The Best “Behavioral” Interview is the Topgrading ™ Interview

best behavior

So-called behavioral interviews are:

  • The most common “best practice” used for hiring by leading companies
  • Supposed to reveal key competencies in candidates for hire, and
  • Fail to achieve both those objectives.

The theory is good: instead of asking general (“tell me about yourself”) or hypothetical (“how would you handle …”) questions, find out what the candidate is really like. This is done by asking for specific examples (“Tell me about a time when…,” “and “Describe a situation where…”. The questions are supposed to describe the problem, what was done, and the end result.

While this sounds good in theory, these interviews are hugely flawed. I met with the #1 Human Resources executives in the country, whose main interviewing method followed this behavioral model. They admitted to suffering from 80% mis-hires. The Topgraders in the room claimed 80% high-performers hired.

Behavioral interviews fail because:

  • They are easy to fake – candidates pick the situations that make them look good. Since reference checks are usually worthless and they know it, they can exaggerate, hide facts, lie … and get away with it.
  • Faking behavioral interviews is taught in every book on how to get a job. Google “behavioral interviews” and pages and pages of tutorials pop up explaining how to fake these interviews.

I might be biased, but Topgrading ™ professionals are certain that the Topgrading ™ Interview is best because:

  • Candidates tell the truth. The candidate knows they will ultimately arrange calls with their former managers and other references, so they cannot get away with faking anything.
  • The Topgrading ™ Interview is chronological, and covers every job, every key success, failure, decision, and relationship. Candidates discuss real behaviors that accurately reveal all key competencies.
  • Candidates arrange calls with former bosses, peers, and subordinates, providing 100% verification of what the candidates said.

If you don’t want to be deceived by candidates who cherry pick and fudge behaviors, use the Topgrading ™ interview.

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