An interview is a formal, in-depth conversation conducted to evaluate a candidate’s acceptability and competency for the particular position.
A behavioural interview is widely considered the most accurate type of selection interview. It is based on the understanding that past behaviour is the best way to predict future behavior – that if someone has shown themselves to be an excellent team player or leader in the past, for example, they will be more likely to act this way in the future.
There are many steps involved in planning, conducting and evaluating a successful behavioural interview.
Planning the Interview
Best practice shows that a team interviewer format is better than a single interviewer format, and that the most successful interviews are conducted by those who are experienced and trained in the process. Ideally, one of the interviewers should be the direct supervisor of the position in question.
Well-prepared questions enable you to gather important information about a candidate’s past or current behaviour. These questions should correspond to the selection criteria you have developed for the position.
Questions should give you concrete examples of the candidate’s strengths and elicit specific examples from their past work experience.
When planning an interview you will also need to:
- prepare a detailed interview guide to help you structure the interview,
- develop an interview guide and rating scale so you can consistently and fairly evaluate each candidate,
- determine each interviewer’s role and
- review the candidate’s application documents.
Conducting the Interview
There are five major steps in conducting an interview:
- open the interview,
- ask questions about the application materials,
- ask the prepared questions and take notes,
- answer the candidate’s questions about the position and
- close the interview.
Evaluating the Interview
To ensure that evaluations are thorough, consistent and fair, each interviewer should independently evaluate each candidate immediately after the interview. This involves:
- rating how well the candidate meets each of the selection criteria and
- developing an overall suitability rating for each candidate.
Interviewers should then meet as a group to reach consensus on which candidate is best suited for the position based on a satisfactory reference and background check.