What is advanced behavioural interviewing? - Signet Resources

Human Resources News - 9th January 2014

What is advanced behavioural interviewing?

If you had asked me last week, I would have said it sounded like something you might find in a PHD Psychology textbook, or in a Police training session. It is, in fact, a much more accurate way of looking at how we interview our candidates.

As a recruitment business we are always striving for ways to improve the service we offer our clients, and felt that the standard competency based interviews were effective but we wanted to do more.  Based on this, our directors decided to hold a training session with recruitment expert Paul Marsh.


In all honesty, I was a little skeptical when the training session was first mentioned. Everyone uses competency based interview techniques because they work – don’t they? So, why are we looking at this new process, advanced behavioural interviewing?

To give you the answer, it would be useful for me to actually explain to you what it actually is.

Advanced behavioural interviewing looks at what the client really wants from their candidate without just using the standard ‘buzzwords’.

‘ I’m looking for a great communicator’, ‘good team player’, ‘someone with strong leadership skills’

But what does that actually mean?

They are phrases bashed around which are open to interpretation and actually mean nothing.

This new technique makes us look at the actions previous inhabitants of the role demonstrated to make them successful and what actions they demonstrated which were less desirable.

Having this working knowledge of how success is perceived gives us the tools to source the perfect applicant and ensure they are not only a skill and cultural fit but also, will be able to meet the pre-set expectations of the line manager.  We then interview based on the top two success factors for this role and mark the candidate accordingly.

The training session has made us much better equipped to successfully source candidates. We have updated our current pre-screen, telephone interview and interview forms to mirror the training session and ensure we are measuring the success of our interviews on the actual behaviours our clients are hoping to see in their new placement. We are looking forward to using this fantastic new skill to offer our clients an even better service that will offer stronger candidates and a more accurate fit. The training session was enlightening and has given us this fantastic new tool to improve our skill base and hopefully help us be more productive as recruitment partners.

Thanks to Natalie, our interim consultant, for giving us an overview of advanced behavioural  interviewing.

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