513 - Interview for Behavior

Posted July 27, 2022 by Mark Perna

Episode: 513

Episode Title: Interview for Behavior

Should the job interview focus on the candidate’s skills, or the history of how they’ve behaved in previous roles? Let’s talk about it, next on The Perna Syndicate.


Ep 513 show:

Welcome to The Perna Syndicate! This week, we’re talking about why companies need to hire for the right behaviors, not just the right skills. If they don’t, they risk bringing in a bad actor who may cause coworkers to leave the company. And that’s just not something you want to risk in this tight labor market. 


So how can hiring managers tell the good from the bad? It starts with rethinking the interview. Generally, interviews cover similar questions like, “What are your greatest strengths?” or “Do you write well?” People can get very good at giving the correct answers, without revealing any behavioral patterns that might cause trouble later. 


But, by shifting to behavioral-based interviewing techniques, interviewers can assess how a candidate has behaved in prior situations. This predicts how they will behave in future. For example, you could ask about a time when the person had to resolve an employee conflict. What were the circumstances, what did they do to resolve the conflict, and what were the outcomes?


Candidates who struggle with these types of questions, or provide awkward responses, are giving you a clue into their character and behavior.


Rather than see behavioral-based questions as a threat, candidates should lean into them. It’s a great opportunity to display the professional skills that set you apart from others who may have similar technical qualifications. 


So what if you’re interviewing someone who has all the right technical abilities, but there are some red flags about their behavior? Join me on the next episode of The Perna Syndicate for a cautionary tale on just how much that hire can cost you. See you back here tomorrow!

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Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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