Behavioral Interviewing


Why use behavioral interviewing?

Behavioral interviewing helps you get a clearer view of the job candidate, their skills and competencies. Using behavioral interviewing techniques to ask the interviewee about their experience helps get past their facade, allowing you to see the real person.

For a candidate to answer well-formed behavioral interview questions they need to reach back into their actual experience, i.e. behavior. The better we understand their recent behavior, the better we can predict their future performance. No longer do you need to worry about knowing how to tell if someone is lying to you. With Talentron's behavioral interview questions, it is virtually impossible for someone to lie to you.

Both and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offer some tried and true information in practical articles about behavioral interviewing. One is called Still in the Stone Age, and another is HR Magazine: Train for Smarter Hiring.

Having the right behavioral questions requires advance preparation. Talentron simplifies that preparation for hiring managers, new recruiters, and interview teams.

How to prepare for a behavioral interview

Before we can select Behavioral Questions for the interview we must decide which competencies are most important for the position. Realistically a person can only interview for 3-5 Competencies for each position. Here are some example positions and competencies.

Accountant:      Business Understanding, Integrity, Planning, Reliability
Designer:          Creativity, Problem Solving, Self-Management
Engineer:          Decision Making, Problem Solving, Reliability, Results Focus
Manager:          Accountability, Initiative, Relationship Management, Teamwork
Sales Person:   Communications Skills, Customer Satisfaction, Problem Solving, Self-Management and Closing Skills

There are often more competencies or skills that we want in our candidates. We have a limited amount of time during the interview to ask questions. So, we must prioritize the competencies and skills we want to focus on. After deciding on the competencies, we can select the Behavioral Questions to use during the interview. Here are 15 of the Competencies Talentron uses. A sample behavioral interview question is offered for each. 


   “Tell me a time when you admitted making a mistake and accepted responsibility for it.”

Communication Skills:

   “Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone in writing.”


   “Tell me about a time when you were particularly creative.”

Customer Satisfaction:

   “Describe a situation where you had to address an angry or dissatisfied internal/external customer.”

Decision Making:

   “Tell me about a time when you had to get to the root cause of a problem to make a decision.”


   “Give an example of a difficult or challenging project you volunteered to lead.”


   “What was the biggest ethical dilemma that you’ve faced at work?”

Interpersonal Skills:

   “Describe a time when you had to deliver bad news or negative feedback to a co-worker.”


   “Give me an example of the steps you take in developing a plan.”

Problem Solving:

   “Describe a time when you accurately anticipated a potential problem?”

Relationship Management:

   “If you were writing a book on managing relationships, what would be some of the chapters?”


   “Give me an example of a time when you had to let someone down.”

Results Focus:

   “Tell me about a time when you got results in a situation where others had tried and failed.”


   “What is the method you use to organize your day at work?”


   “Describe a time when you made a positive contribution as a member of a dysfunctional team.”

Quality of hire, employer branding, the goals of the interview

It is important to know how to conduct an interview. Most candidates who get past the resume and phone screening process and make it to the face-to-face interview can do the job. Keeping that in mind, the interview process is meant to answer two basic questions.

1.    Compared to the other candidates, how well will this candidate do the job?
2.    How well will this candidate fit in with the rest of the team and our culture?

Behavioral interviewing provides you the best assessment for both concerns. Selecting the best questions from the appropriate Competency or Skill area sets the stage for productive interviews. 

Spread the work between interviewers

Have interviewers with different strengths and interests ask unique questions. For consistent results for positions, have each interviewer ask the same questions of every candidate for that position. 

Recruiters and hiring managers use Talentron to drag ‘n drop instant behavioral questions to plan each open position. High-quality talent acquisition is consistently much easier with Talentron.


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