Performance Based Interviewing (PBI) is a selection process that uses interviewing techniques to ask job applicants questions about the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) they have that are important in order for them to do a good job. Studies show that the way people behave in the past is probably the way they will behave in the future. PBI questions ask job applicants to tell about what they did (their behavior) in the past. When deciding who is the best applicant, the interviewer will look at the degree to which each applicant possesses the important knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics necessary for successful job performance.
Traditional interview questions usually ask applicants to describe what they would do in a specific situation. PBI questions ask applicants to describe what they have done in a specific situation. Traditional interview questions often only require a "yes" or "no" answer. PBI questions require applicants to describe or tell about their experiences. In traditional interviews, the interviewer does most of the talking. In PBI interviews, the applicant does most of the talking. In PBI interviews, the interviewer takes notes. When all the interviews are finished, the interviewer refers to the notes to refresh his or her memory. The following shows the differences between traditional and PBI interview questions:
How would you handle an upset customer?
Please tell me about a time when you had to deal with an upset customer. What was the problem? What did you do? What was the outcome?