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How to Develop and Utilize Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions can help you determine what a prospective new employee has actually done in a variety of typical work situations.

By and

Thu Oct 18 2012


Horizon House is a large metropolitan not-for-profit agency providing behavioral health services to its clients. Over the years, we have conducted job analyses of several of our service positions and found that our employees believed teamwork was the most important skill required to satisfactorily perform their jobs. Using a video-based assessment, we tested the teamwork skills of hundreds of newly hired employees, asking them to answer multiple choice questions about what they would do in a series of hypothetical work situations. One of the authors met individually with three employees who scored in the top percentile nationwide of individuals who took this test. All three had similar responses when asked what they thought about the test, in essence: “I am smart enough to select all the right answers, but on the job, I would often not actually do what the best response suggested.” While the test’s hypothetical scenarios addressed our employees’ problem-solving skills related to teamwork, our employees’ feedback demonstrated that knowing what to do is not the same as doing what needs to be done. 

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