Interviews for legal and compliance positions often fail to provide insight into a candidate’s real skills and abilities. Behavioral interviews can uncover much more.

legal_and_compliance.pngAs a professional legal and compliance-recruiting firm, BarkerGilmore believes that one of the chief obstacles to a successful interview is questions that are hypothetical and overly straightforward.

Behavioral (or behavior-based) interviewing seeks to determine how a candidate will behave in a particular situation based on past performance. It’s rooted in the belief that past actions are a good predictor of future behaviors. The interviewer probes for specific scenarios that demonstrate desired skills or attributes.

Behavioral interview topics are more in-depth and more probing. Often, they are not questions at all, but are statements intended to elicit thoughtful responses. It is sometimes referred to as the STAR method, an acronym for topics that should be addressed—Situation, Task, Action and Results.

Prepare questions that align with your culture and the scope of the position.

Make sure you’re asking questions that will yield desired information. If, for example, you are hiring a new General Counsel and want to know about a candidate’s leadership skills, ask the following: “Describe a situation that helped you become a more effective legal leader. What actions did you take and what were the results?” Don’t ask, “Tell me about your leadership style.”

The following are examples of specific character traits and questions that reveal them.

  • Describe a situation in which you felt significant pressure to compromise your integrity.
  • Strategic problem solving. Tell me about a time when you had a complex problem to solve. What options did you generate? How did you choose the best one?
  • What sorts of obstacles do you face in your present job and what are specific ways you have overcome them?
  • Tell me about a situation in which you had to react quickly to changing conditions. How did you assess the impact of possible actions and what was the result of your choice?

At BarkerGilmore we know that every day without a complete legal and compliance team in place is a day you compromise productivity and risk exposure. The stakes are especially high when there’s an immediate need to fill and crucial steps in the candidate assessment process are overlooked.

BarkerGilmore’s CustomFit process saves time and delivers peace of mind. It has earned us an industry-leading 96% placement retention rate. Click here for more valuable insights on evaluating legal and compliance candidates. 

Topics: Legal Talent   |   Recruiting   |   John Gilmore


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