Screening, Assessment, Interviewing

Behavior-Based Interviewing Skills: A Q&A with Rachel Mendelowitz

When it comes to job interviews, candidates are savvier than ever. They’ve reviewed the job description closely and know to use keywords. They’ve read reviews from other applicants on Glassdoor, and they’ve studied up on interview strategies. So, how do you separate those who have prepared well from those who will truly be the best fit for the job?


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Enter the behavior-based interview. Behavior-based interview questions can help you quickly size up how a candidate has performed in similar roles in the past and give you a fast assessment as to how well they may fare in the job you need to fill. But it’s not something we all do instinctively. However, strong behavior-based interview skills can be learned.

Join us on August 28 for an interactive webinar that will get you up to speed on how to effectively work behavior-based interviewing skills into your hiring process or improve the way you’re doing it already. Using real-life examples and situations, Rachel Mendelowitz of The Rivington Group will help you find new ways to identify the top candidates who will be set to excel in your organization.

As a preview to this event, Mendelowitz has supplied some frequently asked questions—and answers—to this recruiting topic.

Q—What is a behavioral-based interview?

A—Behavior-based interviews include questions that may begin with: “Tell me about a time when …,” for example. They invite candidates to describe past performance rather than respond theoretically with what they might do in a particular situation. Because they elicit stories about past performance, they are the most accurate way of assessing how a candidate will perform in a similar capacity once they are in the role.

Q—Why don’t some companies use behavior-based interviews?

A—Some organizations do not know how effective behavioral interviews are and simply need information and training. Others have tried behavioral interviews and find that they make conversations awkward and impersonal. However, interviews need not consist entirely of structured behavioral questions, and with a few practical techniques and some practice, interviewers can weave behavioral questions into the interview organically.

Q—How can we incorporate behavior-based interviews into our current process?

A—Training interviewers and hiring managers on what a behavioral interview question is and why they are so important is the first step. Next, each interviewer in the process should be clear on the what capabilities they are looking for in a successful candidate and questions should focus on that topic. Interviewers should also be clear on how they are evaluating responses and communicating their read of the candidate back to the hiring manager. Finally, hiring managers and recruiters play an important role in holding all interviewers accountable for conducting a thorough and fair interview.

Many recruiters and HR professionals understand the power of behavior-based interviews for selecting candidates that will perform well within the role. However, interviewers and hiring managers—even when trained and offered forms for use during interviews—still may not rely on behavior-based interview techniques when they evaluate candidates. Why is that and how can we create a recruiting process that works for all participants?

Rachel Mendelowitz will provide more insight into these questions in the live webinar, Behavior-Based Interviewing Skills: How to Evaluate What You’re Looking for in Candidates and Design Questions to Get the Answers You Need, on Thursday, August 28, 2018. Click here to learn more, or to register today!