Training and Development Solutions partnered with a food manufacturing client to deliver Behavioral Interviewing Skills training to its production department supervisors. Applicants for production department openings were first screened by supervisors before moving on to senior management and HR for the next round of interviews. The company’s primary objective was to improve the interviewing skills of their supervisors so that, in combination with their production experience, they would be better equipped to help identify the best candidates to join the production team.
The Behavioral Interviewing Skills course was designed to help participants learn how to develop and ask questions, probe for details and respond appropriately and professionally when interviewing applicants. Through various activities, including role plays and case studies, supervisors were given the opportunity to practice structuring an interview to maximize time and results; to develop appropriate opening and follow-up questions; to avoid common legal problems; to respond appropriately to interviewees’ questions; and to evaluate candidates using objective, defensible criteria.
The instructor focused on several key areas of the interview process in order to deepen supervisors understanding of behavioral interviewing, including:
- An overview of the common types of questions (open, closed, summarizing, probing, clearinghouse) and when to use them
- Probing for details
- Spotting “red flags”
- Preventing legal problems and understanding laws protecting applicants
- Recognizing bias and stereotyping
- Avoiding common mistakes such as lack of preparation and structure, inconsistency and perceptual bias
- Responding appropriately to questions from the candidates
- Determining and weighing criteria (skills and qualifications)
- Evaluating responses
Investing in the development of their supervisors’ interviewing skills reflected the value the company places on the hiring process and supported their goal that applicants have a positive interview experience as the first important step in their prospective employment with the organization.
Participants responded enthusiastically to the course and reported incorporating key elements of the content in their subsequent interviews.