Behavioral-Based Interviewing (BBI) is the key to what an increasing number of recruiters believe to be the best way to predict how a candidate would perform on the job and fit into the organization. From the employer's perspective, it is more cost effective to hire people that are successful within the organization than to lose them in a few months because the "fit" was not good.

The driving concept behind BBI is simply stated: "Enthusiasts believe that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior...more recent behavior is a better predictor of future behavior than older behavior, and that long-standing trends are better predictors of behavior than isolated incidents."

Skillful questioning during the interview can reveal behavior patterns that indicate with high predictability whether the candidate can perform the job as required. Therefore, the candidates need to perform an analysis of the job (and company) to determine of there is a potential "fit".

To prepare for BBI here is what is recommended:

  • Analyze the job or position being interviewed for.
  • Determine the skills required
  • Evaluate your own background to identify your skills and experience related to the job.
  • Develop & Rehearse brief scenarios about how you used those skills, each illustrating a specific activity of task required by the job. Each "story" should explain the problem, your solution and the results in quantifiable terms -- [S.T.A.R.]. If you tell the interviewer about a Situation or Task you were responsible for, the Action you took and the Results of your actions, then you have fulfilled the necessary S.T.A.R. requirements. It is this "story-telling" type of response that is at the heart of what recruiters call behavioral-based interviewing (BBI).
  • Be Prepared to give examples of occasions when results were different than expected. Your skill in handling failure as well as success is important.
  • Be prepared for questions asking for more detail than you've initially given.
  • Identify three to five top selling points (attributes that set you apart from he other candidates) and be sure you get the chance to point them out in the interview.
  • Some examples of BBI questions include:
  • "Describe the biggest challenge in you last job/internship and how you handled it?"
  • "Tell me about a work or school situation where you had to do creative problem solving."
  • "Tell me about a recent situation where you had to persuade someone to accept your idea or proposal."

Through questions such as these the interviewer can get a good idea of how the candidate measures up in a particular job-skill area. BBI questioning can target skill level in:

  • Assertiveness
  • Creativity & Imagination
  • Dealing with ambiguity
  • Decision making
  • Goal setting & Achieving
  • Leadership
  • Listening
  • Management
  • Oral Communication
  • Organization & Planning
  • Problem solving
  • Analysis
  • Team building.
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