How to Leverage Behavioral Interviewing to Find the Right Candidates for Your Company

Have you ever hired someone who blew you away during the job interview only to have them not live up to your expectations once they start working? The responsibility for the mishire may not be on your new hire, but rather on you and your interview process, especially if you only ask situational questions. How can you ensure you’re asking the right questions to make the right hiring decision in the future? Kick the old-school situational interviewing to the curb and introduce Behavioral Interviewing into your talent acquisition process.

What is Behavioral Interviewing?

Behavioral Interviewing is an interview philosophy and practice focusing on a candidate’s past experience in order to predict future behavior. It allows the candidate to share their accomplishments in a way that gives the interviewer insight into how they will perform once hired. Behavioral-based interviewing can drastically reduce the potential of making a bad hire by focusing on the specific attributes and real-life examples that make a person successful in your organization.

Benefits of Behavioral Interviewing

There are countless reasons why Behavioral Interviewing has gained popularity in the past few years. With interview tips being readily available online, job seekers can easily prepare how to answer the most common interview questions and have a script ready for every interview they attend. So, what makes Behavioral Interviewing more beneficial than the standard way of interviewing?

It’s Less Stressful For the Candidate

Asking behavioral-based questions turns the interview into a conversation rather than an interrogation. It allows the candidate to stop trying to answer with what they think the interviewer wants to hear. Instead, it allows them to tell a story, which creates a more engaging interview. When asked to talk through past experiences, the candidate doesn’t have to second guess their answer. It takes the pressure of being perfect away so they can relax and give a more authentic response.

It Showcases Transferable Skills

No two jobs are exactly the same, even if they share similar titles across companies. If you identify the specific skills required for success in a position, you can leverage Behavioral Interviewing to uncover which candidates possess those skills. Keeping those core skills at the forefront of your mind when asking behavioral based questions can help you understand how their previous experience would be transferable to your organization, especially if your candidates are trying to pivot from a different industry.

It Can be Tailored to Any Position

Using the same generic questions in every interview is doing your organization a disservice. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is not going to tell you if the candidate is able to plan and prioritize. In fact, you’re likely to hear similar responses from multiple candidates when asking these questions. With Behavioral Interviewing you can hand-pick questions that help you determine who’s demonstrated skill-set would be the best fit.

How to Incorporate Behavioral Interviewing to Find the Right Candidate

Behavioral Interviewing focuses on the candidate sharing their lived experiences. This is as simple as starting the question with a phrase such as, “tell me about a time when…” which naturally encourages the interviewee to share a real-life example. The questions you choose should be applicable to situations that the candidate could encounter regularly if hired for the position.

A good answer to a Behavioral Interview question follows a set structure. This includes the situation the candidate found themselves in, what actions they took to handle it, and how their actions affected the end result. When listening to their answer, you want to identify if their actions would be how you’d want a similar situation handled in your organization.

Since a Behavioral Interview feels less stiff than a structured interview the hiring manager is able to dig deeper and ask more organic follow-up questions. Many times you are able to learn more about the candidate and uncover skills or information that you may not have otherwise identified. This allows you to save time and money by eliminating unqualified candidates earlier in the process.

Ready to Implement Behavioral Interviewing into Your Recruiting Process?

If you feel like you’re not getting the results you want from your current recruitment process but aren’t sure how to make a change, Red Clover can help! Training on Behavioral Interviewing for hiring managers is included as part of our Recruitment Process Outsourcing services. Contact us to learn how Behavioral Interviewing can elevate your hiring process.

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The Results

Construction and Contracting

A commercial roofing contractor was in hyper growth mode. They had goals to increase their field workforce to expand their service area to additional states and geographical locations. If they were to grow their field workforce, they would also need to increase their administrative, operational and sales headcount to support the additional workload created by increased field work. Additionally, they were challenged in workforce retention and development, experiencing high turnover, and did not have a dedicated Human Resources professional to manage employee relations and compliance issues that come with trying to scale a business.

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