Questions asked in behavioral interviews require the candidates to review their past experiences and narrate them to the interviewers. Normally, interviewers ask the candidates to narrate specific incidents in their previous jobs, which demonstrate a set of particular skills. Behavioral interviews also involve posing hypothetical problems and asking the candidates to design solutions for them.
Recruiters have to prepare for behavioral interviews well before the actual face-to-face session. It is necessary to formulate exact questions to be asked to candidate. A comprehensive study of the applicant's resume would definitely help in customizing the questions. Some questions can be common for all the candidates. For example, every candidate can be asked to narrate an incident wherein they acted as the problem-solvers. However, specific questions based on their personal experiences are a must, to gauge the individual characteristics of the candidates.
Behavioral interviewing needs to be conducted with care and certain amount of discretion. Since the questions are closely based on personal experiences, the verity of the answers provided, are always questionable. However, the interviewer cannot challenge the candidates' narration. On the contrary, the interviewer has every right to base his questions on them. To provide an example; the interviewer can ask the candidate the reason why he/ she reacted in a way he/ she did, but cannot ask if what he/ she has said is true.
This will only make the candidates turn defensive and non co-operative. Thus, while conducting behavioral interviews, it becomes necessary to handle it with utmost care. Sometimes the candidates tend to get over excited and enthused while speaking about their experiences. Make sure you immediately gain control over such situations to avoid its negative impacts. A calm demeanor and controlled feedback will help you to course the interview to a successful end.
If the candidate is a fresher, or fairly new to the field, you can place them in hypothetical situations and ask them to figure out a way to solve the given problem. Make sure you give the candidates ample time to reflect on the proposition before them. Do not rush the candidates to provide an answer. This may make them think hurriedly and come to a wrong solution. Similarly, if the candidate cannot come up with an optimum solution to the problem provided, give him one more chance to rectify his error.
Meanwhile, if the candidate takes a long time to respond, make sure you let him know about it. After all, you have other candidates to interview too.
As against traditional interviews, where the answers provided by the job seekers are ideal and pre decided, behavioral interviews are walkthroughs of candidates' actions and/ or reactions. Hence, in the recent years, behavioral interviews are gaining popularity.