Recording Candidate Responses to Critical Behavior Questions

While it may sometimes be appropriate to ‘grade’ responses to questions on specific technical skills or academic qualifications using a numerical system, responses to behavioral questions are not well suited to this approach.

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It does not make sense to allocate a quantitative grade to qualitative information. It is better to record the key elements of the answer and discuss later with other interviewers how closely the behaviors described match the requirements of the job.

Using the STAR mnemonic can help you ensure you have probed for enough information on which to base an objective judgment about the candidate’s suitability. This reminds interviewers to listen and probe for a full and clear description of:

  • Situation the candidate was dealing with
  • TTasks and Actions completed by the candidate
  • Results that were achieved through the candidate’s actions or contribution

Creating a candidate response grid such as the following, specifically for the behavioral interview questions, can help:

Lead Question Situation Tasks and Actions Results
Tell us about a time when you organized a complex event requiring coordination of many details.      
Tell us about a time when you had to respond quickly to significant, unexpected problems.      
Tell us about a time when you were dependent on information and/or cooperation from others to run an event, but you didn’t have any authority over them.      

Last Updated 12/7/17

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