Are you hiring the best person for the job?

Is it time to upgrade your behavioural or competency questions to performance-based interviews?
By Stephen Jackson
|CHRR, Guide to Recruitment & Staffing|Last Updated: 04/10/2001

For many organizations, interviews are the only or most important selection tool used to make hiring-selection decisions. However, companies that rely heavily on the interview for their selection decisions may not realize that some types of structured behavioural and competency interviews can be problematic and may result in not hiring the best person for the job. It’s important to understand the limitations of these types of interviews and how you can effortlessly overcome and “upgrade” them by using performance-based interviews.

Structured interviews: a dramatic improvement

Introduced years ago, structured and competency interviews with behaviourally anchored rating scales were a vast improvement over the infamous unstructured interview. They were designed to ask and rate each applicant using the same questions and set behavioural responses. This made structured behavioural and competency interviews more defensible than unstructured interviews and minimized or eliminated many types of biases (i.e.: the ‘contrast effect’ through which applicants are compared to the person who was interviewed prior to them; the “first impression effect” in which “gut instinct” decision is made in the first two minutes of the interview; etc.). The questions asked were often more relevant to the job and frequently this resulted in better employees.