Monday, 15 August 2011

The Goal of Behavioural Questions

Behavioural questions are designed to elicit behavioural information about the candidate’s past experience and accomplishments that relate to the competencies required in the target job.

Knowing a candidate’s actions is of little use if the interviewer does not understand the circumstances surrounding the actions and the results produced by those actions. Therefore, the answers to behavioural questions need to include the following components in order for the interviewer to fully understand a candidate’s past behaviour:
  • Situation: Allows an understanding of the context of the good, average or poor performance.
  • Action: What the particular incumbent actually did.
  • Result: Whether the action in that particular situation was effective (described in qualitative/quantitative terms).
When the information provided by a candidate contains all three components, then the information is called a behavioural example.

All of these components are necessary to make an informed judgment about whether the candidate has displayed the level and quality of behaviour required in the target position. Behavioural questions are designed to elicit behavioural information about the candidate’s past experience and accomplishments that relate to the competencies required in the target job.

This post is based on content from 'Effective Interviewing' by Human Resource Systems Group, Ltd.

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