Improve Your Hiring Success Rate by Focusing on Candidates’ Past Behavior

‘Behavioral interviews’ promise to better match skills and find the right person for the job

Behavioral Interviews

The interview process has evolved over the last 20 years. Most companies now rely on online application submissions rather than the traditional “snail mail” procedure. Much of the communication between applicant and employer takes place via email or even text rather than in person or on the phone.

Once the application is submitted and it is time for the next step, nothing can replace the valuable insight and information a potential employer can gain with an in-person interview. But even time-honored traditions need updates every now and then. When it comes to getting to know a candidate, procedures have evolved and in turn there has been a dramatic improvement in hiring success rates.

In his audio conference for Audio Solutionz, “Behavioral Interviews: Improve Your Hiring Success Rate,” Human Resources expert Wes Pruett explains how a technique called behavioral interviewing has increased the predictability of future success of candidates from 10% to 500%.

Past Experience Can Predict Future Success

What are they? Behavioral interviews are based on the idea that a candidate’s past behavior is the best indicator of future success, according to Monster.com. Pruett suggests that asking the right interview questions can improve hiring success and, if worded correctly, can tap into potential integrity issues.

Traditional interviews typically focus on hypothetical questions, but behavioral interview questions focus not only on what candidates did in previous positions but how they did it. This type of questioning is an effective method for weeding out unqualified candidates resulting in an improved hiring success rate.

Ask The Right Questions

As effective as behavioral interviews are, thanks to advances in technology, candidates are better able to prepare for many of the questions that are standard with the process. That’s why you want to be sure to dig deep with your questions.

Ensure your behavioral interviews are as effective as possible by using some of Monster’s best practices, which include:

  • Ask questions that highlight both strengths and possible weaknesses. And go beyond a single work history example. Request feedback based on multiple jobs or time periods.
  • Ask what the candidate has learned. Past experiences show a capacity to grow—and reveal true accomplishments.
  • Finally, don’t settle for a pat answer. Ask for clarification until you are comfortable the answer is authentic.

Time to Make a Decision

Now that the interview process is complete it is time to decide on the best candidate for the job.  The Society for Human Resource Management suggests the following steps to improve hiring success rate:

  1. Review initial reactions to the candidate with all those who conducted an interview.
  2. Review questions and responses. Since questions can differ with each interviewer, take time to go over what each person asked and the responses given.
  3. Take a vote. Use the information gathered to decide which candidate is the best fit. If the decision is not unanimous, go over important information again and take another vote. These insights will be helpful to the hiring manager when making a final decision.

Deciding on a candidate to join your team can be a time consuming and somewhat frustrating process. In his audio session, Pruett explores how to become better equipped to evaluate a candidate’s experiences and behaviors, what questions to ask to truly judge a candidate’s ability to think critically and how to effectively reduce unwanted turnover, increase retention, and reduce replacement and onboarding costs. The ultimate goal is the find the best fit for a successful future for the candidate and the company.

To join the conference or see a replay, order a DVD or transcript, or read more
Stacy Kivett
About Stacy Kivett
Stacy is a freelance writer with a professional background as both a litigation paralegal and human resources coordinator. She is also a regular contributor to several local magazines in her hometown of Apex, North Carolina where she lives with her husband and two sons.