December 2006

LEAD Provides Resources for Interviewing Guides

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To help hire the right people for the right jobs, Catholic Health Initiatives’ market-based organizations are integrating elements of the LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) program into their hiring practices. For example, some market-based organizations are creating hiring guides using behavioral interview questions from the Audition module of LEAD.

The Audition module teaches participants to use behavioral interviewing to determine whether a candidate: • Can do the job (has the competencies needed). • Will do the job (is motivated to perform). • Will fit with the culture (is suited to the work community). “Job skills are often objectively measured during traditional interviewing,” said Mary Steuber, LEAD training manager for Catholic Health Initiatives. “Behavioral interviewing utilizes questions that help determine whether a candidate is the right fit for a job by drawing out past experiences and creating a picture of his or her competencies.” For example, an interviewer might ask a candidate to describe a time that she faced a difficult customer service situation and how she handled the situation. “The interviewer should keep asking probing questions until the candidate provides a complete picture of the situation, what she did and the outcome,” said Steuber. “This can provide an excellent picture of the candidate’s abilities. It also encourages candidates to do most of the talking during their interviews, which is how it should be.” Ann Weiss, management development coordinator at Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa, includes behavioral interview questions from Audition in an interview guide used by managers at the medical center. “We took each individual behavioral interview question from Audition and put it on a single page, along with a rating scale for the answers and probing questions for the managers to ask,” she said. “The interview guide is available on our intranet, so managers can access it easily, look through the pages and print out only the ones they want to use for a specific interview.” While Mercy’s managers are not required to use the interview guide, usage is high. “We ask managers to complete an on-line form that shows us which interview questions they used,” said Weiss. “From that feedback, we can see that use of the interview guide is widespread.” Mercy’s interview guide also includes a brief review of how managers can prepare for and conduct interviews, which is particularly helpful to managers who interview job candidates infrequently. Managers at St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Md., also use an online, Audition-based interview guide. “We keep adding information to the guide,” said Joy Goldman, director of leadership and organizational development for St. Joseph. “The questions from Audition are especially appropriate for mid-level managers, but may not work as well for other groups of employees. So, some of our managers use our guide as inspiration to create their own interview guides for different types of positions. We try to collect all of those guides and include them in our on-line resources, so that other hiring managers don’t have to start from scratch.” For more information about Audition and behavioral interviewing, contact Mary Steuber at