The Behavioral-Based Interviewing Toolkit

HR Guide to BBI

When one in three people who leave a healthcare organization have less than a year of tenure, it's fair to assume almost every organization has room to improve their ability to select the right candidates for the role. The challenge is helping your hiring teams make better hiring decisions with the limited time they have.

Behavioral-based interviewing techniques are one, proven way of helping your hiring teams spot the right candidate for the job by using past experience to understand future performance.

This toolkit was designed to give you the insights and resources you need to implement or improve BBI in your organisation. Hiring managers, see our guide just for you.

Want quick answers to the most common BBI questions, or a primer to share with managers? Click here.

Below are the four phases of BBI implementation and improvement, along with corresponding tools to support you and your teams.

Phase 1: Scope institutional investment

Determine where to prioritize BBI investments and the level of autonomy hiring managers will have over the interview process.

Use this resource if you are introducing BBI to your organisation or conducting a significant overhaul of your interviewing process. 

Tool #1: BBI Job Family Grouping

Once you have determined the importance of the various job positions, you can group medium- and low-priority positions into “job families” to create interviewing templates. Considerations for job families include: required education and experience levels, clinical skill set, and managerial requirements.

Tool Overview: Use this tool to group jobs into various job families and determine the balance of control between HR and the hiring manager based on the relative priority of the position.

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Phase 2: Develop interview infrastructure

Create structured interview guides and clear evaluation criteria to support hiring managers during and after the interview. Devote more attention to positions with a high impact on the organisation.

Use these resources if you want to provide managers with tools to facilitate consistency.

Tool #2: BBI Focus Group Framework

The more senior the position, the more input HR should get from key stakeholders to inform the job description and competencies. Focus groups, used correctly, are an effective way to gather this information.

Tool Overview: Use this tool as a framework for using focus groups to elicit key dimensions of job performance, as well as drivers of success in a particular role. Because focus groups are time intensive, they should be used to improve the specificity of BBI templates for executive and/or hard-to-fill positions.

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Tool #3: BBI Interview Builder

Translating a position’s key competencies to behavioral-based questions is a necessary but often challenging task. The BBI Interview Builder simplifies this task by providing you with questions from our BBI interview questions library with just a few clicks.

Tool Overview: Use this online tool to build your custom interview guide based on the competencies that are critical for your selected role.

Tool #4: BBI Evaluation Template

Most candidates will have several different interviews before a formal job offer is extended. However, just because the interviewers are asking the same questions does not mean that they are consistent in how they evaluate the candidate’s performance.

Tool Overview: Use this tool to guide creation of evaluation criteria, a recommended HR Advancement Center evaluation template, and two sample templates used at specific institutions. Since all interviewers across the institution should evaluate candidates through a consistent methodology, HR leaders are advised to create a standard evaluation template to be completed for every interview.

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Tool #5: Multiple-Interviewer Aggregation Grid

If multiple hiring managers or a panel of peers interviews the same candidate, HR consolidates feedback into a central document to compare perspectives. Where there is disagreement, HR encourages managers to come to consensus, recognizing that even small numeric differences in rating can denote significant differences of opinion. Not all hiring managers will have sufficient evidence to rate all competencies. After HR aggregates the feedback, this sheet is returned to the manager for review and final hiring decisions.

Tool Overview: Use this tool to aggregate evaluations from multiple interviewers. This step is necessary when candidates go through more than two interviews or participate in panel interviews.

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Phase 3: Train hiring managers

Create structured interview training for hiring managers, including role-play exercises, to ensure managers are confident interviewing candidates.

Use these resources if your focus is on training managers to conduct interviews.

Tool #6: Manager Training Agenda

This tool lists the essential components of an interview training program for hiring managers that includes BBI.

Tool Overview: Use this tool to understand the essential components of a behavioral-based interviewing (BBI) training program for all hiring managers and recruiters. For most, BBI is a learned skill. Without making an investment in training, an organization is unlikely to realize the retention and job performance benefits of BBI.

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Tool #7: Role-Play Exercise

Help hiring managers grow more comfortable using BBI techniques by incorporating simulations of candidate interviews into your training agenda.

Tool Overview: Use this tool to incorporate role-play exercises to conduct with hiring managers during behavioral-based interviewing (BBI) training. Simulations and role-playing are the most effective training methods for demonstrating the impact of BBI and helping interviewers learn to avoid common mistakes. Volunteers from the training group may serve as the “candidates” during these mock interview sessions. HR should facilitate two to three role plays per class.

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Phase 4: Ensure BBI’s effectiveness

Use data to quantify BBI’s impact on staff retention and engagement, and to identify areas to improve the program or managers requiring hands-on support.

Use these resources if you want to measure and improve your BBI process, support struggling managers.

Tool #8: BBI Effectiveness Assessment

Tool Overview: Use this tool to view potential methods of tracking and reporting statistics regarding the quality of new hires and the efficacy of behavioral-based interviewing (BBI). HR managers should track utilization rates and unit-based turnover data to provide supporting evidence about the efficacy of BBI at the institution. Outcomes tracking can also identify units or hiring managers in need of additional training.

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Tool #9: Outreach Letters to Hiring Managers

Tool Overview: Use this tool for sample letters about behavioral-based interviewing (BBI) that HR leaders can send to individual hiring managers. These letters target three key outreach opportunities:

  • Educating managers about BBI techniques and training opportunities
  • Inviting high-performing hiring managers to expand their role in BBI
  • Encouraging under-performing hiring managers to seek additional training and coaching

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Tool #10: One-on-One Coaching Guide

Tool Overview: Use this tool’s sample questions during one-on-one behavioral-based interviewing (BBI) coaching sessions and pinpoints tools within this publication that may help struggling interviewers. For the often significant number of hiring managers who have trouble applying BBI, guided questioning is a non-threatening technique to prompt reflection on their own performance.

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Tool #11: BBI Implementation Pitfall Diagnostic

Tool Overview: Use this tool as a diagnostic for challenges commonly encountered in the application of behavioral-based interviewing (BBI) to an institution’s hiring practices, especially in the early phases. Strategies to address each pitfall, as well as other tools within this publication that are designed to support these strategies, are also listed.

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