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  • RiverForest Connections

Behavioral Interview - BEI - Competency - Ambition and Achievement





Behavioral Event Interview - David McClelland created an interviewing technique to identify the competencies of average and superior performers.


The Behavioral Event Interview process asks a subject to describe three peak successes and three major failures in a short-story fashion. Trained facilitators ask a series of structured questions of job incumbents to determine the similarities of average performers to superior performers.


The interviewer acts as an investigative reporter asking several questions. Several sets of interviews are conducted for each position in order to collect the necessary & relevant data. Targeted BEIs use questions designed to focus candidates on incidents likely to reveal competencies pertinent to the job being filled.


Another time-and-cost-saving technique is training the interviewer to recognize and code emotional competencies during the interview. The challenge, however, is to find someone very experienced in the BEI technique who is able to handle both the interviewing and coding tasks.


Competency Focus on Ambition/Achievement

Competency - Seeking Perfection


  • When have you aimed for perfection? Concrete examples please.

  • How have you demonstrated perfection in your work? Can you provide a situation in which you excelled in demonstrating perfection?

  • Tell us an experience when in your desire to seek perfection you failed? What were your learnings?

Competency - Exceeding Expectations

  • What do you demand of yourself in your work? Do you demand the same things of your staff?

  • Tell us an experience when you thought you exceeded your own expectation? Why?


Competency - Setting Standards

  • If you have recently had to evaluate a staff member or colleague on job performance, what for you was the difference between a good worker and a poor one?

  • Talk me through a time when you have had to work towards a challenging, ambitious

  • Objective. Has there ever been a time where you have had to work harder and longer to ensure that a time deadline was met?

  • When was the last time that you were called upon to do more than would normally be expected of you?

  • What do you like least about your current role? What do you feel is the greatest challenge in your current role?


Competency - Setting an Example

  • Can you remember ever demanding of others too much or too little?

  • Have you ever worked in a team? What did you expect of the other team members?

Competency - Result Orientation

  • Tell me about a time when you set and achieved a goal.

  • Tell me about a time when you improved the way things were typically done on the job.

  • Describe something you have done to improve the performance of your work unit.

  • Describe something you have done to maximize or improve the use of resources beyond your own work unit to achieve improved results.

Competency - Feeling Good about Achievement


  • When have you been extraordinarily satisfied with your work? Can you provide us an example and what made you consider that as an extraordinarily satisfying work?

  • Can you give an example of a situation in which you were unable to come up to your own standards? What did you do about it?


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