More Than Than A Gut Feeling™

Behavior-Based Interviewing Program with Paul C. Green, PhD.

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Past Behavior Is the Most Reliable Predictor of Future Performance!

A lot of hiring gets done based on nothing more than a 'gut feeling.' Assumptions... Intuition... And a lot of employee turnover results because that gut feeling, that assumption, that intuition just wasn’t very accurate. One of the greatest fears is that you’ll hire the wrong person. You want a system that enables you to gather the right information and use it to make informed hiring decisions. A system that has built-in predictability, so you know that the person you hire will be successful on the job.

The More Than a Gut Feeling program and training package will introduce you to the practice of behavior-based interviewing. The concept of behavior-based interviewing is simple: Your interview questions target the candidate’s past job behavior... because past behavior is a reliable predictor of future performance.

How do we know this is true?

Because it’s been proved in thousands of actual job situations for more than two decades. Interviews that probe for past job behavior have been found to be more reliable than ones that focus on personality traits, such as “I’m dependable,” or “I’m hardworking,” or even, “You can count on me.” And hiring decisions based on actual behavior are far more accurate than those based on gut feelings.

What many successful interviewers have found is that the way in which a person handled a specific situation in the past gives you valid information about how that person will approach a similar situation in the future. If a person has worked well with customers in the past, he or she will most likely be effective with customers in the future. If the person has had trouble communicating well in the past, you can predict that he or she will continue to have communication problems in the future. This is the foundation for behavior-based interviewing. Once you understand this concept, you can plan to ask the kinds of questions that will give you the information you need to make good hiring decisions.

More Than a Gut Feeling™: Behavior-Based Interviewing is an innovative training program designed to enhance their interviewing skills. The program revolves around the concept that past behavior is the most reliable predictor of future performance, teaching trainers to conduct interviews that delve into candidates' previous experiences. Through interactive scenarios and expert guidance, trainers learn to craft open-ended questions that elicit detailed responses, enabling them to assess a candidate's potential beyond mere intuition.

What Is a Behavior-Based Interview and How It Works?

A Behavior-Based Interview, also known as a behavioral interview, is a technique used by employers to assess a candidate's past behavior, experiences, and skills. This method focuses on how candidates have previously handled specific situations in the workplace that are relevant to the job they are applying for. It's based on the idea that past performance is the best indicator of future performance.

During a Behavior-Based Interview, candidates are asked to provide examples from their past work experiences that demonstrate their abilities and how they've approached various challenges. The interviewer looks for detailed narratives that reveal the candidate's habits, thought processes, and actions in real-life scenarios.

Behavior-Based Interviewing

Evaluating a candidate's past behavior is more reliable than relying solely on gut feelings, making it a beneficial approach for predicting job performance.

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How to Effectively Ask Open-ended Questions in an Interview?

Open-ended questions help elicit specific information about an interviewee's skills and behaviors, but some may struggle to provide prompt and candid responses. Be patient and allow for silence during the interview process to give the interviewee time to gather their thoughts and answer the questions more thoroughly. This approach ultimately leads to more insightful responses from the candidates.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Summary: The interviewer asks of open-ended questions tailored to extract specific experiences and skills, showcasing how they prompt thoughtful responses.

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How Do I Handle Rambling Candidates?

Handling candidates who tend to ramble on and on during an interview can be challenging, but with the right techniques, interviewers can guide the conversation back to relevance without being rude or dismissive.

It's important to employ active listening and tactful interruption techniques. Gently steer the conversation back on track by waiting for a natural pause and then interjecting with a relevant, job-focused question. Keep the interview structured by referring to your list of prepared questions, and if necessary, ask for clarification to bring the candidate's attention back to the topic at hand. Encourage concise responses by summarizing their points and moving on to the next question, ensuring the interview remains productive and focused on assessing the candidate's suitability for the role.

Control the Interview

Summary: When the candidate rambles or goes off track, the interviewer asks a new question to redirect them. This subtle maneuver helps guide the discussion and keep it focused.

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Scenarios Covered In This Program

  • Evaluating Past Job Performance: Trainees will learn how to ask questions that help them understand a candidate's previous job performance and behaviors.
  • Candidates Without Prior Job Experience: The program will teach how to assess candidates who may not have direct job experience but have other relevant life experiences.
  • Handling Off-Topic Candidates: Techniques will be provided for steering the interview back on track when a candidate rambles or diverges from the topic.
  • Assessing Technical Skills and Competencies: Trainees will be equipped with strategies to evaluate both the hard and soft skills necessary for the job.
  • Formulating Specific Open-Ended Questions: The training will focus on creating questions that prompt candidates to provide specific, behavior-based examples.
  • Maintaining Interview Control: The program will offer methods for maintaining control of the interview direction and flow.
  • Seeking Contrary Evidence: Participants will learn the importance of seeking evidence that may contradict their initial impressions to ensure a balanced assessment.
  • Interviewing for Abstract Skills: The training will address how to formulate questions that help evaluate abstract skills like creativity, leadership, and adaptability.

