High-Impact Interview Questions | Victoria A. Hoevemeyer

Summary of: High-Impact Interview Questions: 701 Behavior-Based Questions to Find the Right Person for Every Job
By: Victoria A. Hoevemeyer


In the book ‘High-Impact Interview Questions’, author Victoria A. Hoevemeyer reveals the benefits of Competency-Based Behavioral Interviewing (CBBI) as a powerful tool for choosing the right person for every job. CBBI is a structured interviewing process that focuses on a candidate’s achievements, talents, and past experiences to determine their potential success in a new role. This summary provides valuable insights on traditional and unique interview questions, their shortcomings, and how implementing CBBI can prevent time-consuming, painful, and costly hiring mistakes. By following Hoevemeyer’s guidelines, interviewers will be equipped to make informed decisions, ensuring the selection of candidates with the appropriate skills and talents for their respective positions.

Mastering Competency-Based Behavioral Interviewing

Human resource professionals often struggle with the uncomfortable task of interviewing, leading to costly mistakes in hiring. “Competency-based behavioral interviewing” (CBBI) provides a solution by using a structured process to gather information about a candidate’s previous achievements and talents. This technique eliminates subjectivity and ensures that the candidate possesses the necessary skills for the new position. Traditional interview questions have become cliché, but CBBI prevents time-consuming, painful, and costly mistakes, making it an invaluable tool for successful hiring.

Unconventional Interview Questions to Hire Top Talent

Traditional interview questions fail to bring out a candidate’s true strengths and potential. Unusual interview questions, while not for everyone, can help gauge a candidate’s ability to handle unexpected situations and reveal their creativity.

Gone are the days when asking a candidate whether they prefer working alone or in a group and what their strengths and weaknesses are, sufficed. Such common interview questions only elicit canned responses, making it harder for hiring managers to evaluate a candidate’s true potential. While some candidates find comfort in these types of questions, many feel that their real strengths and potentials are not coming out.

Additionally, traditional interview questions lack the element of surprise, causing little to no anxiety to both parties and fitting the time allotted to the interview. Hiring managers and candidates alike prefer these types of questions for their straightforward nature. Unfortunately, these types of questions fail to challenge candidates, leaving hiring managers with incomplete information about a candidate’s actual ability to perform on the job.

Unique interview questions, on the other hand, bring an element of surprise into the interview process. Although not everyone may see the need for such questions, they can help gauge whether a candidate can keep a straight face when confronted with something unexpected. Examples of unique questions include asking a candidate who their heroes are, how they would sell themselves in a newspaper advertisement, or what song they would choose as their life’s theme.

However, not all candidates and hiring managers may be open to unconventional or situational questions, which pose potential concerns about the appropriateness or relevance of such questions. For example, situational questions such as “what would you do if your boss told you to perform an unethical act?” can help evaluate a candidate’s critical thinking abilities, but the gap between what people say and what they do makes the responses to such questions unreliable.

Hiring managers must avoid questions that could be considered discriminatory for legal and ethical reasons. Instead, brainteaser interview questions, such as asking the candidate to explain why manhole covers are round or how they would weigh an airplane without using a scale, can demonstrate a candidate’s ability to analyze, think fast, and deal with the unexpected. Asking candidates to explain their answers can give further insight into their thinking patterns and their ability to apply different types of knowledge.

While some hiring managers claim that they can predict a candidate’s job performance from their pre-interview behavior, most people depend on the content of interviews. Unfortunately, traditional questions fall short in providing information about a candidate’s true potential. The missing piece of the puzzle is Competency-Based Behavioral Interviewing (CBBI), which seeks to evaluate a candidate’s competencies and abilities based on past behavior and performance.

In conclusion, interviewing candidates is an essential part of the hiring process, and unconventional interview questions can help hiring managers evaluate a candidate’s true potential better. Nonetheless, hiring managers must ensure that they avoid discriminatory questions, stay relevant to the job at hand, and remember to use CBBI to evaluate candidates’ competencies and abilities based on past behavior.

CBBI: Predicting Job Performance

CBBI is a 25-year-old method that predicts job candidates’ performance based on their past skills. The concept is to ask about actual job-related activities to determine how candidates will perform. Questions about handling stress and difficult customers are commonly used to complement “what if” questions. This method allows interviewers to compare candidates’ actual experience with the requirements of the position. This way, the performance management process takes on value in the organization. By using CBBI questions, employers can avoid arbitrary and capricious reviews while matching their needs with job candidates’ skills.

CBBI Approach Implementation

Learn the six steps to effectively adopt the CBBI approach in your HR department by developing competency models, determining basic competencies for each job, creating interview forms, and training interviewers.

To effectively implement the CBBI approach in your HR department, six crucial steps should be taken. Begin by creating competency models based upon your company’s values and strategic direction, and key criteria like talent and strategic goals. Next, determine the basic competencies required for each position and create questions that reveal a candidate’s competency level. Introducing rating scales can make the interview process objective. Develop interview forms for telephone and in-person interviews before providing training to interviewers regarding the use of rating scales and forms, seeking additional information, and avoiding legal issues.

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