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Competency Assessment Through Behavioral Interviews

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In today’s dynamic and competitive job market, identifying suitable candidates for a position is essential for any company’s sustainable success. Behavioral interviews have emerged as a powerful tool for precisely assessing candidates’ skills and competencies. In this article, we will delve into what behavioral interviews are, why they are crucial, and how you can implement them to make more informed and accurate hiring decisions.

You might be interested in the following article: ” Personnel Selection by Competencies.

Understanding Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interviews, also known as competency-based interviews, are a structured assessment approach that focuses on candidates’ past behavior to predict their future performance. Instead of asking about generic skills or qualities, these interviews seek specific examples of situations where candidates have demonstrated competencies relevant to the job.

The primary goal of behavioral interviews is to gain a deeper understanding of how candidates have handled specific situations in their past experiences. This exploration provides clearer insight into how a candidate might tackle similar challenges in the current work environment.

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Significance of Behavioral Interviews

1. Performance Prediction: Behavioral interviews are built on the premise that past behavior serves as a reliable indicator of future behavior. By examining how a candidate has acted in previous situations, interviewers can anticipate their performance in the role.

2. Objective Evaluation: These interviews reduce subjective bias by providing a structured framework for evaluation. Interviewers focus on specific examples and the candidate’s responses, leading to more objective assessments supported by evidence.

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3. Alignment with Required Competencies:Behavioral interviews allow interviewers to directly assess the specific competencies and skills required for the position. This ensures that the candidate not only possesses technical skills but also interpersonal and problem-solving skills necessary for success.

Steps to Successfully Conduct a Behavioral Interview

 1. Defining Key Competencies:
Before the interview, identify critical competencies for the role. These can encompass technical aptitudes, communication skills, leadership, teamwork, among others.

 2. Formulating Situation-Based Questions:
Craft questions that demand concrete examples of past situations. Instead of asking, “Do you have leadership skills?” you could inquire, “Please describe a time when you led a team to achieve a challenging goal.”

You might be interested in the following article: “Questions for a Successful Structured Interview.

 3. Attentive Listening:
During the interview, paying close attention to the candidate’s responses is crucial. Consider the situation’s details, the actions taken, and the outcomes achieved.

4. Delve Deeper with Follow-up Questions:
If necessary, ask additional questions to gain more nuances and clarity about the situation. This facilitates a holistic understanding of the context and the candidate’s effective contribution.

5. Assessing Responses in Relation to Competencies:
After the interview, it’s vital to assess the candidate’s responses based on the predefined competencies. Consider how their past actions reflect the skills required for the role.

6. Informed Decision Making:
The information gathered during the interview should guide informed decisions about the candidates’ suitability. Comparing responses among different interviewees can aid in selecting the best candidate for the position.


Behavioral interviews play an essential role in modern personnel selection processes. By focusing on candidates’ past behavior, these interviews empower recruiters and hiring managers to conduct more accurate assessments of the skills and competencies necessary for optimal job performance. By implementing this structured approach, organizations can increase their chances of bringing on candidates who not only possess the required technical skills but also align with the organizational culture and make significant contributions to the team and the company as a whole.