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How to Conduct a Performance-Based Behavioral Interview - Hiring Emotionally Intelligent People

Maynard Brusman

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Conducting an effective pre-employment job interview takes a great deal of skill and preparation. You want to interview candidates to assess their technical competence and most importantly their emotional intelligence and social intelligence. A poor hire can cause your company a great deal of money and undue distress for everyone involved.

Key Points for Conducting an Effective Interview:

  • Successful work behavior requires a mixture of job and people skills.
  • The single best predictor of future behavior is candidates’ past behavior.
  • Stay focused and conscious.
  • Overcome emotional reactions and remain in control.
  • Listen 80% of the time.

Preparation is key to a successful, effective interview:

1. Do a Job Analysis. Identify critical success factors or job-specific competencies.

2. Create a job description based on what work needs to be accomplished.

3. Read candidates’ resume and reference letters.

4. Decide how long the interview should take, generally 30-60 minutes.

5. Write job-specific competency questions. Example: Tell me how you have used your computer skills to accomplish a

specific business objective?

6. Write Emotional Intelligence competency questions. Example: Effective team members are able to listen deeply to others and

appreciate what their teammate is experiencing and feeling. Can you tell me about a time when you experienced being able to

truly understand a coworker? (Empathy).

7. Indicate problem behaviors (would cause a competent person to fail) on Job Rating Sheet.

Example: Unable to manage conflict

8. Decide if a work sample is necessary and how the skills should be demonstrated.

9. Incorporate valid, reliable and job-related pre-employment tests.

During the interview procedure:

1. Ask specific job skills and education competency questions that you have prepared.

2. Ask interpersonal skills competency questions. Emotional Intelligence competency questions represent approximately

70 % of any interview, supplemented by other types of questions.

3. Take notes, including any potential problem behaviors.

4. Note areas for personal and career development.

5. Call references.

6. Complete a Hiring Rating Sheet including ratings on general impression, interpersonal skills and job-specific

competencies, work simulation observations, test results, references and recommendations for hire.

Hiring decision:

1. Each member of interviewing team shares analysis of candidates’ work-related competencies and other job-related data

with the hiring manager and a final decision is made.

Are you making good hiring decisions selecting people that are emotionally intelligent and a good fit with the company culture?

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams.

We provide strategic talent management solutions to select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders and lawyers.

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded two rare “Board Approved" designations for Dr. Maynard Brusman in the specialties of Executive/Leadership Coaching and Trusted Advisor to Attorneys and Law Firms.

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