Many organisations have switched to the behavioural interviewing technique when conducting job interviews because behavioural interviewing is able to make a more reliable prediction of future behaviour than traditional interviewing techniques.
There have been several claims that behavioural interviewing is up to five times more predictive of future performance than traditional techniques. Many companies have switched to this technique for one simple reason: It is a more intuitive way to conduct a job interview.
One way to think about workplace success is along two dimensions – behaviours and results. Your results are the quality and quantity of work you produce. Your behaviours describe how you accomplish these results. Ideally, you want to hire a candidate that scores high in both these dimensions. You want someone that has the skills to do the job, but you also want them to use good behaviours when accomplishing tasks. Here’s an example why:
Let’s say you have a new manager that pushes her staff very hard everyday. Her demands on the group pay off in the short term because they produce a high volume of “results.” Over time however, this manager’s aggressive attitude begins to wear on her staff, and the work environment deteriorates to the point where everyone wants to leave the group.
The manager in the above example had great results, but the bad behaviours caught up with her in the long run. This example is meant to demonstrate the growing importance of behaviours in the workplace. For many job openings, behaviours may even be more important than results.
Behavioural interviews are believed to be more effective because they ask the candidate to describe how they reacted under certain conditions. That means the technique allows the interviewer to hear not just what the candidate accomplished, but also how they went about reaching a goal.
Because behavioural questions are asking about past experiences, it is easier to distinguish what a candidate “has done” instead of “might do” at work. This is a huge benefit over other interviewing techniques.
Extracts from Behaviour Interviewing Technique (Money-Zine).