Key Benefits for Trainees

  • Enhanced Hiring Accuracy: Learn to select candidates who are more likely to succeed in their roles.
  • Reduced Turnover: Improve employee retention by making more informed hiring decisions.
  • Legal Compliance: Stay within legal guidelines by focusing on job-related experiences.
  • Systematic Approach: Replace intuition with a structured and reliable interviewing strategy.
  • Improved Interviewer Confidence: Gain the ability to ask the right questions and control the interview process.
  • Diverse Candidate Assessment: Evaluate candidates with varied life experiences effectively.
  • Balanced Evaluation: Learn to seek contrary evidence, ensuring a well-rounded view of each candidate

Competencies Covered

  • Interview Planning: Trainees will learn how to prepare for interviews by reviewing job analyses and identifying the skills and competencies required for the job.
  • Behavioral Insight: They will gain the ability to probe into a candidate's past experiences to predict future job performance.
  • Question Formulation: The program will teach trainees how to formulate open-ended questions that elicit specific, job-related examples.
  • Interview Control: Trainees will learn techniques to maintain control of the interview, even when candidates go off-topic or ramble.
  • Legal Awareness: The training will provide knowledge on how to conduct interviews within legal guidelines to avoid discrimination.
  • Competency Assessment: Participants will become skilled at evaluating both technical job skills and soft skills, such as adaptability and problem-solving.
  • Balanced Evaluation: They will learn the importance of seeking contrary evidence to ensure a balanced view of each candidate's abilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is behavior-based interviewing?

Behavior-based interviewing is a method that focuses on a candidate's past experiences and behaviors as indicators of their future performance. It involves asking detailed questions that require candidates to describe how they handled specific situations related to the job they're applying for.

How does behavior-based interviewing differ from traditional interviewing methods?

Unlike traditional interviews that may rely on hypothetical questions or assess general qualifications, behavior-based interviewing seeks concrete examples of past behavior, providing a more accurate prediction of future job performance.

What are some effective strategies for formulating behavior-based questions?

Effective strategies include focusing on the core competencies required for the job, using open-ended questions starting with 'how,' 'what,' 'when,' 'where,' 'who,' or 'why,' and avoiding leading questions that suggest a particular answer.

What is 'contrary evidence'?

It's seeking information that may contradict your initial impressions to ensure a balanced view.

How can interviewers avoid bias during a behavior-based interview?

Interviewers can avoid bias by preparing standardized questions related to job competencies, ensuring all candidates are assessed equally, and focusing on job-related experiences rather than personal characteristics.

What role does intuition play in behavior-based interviewing?

While intuition can guide the creation of questions, decisions should be based on the candidate's responses to behavior-based questions rather than on gut feelings, ensuring a more objective assessment.

How can a behavior-based interview be structured to assess a candidate's soft skills?

The interview can include questions that explore situations requiring soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving, asking candidates to provide specific examples of how they've demonstrated these skills in the past.

What are the best practices for documenting and evaluating responses in a behavior-based interview?

Best practices include taking detailed notes during the interview, using a consistent rating system to evaluate responses, and comparing candidates' answers to the predefined competencies and job requirements.

What is the duration of the training program?

The program is designed to be flexible (1 to 2 hours), with modules that can be spread out over several training sessions.

Can the program be scaled for different-sized organizations?

Yes, the program is scalable and can be adapted for various group sizes by adjusting the depth of content, the number of scenarios covered, and the facilitation methods used.

Who should attend this training?

It's ideal for HR professionals, team leaders, managers, executives and any staff members involved in day-to-day hiring and interviewing processes and procedures.

What if I don't have an effective training program for structured interviewing in place?

Here are some of the negative consequences that may arise:

  • Inconsistent Interviewing: Each interviewer may have a different approach, leading to inconsistency in the evaluation of candidates. Hiring decisions may rely too much on personal intuition.
  • Increased Turnover: Poor hiring choices often lead to higher turnover rates, which can be costly and disruptive.
  • Legal Risks: A lack of structured interviews increases the risk of unconscious bias and potential legal challenges related to discriminatory hiring practices.
  • Missed Opportunities: The best candidates might be overlooked due to a lack of focus on past behaviors that predict future performance.
  • Wasted Resources: Time and resources spent on unstructured interviews may not yield the best outcomes, leading to wasted efforts.
  • Damaged Employer Brand: A poor interview experience can negatively impact an organization's reputation among potential candidates.
what will happen

Program Options & Available Formats


Streaming Video

Interactive eLearning


Library License

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Video Length: 27 Minutes
Program Option: 2-Hour Instructor-Led Sessions


Leader's Guide, Self-Study Guide, Assessment, Workshop Presentation


English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), German, French, Czech, Chinese, French Canadian, Polish, Russian, Bulgarian


Hiring Managers & Supervisors, Human Resource Professionals

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