If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask. ~Albert Einstein
At Guiding Leaders and Teams, we believe in the power of questions. We design customized behavioral interviews, rooted in emotional intelligence and leadership competencies that you identify as critical to success in your organization. We believe, adding behavioral interviews to your recruitment process provides an important and objective lens to the rigorous selection and hiring of senior leaders.
What is a Behavioral Interview?
Behavioral interviews are, in the simplest form, “Tell me about a time when …” The real power, however, lies in the candidate’s answers about actual past behavior on the job, versus more traditional questions like, “Why do you think you are a good fit for this position?”
Grab a piece of paper now and jot a quick answer to the following questions:
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Could you tell me about a time you had a difficult exchange with a colleague, manager or a direct report and how you engaged in the conflict to improve effectiveness and performance?
Look at your answers. Which one gives you the most objective insight into how a you may handle conflict in the future? As Confucius said, “Study the past if you would define the future.” It does not mean that people don’t change or learn new things but past behavior gives great insight into patterns for which to launch potential growth and development.
Making the Case for Behavioral Interviews
When customized for your organization, behavioral interviews inherently open candidates up in the interview process because the questions are free of judgment. It is clear to candidates that your organization is seeking understanding, and those interviewed will leave your company feeling heard. There is so much power in observation when the interview questions are intentionally constructed to meet the needs of your organization while simultaneously honoring the experience of those being interviewed.
By hiring a professional consultant to help design and conduct behavioral interviews, the feedback you receive will be customized to your company culture. When conducting behavioral interviews, the effective interviewer is focused less on the actual behavior the candidate is describing, and more on how he or she represents others and their contributions. In a behavioral interview, the depth of insight into a leader’s style comes from how they think about what matters to them, given both what is said and what is not said.
Behavioral Interviews and Conscious Leadership
Conscious leaders are willing to challenge deep-seated assumptions they hold about themselves, other people and the world. Conscious leaders know that these values require a fundamental shift in awareness, understanding and behavior. Behavioral Interviews are a series of carefully constructed questions that help reveal behavioral assumptions held by a candidate that would impact their ability to lead and guide the success of others in your organization.
Behavioral Interviews can help you move toward conscious leadership before individuals are even hired. If the whole person is considered as a candidate, then he or she will bring all of who they are to their new role. Why? Because when they were interviewed, they experienced your commitment to the values of your organization and to them as the candidate.
Soft Skills and Hard Numbers
Many companies see behavioral interviewing in the “soft skills” category. However, if you are only looking at skills, abilities and knowledge during recruitment, it can cost millions each year in development and attrition.
Hiring the wrong person can cost upwards of one and half times their salary to replace them, not to mention the cost of compromised morale and productivity. There is nothing soft about the benefit of a polished and customized recruiting tool to help you, those you interview, and your company succeed because …
People are not your most important asset. The right people are. – Jim Collins
At Guiding Leaders and Teams, we would love to work with you to craft behavioral interviews to attract emotionally intelligent leaders in order to save you the first 55 minutes an hour, as Einstein said, “determining the proper questions to ask.”
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