Ask For More Than One Example To Get A Handle On Reality

As you may know, behavior based interview and reference check questions are based on the premise that previous performance is a better predictor for future performance than anything else.  So behavior based questions ask for specific examples, not generalities, of things an individual has done in the past rather than how they “might” do things in the future.  If you ask people how they should behave, most people can provide the right answer, but have you always done what you should do?

When asking behavior based questions in interviews or reference checks, don’t be afraid to ask for more than one example.  The first time you ask the question, you might get an answer which includes a situation so unique that most anyone would respond appropriately.  However if you ask for one or two other examples you’ll get a better feel for how this person reacts to more common situations.  This is especially helpful when you’re probing an area of concern that may have arisen in assessments or previous interviews.
As an example, ask someone “please give me an example of a situation in which you were expected to comply with a policy with which you didn’t necessarily agree.”   The first example may be a great story and you may even have follow-up probing questions, but when its done, simply ask “do you have another example?”  While it may sound too forced, it actually plays out far more conversational than you may think.
Empower your interviewers and those doing reference checks to get to the heart of the matter by asking for multiple examples.
Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Selection

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