26th April 2019

My Experience of Behaviour-based Interviewing

Embarking on a job hunt is intimidating. But hiring a new team member is daunting too. Whether you are looking for a new job or looking to hire someone, Scott Bradbury’s Management Skills: A Question of Evidence video offers guidance in how to get the best out of an interview.

  In December 2018, as recent graduate I had decided a jaunt around South East Asia would buy me more time in making that all important decision about what I was going to do with my life. But that deadline was now hurtling towards me and I didn’t have an answer. You see, I undertook my MA in the vain hope it would provide me with some sort of direction. I had always hoped that after jumping through the numerous educational hoops, I would arrive at some sort of grand epiphany and that, magically, life would fall into place. But it didn’t.

I spent the next two months applying for different jobs in a variety of sectors. I had offers pulled out from under me, I turned jobs down, I had interviews that were challenging, I had interviews that were nothing more than a boring conversation. These interviews all had one thing in common- they were biographical interviews. They wanted to know about me, my experience and my education but it was all very superficial.

 I know for certain that I would not have got my job at Scott Bradbury if I hadn’t experienced a variety of different interviews and been asked a variety of questions. Now, in my mind, those interviews were all a prelude to one of the most thought-provoking interviews a person can have. The team here at Scott Bradbury practise what they preach.  If you are a WATCH & GO customer, you probably will have seen A Question of Evidence. The overarching message of this video is to draw out examples the interviewee’s behaviour in their answers. This is called behaviour-based interviewing.

Interviewers want to find evidence that the candidate exhibits behaviours required for the job role. People often revert to ‘we did this’ or ‘we achieved this’. This doesn’t tell the interviewer anything. My interviewer at Scott Bradbury made me think about what I did and what I contributed to the outcome. But in my interviews up until that moment, I don’t think anybody had asked, ‘but what did you do?’ I knew the narrative of my example as I had relayed it on different occasions, but I didn’t particularly pinpoint my individual actions until I was asked to.

A Question of Evidence shows that it is how people approach the situation and perform, which is what really counts. The example I gave was from when I worked for a well-known outdoor clothing brand.  A judge from a popular Saturday night TV programme came into the store expecting the celebrity treatment and wanting the world handed to him on a silver platter and at a heavily discounted rate. This person was incredibly rude and demanding which was disappointing. I had always hoped the way he presents himself on TV was an act.  I ran up and down numerous flights of stairs, had rejected items flung in my direction and was coerced into asking the manager to give him a discount. The whole ordeal took well over an hour.  But I approached this situation with a near-terrifying determination- even staying after my shift had ended to see it through. I did make the sale. He got his discount. The paparazzi took photos of him in one of the jackets he bought from me. It all ended well but, at the time it was hard work.

What this example showed to my interviewer was that I approached challenges eagerly, I am resilient, and I am determined. It also showed that I can also close a difficult sale, overcome objections, and handle difficult people. These were some of the desired behaviours that my interviewer at Scott Bradbury was looking for. When people are recruiting for a role, they want to know how the interviewee will approach their job. In other words, what their observable behaviour will be. The best indicator of this is their past behaviour and this is what the behavioural interviewer is interested in it. Therefore, I challenge you, the next time you come to interview someone, ask them ‘what did you do?’

Alice Thynne, April 2019

Watch A Question of Evidence to see how behaviour-based interviewing works. The downloadable summary guide for this video also has some helpful tips and can be used as a crib sheet during interviews too. Contact Alice Thynne on 01638 723590 for more information.

Watch the video trailer

You can see the trailer for our behaviour-based interviewing video here.


My Experience of Behaviour-based Interviewing

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