Reducing Bias Through Behavioral Interviewing
Debora S. Bloom, Debora Bloom Associates
Your organization may be missing out on some highly talented potential employees. Without intending it, our preconceived ideas of who is a suitable candidate can creep into our hiring decisions. Behavioral interviewing is one way to remedy the negative impact of interviewer bias.
WHAT IS BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING?
Behavioral interviewing is a structured process that helps interviewers identify targeted technical and interpersonal competencies in the candidates they interview. It draws out relevant facts from actual past experience of job applicants that can serve as predictors of their future performance. Because it focuses on demonstrated capabilities rather than documentation or descriptions of hypothetical situations it is considered an objective method. As a result, it is valuable for reducing bias in hiring decisions. Behavioral interviewing allows interviewers to effectively delve into resume items while providing a comfortable situation for the candidate to speak about himself or herself.
WHY DO IT?
The behavioral interviewing method allows you to:
HOW TO DO BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING
The first step in this form of interviewing is the careful planning, formatting and sequencing of the interview questions. To ensure consistency of interviewing practices in your company, it is important to provide training for managers and other interviewers that includes skill building in the application of behavioral interview techniques. Once staff members have been trained, they can use the four steps below to prepare to conduct each interview.
Conducting The Interview
Examples of behavioral interview questions.
As candidates describe actual situations from their prior experience, ask probing questions to get them to speak in greater depth about those specific experiences. Probes draw out thought processes as well as actions. Probes are essential for gathering the kind of information you need to make well-informed decisions about an individual's capabilities for a specific job opening in your company.
Some examples of "probes" include:
STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE
Asking questions that can elicit critical, unbiased information is challenging. Central to successful prevention of interviewer bias are behavioral questions that can draw out actual capabilities the hiring company is seeking.
Making behavioral interviewing a corporate practice will provide your interviewers with a valuable tool to make better hiring decisions. By providing your staff with training in behavioral interviewing techniques you can increase your company's likelihood of truly identifying the talent it needs to thrive in today's business world.
© Debora Bloom Associates