Organizations Jobs selection

The critical incident interview (I)

Companies are constantly changing so it is not only important to be prepared to do some work but have the potential to develop other future tasks, to adapt to future needs. That is why in the selection process we will meet with job interviews for skills to improve the objectivity, reliability and validity of conventional interviews.

This type of semi-structured interviews usually have a character, so that behavioral examples of the professional and personal aspects of the interview obtained to predict future behavior as a worker.

Some generic competencies try to evaluate are:

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Adaptation to change
Creativity and innovation
Loyalty and sense of belonging
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Ability to learn
Customer orientation
Pursuit of excellence
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The critical incident interview

To achieve gather information on skills required for a particular job there are different tools such as the Assessment Center or self-assessment questionnaires. Here we discuss another method: the critical incident interview.

This interview is used to identify the behaviors that indicate if we have the skills we wish to evaluate.

What does the interviewer?

Predict that the person will demonstrate the skills required.
Evidence that the person has demonstrated these skills in the past.
Knowing what the interviewed did, he said, thought and felt during the resolution of the incident.
How he has acted respondent: their behavior.
What are the motivations of the respondent.
Considerations to keep in mind before the interview:

Understand the organization.
Know the job functions to be evaluated.
Identify critical job incidents.
Analyze and identify the skills required.
Establish some behavioral indicators of those powers.
Express operationally skills so that they can evaluate.
Structuring job interview in specific situations and key so that they can evaluate.
Phases critical incident interview:

1. Welcome | 2. Development | 3. Close.

1. Welcome

We will try to create a climate of trust and empathy to relax the respondent creating a bond of closeness. They will welcome the interviewee in a pleasant breaking the ice with pleasant phrases like:

How did it come? | Did you expect our call? | Thank you for attending this interview

The following is a brief explanation of what is going to make in the interview. It would be something like:

Welcome X (provided should indicate the name of the person), I tell what they will be the next 30 minutes (the time to indicate that the interviewee is better suited to the situation). First, we see your personal data to know him better and see their academic training and future prospects. Then we analyze their professional experience and will ask for specific situations that have probably happened in his day as a professional or might happen in the future. Please answer these questions in the first person as if they had happened yesterday. I ask permission to take notes during the interview that will always be confidential as well as personal data.

Before starting the following phase it must be ensured that the respondent has no doubts.

Would the procedure has become clear? | Are you ready to start?

2. Development of the interview

The interviewer will analyze the personal data of the card and academic training and focus on the latest Senior, from before the most recent. All this interaction with the interviewee to reaffirm what the record exposed.

Subsequently, a series of open questions will be made to describe as it did, he thought and felt during certain experiences. The interviewee does not allow to draw conclusions from past experiences because what is try to figure out are the reasons, skills and knowledge that really has and used in that particular context of action. It is assessing skills.

An example would be something like this:

Tell me a time when I would have done something new or differently that caused an improvement in the workplace, or in your organization. In this case we will be analyzing for example competition of creativity and innovation.

Faced with these questions the interviewee often given very general answers and not relevant to describe behavior, it will try to avoid it and could ask questions like:

How did he become so? | Who intervened? | What was your role? | What results did it produce?

3. Close

He informs the candidate that the interview is ending and the ability to ask questions that may exist will be offered. The next steps in the selection process and again thank the time spent in the interview will be explained.

Selection Report

This report should include aspects such as:

  • Specify the job.
  • Personal data.
  • Training of the candidate, both regulated or not studies as foreground.
  • Test results: report and evidence raised situations.
  • Psychological profile. Both obtained during the interview as possible psychological tests that could be done.
  • Conclusion: summary of the relevant aspects.
  • Whether we are the interviewers and interviewees and potential candidates for a job is important to know what we will face and not take us by surprise.

Perhaps you might be interested in the item on training in skills: Training to train: the importance of training in competitions.


Photo: See page for author [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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