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Successes: Structured Behavioral Interviews

Past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.

That’s why we ask candidates to tell us about specific situations they have faced on the job. Asking what they did in those situations will tell us far more than conjecture about what they “would do” in a given situation.

Based on this fact, public and private sector organizations contract with EASI•Consult® to conduct Structured Behavioral Interview Training. Trainings can range from a minimum of two hours to a full day, depending on the client’s specific needs. Structured interviews that are behaviorally based include consistent questions about past behaviors that are linked to relevant requirements for the current job.

This approach not only reduces the risk of interviewer bias but also increases the predictive nature of the effort. That is to say – you are significantly more likely to identify top performers through a Structured Behavioral Interview than if you take a “tell me about yourself” or “getting to know you” questioning approach.

The Problem: Training Hiring Managers to Effectively Conduct Structured Behavioral Interviews

The Solution: I customize EASI•Consult’s SBI Training modules to meet specific client needs and partner with the client to discuss optimal delivery methods (e.g., in person vs. virtual, number of hours, locations, participants, etc.).

I have worked with groups of all sizes within varied industries, such as utilities, retail, insurance and consulting. Some individuals come with decades of interview experience, while others have never formally interviewed anyone. In either case, both individuals leave the training prepared to immediately implement what they have learned.

Step 1: I discuss key components of our training model with the client and identify needs and opportunities for modification and customization, such as: determining where the interview step best fits into the organization’s hiring process; who should be involved; and how many interviews are needed.

I make recommendations regarding the training timing and format, given the organization’s unique parameters (e.g., how many individuals will be certified as interviewers, location logistics, etc.). I also partner with the client organization to determine if they will create their own interview guide or would like to leverage EASI•Consult’s EASI Interviews® Tool.

This simple online platform allows the user to identify six to eight key behavioral competencies and automatically generate a PDF interview guide – with behavioral indicators for each competency selected for that job – that can be utilized as many times as the client wishes.

Step 2:  I deliver the customized interactive SBI Training modules to hiring managers – typically up to 12; additional trainees require an additional EASI consultant.

To make the experience more interactive, the training involves humorous videos, short quizzes and hands-on practice sessions. Sample key topics include: best practices and business case for structured behavioral interviewing techniques; fair and legal considerations; and tips for probing, taking strong notes and avoiding several common biases. 

Step 3:  EASI•Consult’s team follows up with the client to ensure that the agreed-upon next steps occur. In some cases, additional follow-up practice sessions are scheduled. In others, a train-the-trainer model has been utilized in which hiring managers assist others beginning to learn how to conduct this type of interview.

The Outcome: The client organization can track the quality of hires (performance on the job six to 12 months after hire) both before and after SBI training. Over time, they are likely to find that the inter-rater reliability (consistency in ratings) between interviewers increases dramatically, since they no longer use subjective “we had lots in common” and “I trust my gut” after interview evaluations.

They are also likely to see greater diversity in their workforce as the “similar to me” hiring bias can be avoided. Finally, they have consistent data from which to calculate the ROI of the program (e.g., correlate interview ratings with future competency ratings on the job).

As people and data analytics continue to gain momentum, SBI training will no doubt become a necessity. Ask us how to get started today!

Rebekah Cardenas, Ph.D., is vice president of business development and assessment solutions at EASI•Consult®. EASI•Consult works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. EASI•Consult’s specialties include leadership assessment, online pre-employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about EASI•Consult,  visit www.easiconsult.com, email ContactUs@easiconsult.com or call (800) 922-EASI.

EASI·Consult® is the registered name for Expert Advocates in Selection International, LLC.
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