Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Performance Based Interviewing

The Department of Veterans Affairs has put together something called Performance Based Interviewing.

PBI "is a method to increase the effectiveness of the interviewing process in selecting and promoting quality staff. With PBI, the interviewer carefully defines the skills needed for the job and structures the interview process to elicit behavioral examples of past performance."

One interesting feature is a bank of interview questions designed by the job function. Following each level is a sample question.

Level I: Frontline staff, those who do not supervise others.
"Give a specific example of a time you had to deal with an upset co-worker, patient, or other customer. What was the person upset about and how did you handle? What was the outcome?"

Level II: Work unit leaders, those who lead the work of a natural group of people, either temporarily (process improvement team leader) or as an ongoing role (foreman, section leader).
"A part of this job is documenting your work. On a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being excellent writing skills, how would you rate your writing ability? Give specific example of the types of documents you write routinely. What feedback do you get from your supervisor on your writing skills? "

Level III: Mid-level managers, division/department/service line managers, those in charge of a major function in an organization.
"Think about a specific time when you had to negotiate with several service chiefs to obtain their cooperation to implement a specific initiative. Tell me specifically how you negotiated with them to attain the desired cooperation and how the implementation of the initiative went. "

Level IV: Executive leadership, those responsible for the overall functioning and outcomes of the organization.
"Tell me specifically what you have done to create an atmosphere of trust and empowerment within your sphere of influence. What tangible results have you seen from your efforts? "

The page has information for those preparing to be interviewed as well as those conducting interviews or training others about PBI.

1 comment:

mjpf01 said...

This is more commonly known as Competency-based interviewing or assessment and has been in use for many years. This method also has some major flaws built-in. It asks the interviewer to look for "I" statements and to disregard statements that begin with "we accomplished xyz.." This is supposed to weed out exaggeration but the problem is that men are much more likely to make an "I" statement for a "we" accomplishment and women are more likely to say "we" even we she has been solely responsible for the achievement. This leads to giving the appearance of women having less, and men more initiative and responsibility when the reverse may be true.