• United States
Managing Editor, Network World Fusion

A better interviewing technique?

Aug 21, 20032 mins
Data Center

* Establishing job competencies and using behavioral event interviewing can lead you to the perfect hire

Hiring employees is one of the most critical aspects of a manager’s job, but it’s also one of the most difficult. Many of us have had to rely on a combination of the person’s qualifications, experience, the interview and our gut instinct. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.

This week’s Management Strategies story in Network World proposes a new way: the behavioral event interview (BEI). In a BEI, a manager relies not so much on the person’s resumes and qualifications, but on the candidate’s experiences and answers to hypothetical work challenges.

Our author says the BEI focuses on candidates’ true competencies by probing the experiences job candidates identify as the most career-significant.

For example, say during an interview you learn that one of the greatest challenges a job candidate ever faced was dealing with a delayed application rollout, you would probe for information on how the person handled that situation.

“If the last thing they did was talk to the customers, then they don’t make it. That’s the end of the interview,” says Linda Pittenger, CEO of People3, a Gartner company specializing in IT human capital management. “Instead, most interviewers will ask job candidates how many years of networking they have. I’d rather have a customer-service person, if that’s one of the competencies, and send that person to certification school. You can’t teach people those competencies, you can teach them the skills.”

The key to a successful BEI is first knowing what core competencies you need for a given position. Pittenger defines a competency as a single or set of characteristics that differentiate and predict superior performance in any given job or role. You can determine what competencies you need by working with human resources, buying off-the-shelf models or just figuring it out on your own – discovering what skills make people superior in the job for which you’re hiring.

Check out this week’s Management Strategies story in its entirety for much more information on this surging hiring model, as well as a sample framework for a BEI: