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Home  > Article

What is Behavioral Interviewing?-- Part 1

By Jen A. Miller

Let's be honest: Coming out of college, you probably don't have that much real world experience.

How are you going to talk about past experiences in a job interview for a sales position if you haven't sold anything? And how is a potential employer going to gauge whether you'd be a good fit for the company if you haven't practiced your studied craft?

One way companies have tried to get around this barrier is the use of behavioral interviewing, a technique developed in the 1970s by psychologists for employers who were frustrated that the people they interviewed turned out to be much different than the people they actually hired.

Hiring the wrong person is not only irritating, but time consuming and expensive, and it's much easier and cheaper to hire someone than to fire someone. So employers have a financial incentive to get it right the first time.

Studies about behavioral interviewing have proven it to be much more effective than traditional interviewing: one even showed that behavioral interviews were 55 percent predictive of future job behavior while traditional interviews clocked in at only 10 percent. "Companies are recognizing the research out there saying that this is the most scientifically valid form of interviewing," says Scott Weighart, author of Find Your First Professional Job: A Guide to Co-ops, Interns and Full-Time Job Seekers and faculty member of the Department of Cooperative Education at Northeastern University. "In this increasingly litigious society, companies can't really afford to hire the wrong people."

Behavioral interviewing also cuts through resume exaggerations -- according to the Society of Human Resource Management, 51 percent of resumes have inaccuracies. "So recruiters have learned that they need to probe deeper to validate experiences or achievements," says Ron Price, CEO of Price Associates, a business consulting firm.

  "Behavioral interviews have become the accepted standard for most, if not all human resource professionals," he adds.

There's no way to know if you're going to get a behavioral interview, traditional interview, or a mix of both (though most mega corporations rely on behavioral interviews). Either way, since most people use the technique, you should prepare for it.

So how do you know if you're in a behavioral interview? And how can you get ready? Read on to find out more >>>.

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