What is a Behavioral Interview and Should Staffers Use Them?

Those in charge of leading the hiring process should be well aware of how to conduct an effective interview. A strong interview is a very important complement to talent acquisition practices. Even experienced interviewers who create a series of questions according to the requirements of that position could possibly implement a new and improved method. As the interviewee should do most of the talking, here are some tips for staffers on conducting a behavioral interview and getting the most valuable responses from their candidates.

Behavioral Interview Background and Uses

Behavioral interviewing was developed in the 1970s by industrial psychologists to disclose an accurate predictor of future performance. This method was created to provide more relevant information about the candidate, such as how they would perform and fit in an organization. Behavioral interviewing can help showcase significant insights, key behaviors and attributes, and the performance potential of the interviewee.

Behavior interviewing can uncover the extent to which the candidate has experienced a situation and how they handled it. Questions can be designed to show how a candidate communicates their experiences, and how their performance did or did not resolve a given situation. This should highlight their ability to formulate a response and communicate that response in an effective manner. Often what separates the best candidate from others is their people skills and how effectively they interact with others to complete tasks.


Begin to consider terms of themes or general behaviors and practices believed to be relevant for the position. Then a set of questions can be created for the themes for each position.

Be flexible with the sequence of your questions and avoid “running through” them just going down a list. Ask a question, then carefully listen to the response. The following question can be prompted by what and how the interviewee responds. However, it is important to try to ask the questions in an order that will provide the information needed most, keeping in mind that the response can influence what you ask next.

Themes and Sample Behavioral Interview Questions


Give an example of a time when you presented a manager with an idea or concept. Share the process and result.

Creativity and Innovation

What would you consider to be the most creative thing you’ve done in your life?

Customer Service

Do you believe the customer is always right? Why or why not?

Planning and Organizing

How do you prioritize tasks?


Share about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What were the consequences? What did you learn?


How do you decide if an idea is worth the risk?

Working with Others

Explain a conflict you had with another employee. What did you do to alleviate the situation and what was the result?

About World Wide Specialty Programs’ Staffing Solutions

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