When silence is golden: A review of Behavioural Interviewing

Title: Behavioural Interviewing – Taking the guesswork out of recruitment
Produced by Video Arts
Price £1,299 to buy
Price £299 to rent
Contact www.videoarts.com

Before watching this programme, I had my doubts that the complexities of the interviewing process could be conveyed on film rather than by role-play. Fortunately, this DVD package proved me wrong.

The aim of the programme is to show that the concept of behavioural interviewing can be used to predict the future performance of candidates.

We watch Alistair (played by James Nesbitt) learn the four steps in this interview process. These are: create a behavioural profile; focus on critical incidents in the candidate’s performance; take your time; and the Machievellian hide your hand.

Alistair learns the hard way, as he recruited Peter (played by the excellent Chris Marshall) without following the process. Needless to say, he pays the price when he conducts Peter’s exit interview four months later.

As Alistair interviews candidates to replace Peter, his colleague Diana encourages him to try out the behavioural technique to find the most suitable person.

We follow his learning path as red ticks and red crosses on the screen appear in checklists of his performance. Sounds naff, but this is a powerful technique.

Video Arts is really getting to grips with the flexibility of the DVD format: as well as the main programme, which is divided into chapters to improve accessibility, the DVD also includes additional learning material on further subtleties of interviewing. These include using silence as an interviewing technique and the importance of what people leave out as well as what they say.

The supporting material is well thought-out and provides outlines for a half- day or a full day programme. I’d say preparing for these programmes would take at least a day, as the trainer or facilitator would need that time to familiarise themselves with the possible directions on offer.

Humour has always been a hallmark of Video Arts’ programmes; this latest effort has a more subdued approach than in the past but fares well for it. It could be used effectively for its target audience of managers, supervisors and personnel specialists, particularly if the anticipated war for talent hots up on the recruitment battlefield – if that’s not too much of a metaphor.

Relevance? four out of five ticks
Interactivity? four out of five ticks
Value for money? five out of five ticks

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