KB 33 Behavioural Interviews

Issue No 33 | APRIL2011

a human r e s ou r c e news l e t t e r


Qazi Naved Rafiq

BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWS - A HIRING REVOLUTION Qazi Naved Rafiq is an Advisory Project Manager with IBM India Pvt. Ltd. He is a PMI Certified Project Manager with 12+ years of experience in the IT industry. He has held a variety of leadership positions on various engagements. He is internally certifiedby IBM to conduct behavioral interviews and has been practicing the technique for many years. The Behavior Based Structure Interview (BBSI) or behavioral interview is an old interviewing technique, which is fast gaining popularity and being widely adopted. Companies like Accenture, IBM and other industry leaders have been using this for many years. Although there is a small minority emerging that believes that this technique is not effective in identifying the right candidate for the job, my personal experience and the growing popularity shows that this is still one of the best techniques for a holistic review of job related competencies. The competencies to be evaluated may vary from one organization to the other, but broadly categorized as: - Technical Skills: Basic skills needed to perform the role and relevant experience - Functional Skills: Domain expertise required for the position - Core Competencies: Communication, Integrity, Leadership Capabilities, Interpersonal Skills, Managerial Skills

HIGHLIGHTSOF THIS ISSUE - Qazi Naved Rafiq elaborates on ‘Behavioral Interviews - A Hiring Revolution’ - Samrat Dasgupta emphasizes on behavioral interviews being a source of competency judgments - Niket Karajagi opines on the ‘Right Way to Hire’ - Neha Kamat shares her insights on Behavioral event interviews, the workshop way THE EDITOR’S COLUMN Deeksha Jawa

Deeksha Jawa, Head – Project Management, Atyaasaa Consulting Private Limited, is a post graduate in Management HR and Green Belt in Six Sigma with a background in Psychology. She is also a DISC certified behavior analyst with a passion for behavioral sciences and combines her

knowledge of psychometric testing with her management expertise to manage projects end to end and design & develop workshops in order to meet the changing needs of businesses. In this issue, understand the shift in the interviewing process. Foray into the domain of ‘Behavioral Interviews’. With the experts sharing their opinions on this theme, you are sure to enjoy this issue, along with a great deal of learning. NOTES FROM SUB-EDITOR Khushnawaz Munshi

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Khushnawaz Munshi is presently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration, majoring in HR, and working for Atyaasaa Consulting Pvt. Ltd. She is a keen observer of human behavior and loves to explore the dynamics of interpersonal relations. She is passionate about literary and oratory forums.

Dear Readers, we hope you enjoy this stimulating read on Behavioral Interviews – The Changed Paradigm. Our subsequent theme is ‘Thinking Ahead – Strategic Planning for the Next Financial Year’. Knowledge Beans would appreciate your varied contribution on the theme. Do send us a 300word article sharing your views and opinions on the theme, along with your photograph in jpeg format and brief profile.

Atyaasaa Consulting Private Limited is a leading Human Resource Training & Consulting Organization partnering with some of the best brands in the country and overseas. Atyaasaa has been a catalyst & a contributor in their quest for people development and business excellence. The core differentiator of Atyaasaa process is continual innovation, unique customization and use of state of the art technology tools implemented through ethical and Write to us For information : info@atyaasaa.com For contributing articles : atyaasaaeditor@atyaasaa.com For suggestions : feedback@atyaasaa.com

experienced operations and human resource facilitators having contribution as their core value.

a human resource newsletter KNOWLEDGEBEANS

issue no 33 | April 2011

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A BBSI is effective only when the following key ground rules are followed: 1. Thorough preparation that involves reviewing the candidate's profile carefully and identifying relevant experiences for discussion. 2. Asking standard, open-ended questions so that the candidate can be assessed on a standard scale (typically a 5 point scale), ensures proper comparison and grading. 3. Questions on recent experiences provide insight on current skill and maturity level and indicate whether the person is ready for taking up similar positions. 4. Probing deeper is a “must” to get past false claims of glory and learn the truth. Although, popular belief is that a BBSI interview can predict future performance, I believe it only helps to select the right candidate. Future performance depends on a variety of factors and cannot be predicted. The BBSI technique requires good training and practice. Candidates are also increasingly adopting preparation techniques to excel at behavioral interviews. However, innovative questioning can outwit the smartest of candidates.


Samrat Dasgupta


Competency based human resource management has played an important role in the evolution and importance of Behavioral Event Interviews (BEIs). The purpose of BEI is to link what human resources say or think about their motives or skills to what they actually do in real life situations. BEI involves probing into interviewee’s past critical incidences of work to analyse the competencies of the person. The following are the steps to prepare for BEIs: 1. Get a brief knowledge of the interviewee: Know the interviewee’s details, his career background that includes his academics, organizations he has worked in, job title and a bit about his job responsibilities. It is very important for the interviewer to not know about the interviewee’s performance in his current job to avoid leading or biased questions. 2. Select proper place and time for uninterrupted interview process: Interruptions should be avoided. The interviewer should also ensure confidentiality of the interview. 3. Record the interview: It is best to record the interview digitally, to capture the nuances of the interview. It becomes easy for the interviewer to analyse by going back to recorded facts. 4. Know what you will say in the actual BEI. The BEI consists of five essential steps that need to be followed in a chronological order. They are: i. Introduction: The interviewer should give a self-introduction and give the purpose as well as importance of conducting the interview. continued to next page >>

Management Trainee – Human Resources in Kohler Engines. He has a wide and varied exposure to

recruitment and selection, employee induction, performance management systems and a part of employee benefits. His core interest lies in performance management systems, talent acquisition and retention.

