. Behavioral interviewing helps get at the "how" and "why" behind a candidate's performance.

Competency-based behavioral interviewing training uses "competencies" to describe behavioral qualities. Examples include analytical, problem solver, team player and customer-oriented. Behavioral competencies should be used to describe job requirements ("must be articulate, adaptable, committed," and so on) before the interview as well as to evaluate candidates after an interview.

When competency-based behavioral interviewing training forms the framework for the entire hiring system, interviewers are able to make much more effective hiring decisions.