Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Understanding Behvaioral Interviewing.

Behvaioral interviewing became popular fifteen years ago. The basic concept of behvaioral interviews is that requires candidates to draw upon past experiences, think of behvaioral interview questions as practical experience based questions. It is here that the answers are absolutely objective. The interview is about probing and works very differently from traditional job interviews. The basic rule of behavioral interviews is that past actions or behavior are indicative of future actions and behvaiors. Behvaioral Interviewing predicts 55% of on the job behavor which far exceeds traditional interviewing which only predicts 10% of future job behavior.

In knowing this we can see why Police Services are so big on doing these interviews. Policing is a service and very much about how you perform individually, how you will represent that Service infront of the public and professionally amongst your co-workers.

Uniquely though, Police Services right across the board seem not to offer a traditional job interview at all, as in: "Tell me about yourself?" Here, you could get away with telling the interviewer what they want to hear or embarrass yourself by telling them what you think they want to hear: you're a quick learner, motivated, especially if you're lying this is an easy spot to get away with it. Also, understand that these questions are very open ended, they don't contain any specific structure, ideally you could manipulate your answer to go any route you want. Alternatively, imagine you're instead asked "Tell me how you would handle a situation where ______________." This type of question is usually preceeded with a very specific set of ground rules about how you are to answer the question, they aren't complicated ground rules but guidelines on how specific to be, what kind of pace to speak in as the interviewer may be writing everything you say in short hand, which is the case with Police Services for posterity. Your answer is simple until the Interviewer begins to pick apart your answer, perhaps they want specific dates and times, who was there specifically? Furthermore, to get to know your true character you may be asked how you felt when something particular in your story happened, you may be asked to articulate many fine details and your reactions to them, the other parties involved reactions and of course, the outcome. Also, don't think it's as easy as regurgitating an answer, you could be stopped mid-sentence and asked to articulate your previous point more or talk more about the last point you made. This is all pooled against your chances for success in Policing. Luckily for Police Recruits, we know specifically the exact characteristics a Police Candidate should possess (competencies) and we have their definitions! Competencies are listed on every Police Service's website that follow the standardized Constable Selection System (the majority of Police Services). How many other careers give you a study path for your interview??

Let's go back to the original question, ""Tell me how you would handle a situation where ______________." One of the ground rules may be before you're able to fully give your answer, you need to give a quick overview or synopsis of what you're going to say in your answer. This gives interviewers a chance to see if your answer has the potential to give them what they need to draw from your answer. If not, you need try something else. It's wise not to question this and understand it's not a technique for interviewers to psyche you out, really, they know exactly which competency they're looking for and in what context it will work, wouldn't you rather know on the spot that the answer you're giving isn't working, try something else. The alternative like the B-PAD is not knowing right then and there, not knowing you're doing something wrong and being able to change your approach and receiving a letter of your failure to meet standard. This, is the single most endearing part about the behvaioral interview, that, you get to work with the interviewer.

Next week we're going to talk about specific techniques for answering questions, in the mean time if you have any questions I'm always available on the forum!

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