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ii. Discussion of career path: The interviewer should ask the interviewee about his past career path and career path he is seeking in the current organization. iii. Behavioural events: Ask probing questions like - “What was the situation?”, “What events led up to it?”, “Who was involved?”, “What did you think, feel, or want to do in the situation?” and “What did you actually do or say?” iv. Description of characteristics required for the job: Get the interviewees perception about the characteristics required in the job. This helps interviewer to get insights into additional critical incidents and makes the interviewee feel valued for his opinion. v. Concluding: The interviewee should feel strong and valued for the time and opinions he has given. The interview should end with interpretations that can be derived from conversational style, physical appearance, words and phrases used by interviewee, critical incidents, comfort level generated, interviewees conclusion about events as well as people and probes that had interesting results. HIRING THE RIGHT WAY A best hire must not be an accident but a certainty. It is impor- tant to first look at the job description and study it very carefully. A clarity of the profile both at technical and behavioral level derived from the job description is the key to successful hiring. The probing then must follow the sequence as under to get all the relevant data needed to take the right decision: 1. Environment: Check the upbringing and environment the person comes from. A challenging job needs a continual exposure to hardships and risks. A soft job needs a candidate from a soft background. Any mismatch will create a misfit. 2. Beliefs and Values: Check if the emotionally held opinions of the person match the approach you need in the job. See if the persons value system is congruent and in line with the organiza- tions culture. 3. Attitude and behaviour: Attitude is the underlying aspect of the behavior. An abstract problem scenario and the persons approach to it will give an insight in the mental programming of the individual. A past behavior is also a great insight into future behavior at this stage. 4. Skills: Skills can be learnt in a short period. If attitude is right, skill is not an issue. Overemphasis on skills can result in a bad hire. FOUNDER’S COLUMN

Niket Karajagi

Niket Karajagi is the founder director of Atyaasaa Consulting Private Limited, Pune which contributes to top corporate brands globally. He is an established international management consultant and an innovative human resource trainer with niche areas of expertise & contributions. Niket is an authority on creativity & innovation, emotional intelligence and statistical methodologies apart from his operations background in understanding of management processes.

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a human resource newsletter KNOWLEDGEBEANS

issue no 33 | April 2011

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5. Competencies: These are the attributes that need a deep probing. This aspect determines if the person can deal with abnormal and challenging situations. Be clear on competencies of success in a job. Remember always, number of years of work determines the skills and not competency. Competencies are behaviors of success determined by your organizations competency grid/leadership behaviors. Over emphasis on tenure can result in a bad hire. Competency with right attitude is a great combination. 6. Sense of purpose: This is the highest decision criterion. If the candidate is clear on his passion and the job is in line with his passions this is the best hire one can look for.

2. We must get the best hires. Best are identified, groomed and retained. They seldom look out for a job as the organization goes out of the way to retain them. Thus, the best may not join you. 3. Interview is a gut call. Never is this the case. 4. Interview needs no planning and can be handled spontaneously. This is a disaster. 5. One must look for clones of existing performers. This is

impossible each human being is unique. 6. Interview is a ten-minute process. 7. One round is good enough.

Lastly, performers must conduct interviews. Exceptional performers hire exceptional people. The best candidate may not join you if interviewed by a mediocre manager.

You must also overcome the myths that exist in hiring process: 1. Number of years in a job guarantees success.


Neha Kamat


“Tell me about yourself?” “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?” – And all the other typical interview questions - Ever wondered whether they give you real authentic information about the candidate? The research says – “No!” The predictive validity of classical method of interviewing is as low as 0.2. That means if only classical interviews are used as a means of selection, then out of 5 selected candidates only one is likely to perform well in the job! The alternative is to move to behavioral event interviewing – the scientific way of interviewing. Behavioral event interviewing is about delving into the depths as well as past of an individual to identify the behavioral patterns. This not only is an accurate predictor of the future behavior but also envisages the performance in a particular job (predictive validity = 0.6). This method is being employed world over to identify and quantify the level of competencies present in individuals. Atyaasaa presents a comprehensive one-day workshop on conducting behavioral event interviews (BEI). It starts with understanding the human mind and its process in context of theinterview process. It further explores the realms of the individual beliefs and its congruence with the corporate philosophy. Taking the participants through the entire planning BEAN STATEMENT “An individual is not what he says he is, but is rather the reflection of what he does”

Neha Kamat - Consultant, Atyaasaa Consulting Pvt. Ltd., has a post graduate diploma in Human Resources and is a certified behavioral analyst. She uses her analytical skills to apply management knowledge in dynamic business context and facilitate people to bring out the best in themselves. She aspires to gain expertise and contribute in all facets of HR.

and process of conducting interviews, this workshop ensures that you conduct interviews in a scientific yet creative way. Furthermore, it also encompasses understanding the model of transactional analysis to identify and follow the right mode of interaction with the interviewee. The pedagogy of the workshop is highly experiential in nature to help you relate to, practice and master the art of conducting structured yet innovative interviews!

For further details contact info@atyaasaa.com

Atyaasaa's global competency profiling - A psychometric revolution! Assessing seven highly researched competencies required to excel at your workplace. For more details call us at +91-9823057447 or write to us at psychometricinfo@atyaasaa.com ARRIVING SOON .........

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