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What is the Structured Behavioral Interview in selection processes?

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Both from the Psychology of Organizations and from Human Resources in general, research is always being carried out to design the most effective strategies when carrying out personnel selection processes as efficient as possible.

It is not just about saving time and money in the short term, but the chain of actions that go from defining the position to be filled to The entry of the new worker must be adjusted to the needs and capabilities of both parties, so that the agreement is sustainable in the long term. term. Therefore, the process of collecting information about applicants and drawing conclusions based on it must be able to evaluate the most relevant aspects that show to what extent a person adjusts to a job to remain in it beyond the Phase of onboarding and initial training.

In this sense, one of the main techniques used in personnel selection processes is the Structured Behavioral Interview, a modality interview that is capable of analyzing their job skills and predicting the candidate's performance in the specific job for which they are required.

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Below we will explain What is the Structured Behavioral Interview? and what are its characteristics and functions when applied in the business world.

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What is the Structured Behavioral Interview?

The Structured Behavioral Interview is one of the most useful techniques available to psychologists and Human Resources technicians in the areas of personnel selection and recruitment talent. Through it, a series of specific questions are asked, previously organized based on the criteria of selection of the company and the skills, knowledge and aptitudes that are most relevant to cover a position.

Unlike others, this type of interview focuses both on the psychological aspect of the person when solving certain challenges or problems that may arise daily in your work, such as in his behavior in the work context, his technical skills, ability to integrate into the company and his soft skills.

Soft skills are one of the most important aspects that must be addressed in the Structured Behavioral Interview and these include all those resources own skills, attributes and social or emotional competencies that the person puts into practice when interacting and relating successfully with other people in their environment labor.

Some of the most important soft skills are positive attitude, resilience, the ability to work as a team, flexibility and adaptation to change, responsibility, empathy, creativity, proactivity and motivation.

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How do you prepare a Structured Behavioral Interview?

To obtain a greater probability of success when selecting the best candidates for a company, it is essential to prepare carefully. the Structured Behavioral Interview in advance, previously organizing the questions that we will have to put into practice during the interview process. selection. There is no unitary formula well defined in advance; It must be adapted to each vacancy and company in which it is framed.

The highest level of preparation for the interview determines the degree of sophistication and adaptation to the interview criteria. selection of the company for which we work, so this prior period of organization requires effort and time.

The questions that the professional asks in this process will help him or her to configure the job portrait of the applicant; makes sure that the questions are open enough so that the candidate can comfortably develop their answers.

The Structured Behavioral Interview is based on the applicant's capabilities at various levels of performance (technical, psychological, social, etc.) so it is advisable to start preparing it, prepare a prior list of qualities that the candidate who we search

We can group this list of essential qualities or competencies into categories to make it easier for us to create the most important questions, as we will see in the next section.

In addition to that, it is worth keeping in mind that the best recruiting psychologists are those who jointly use the Structured Behavioral Interview with other interview models. interview that takes into account both behavioral and situational elements (referring to hypothetical situations at work in which the applicant is asked how would react).

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Elements of the Structured Behavioral Interview

The Structured Behavioral Interview must meet a series of requirements and characteristics that become a useful tool for selecting and identifying the best candidates for the company.

Below we will review the most important aspects on which the Structured Behavioral Interview is based and the main characteristics it should include.

1. Investigate the behavior

A good HR expert interviewer is one who investigates behavior above all else, leaving aside moral considerations or considerations based on prejudices regarding the applicant's way of being.

The most important thing here is to gather information about the target behavior, skills and abilities. present and past skills of the candidate to study if her profile will adapt to the company in the short term term. In this process we must try, to the extent possible, to make risky assumptions about the states internal psychological factors in the person: in this case the most relevant thing is their way of interacting with the environment in the context labor.

One of the main objectives of the Structured Behavioral Interview is to seek evidence and evidence of the present and past job performance of the person we are dealing with. interviewing and for this a methodical, in-depth and specific interrogation must be carried out about present events, past achievements or hypothetical work scenarios.

To obtain this information the HR technician You should ask for real examples that demonstrate your knowledge, skills or technical abilities and attitudes or values focusing on specific experiences, as we will see below.

2. Focus on competencies

The search for the applicant's competencies is the main basis of the Structured Behavioral Interview, and many of The questions deployed during the process aim to find evidence that confirms the performance of the candidate. The competencies are made up of all the technical knowledge and skills that the applicant has in relation to the demands of the job, and what you can offer to the company for which you are applying.

Below we will briefly summarize the main competencies that exist and how they can be identified.

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2.1. The knowledge

The applicant's knowledge is made up of everything that she has learned at a theoretical level through her training, that is, competencies related to knowledge at the level of abstract and concrete thinking.

To know exactly the level of knowledge that the person we interview has, we must ask specific questions and open questions in which you can display everything you know about a topic or ask them to give real examples from their life that demonstrate that she knows.

An example of questions to evaluate the level of knowledge could be “What can you tell us about X topic?” or “What is X?”

2.2. Technical skills

Technical skills are related to knowing how to deal with day-to-day problems, and are all those skills that allow the applicant to practically solve any type of problem or setback linked to the job, applying the necessary knowledge.

Some examples of questions that help us know the level of technical skills could be “Could you give examples of the last time you had to do X activity?”

3. Shared values ​​and culture

The Structured Behavioral Interview also serves to ensure, to the extent possible, that the candidate will adapt to corporate values ​​and company culture and that their participation in the organization does not clash with its habits.

In this section, we ask about the applicant's ability to fit into the company and ask them to tell us about their ability to relate to their colleagues or superiors.

4. Attitude and soft skills

The soft skills and attitude of the applicant are all those social and emotional self-regulation skills that are not expressed in a resume and make a candidate capable of functioning correctly in the company both when it comes to working and interacting.

Soft skills such as goal orientation, resilience, personal responsibility and management skills self-motivation can make a difference and the decantation towards a specific candidate in case of a tie between candidatures.

Are you interested in training in Personnel Selection?

If you want to specialize in the field of Personnel Selection for organizations or. In general, in Human Resources, you will be interested the University Master's Degree in Talent Selection and Management offered by the University of Malaga (UMA). This training program addresses the two main pillars of HR: selection, on the one hand, and the training and retention of talent among employees, on the other. In addition, it has the collaboration of professionals from the main large companies that operate in Spain, and gives the possibility of taking internships in several of them. To learn more about the Master's degree, go to this page.

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