Biographical Interviewing

Biographical interviewing whereby you interview a candidate on the timeline of the CV. “What were they doing and when?” essentially. From our own standpoint, this can be a good way to fact check in a CV and challenge where it’s obviously out of alignment. Candidates often make mistakes in their CV when they make changes to it and sometimes that means you find out more than the candidate intended.

When interviewing a candidate, we find it very useful to understand the context in which they performed their role. So understanding the company / division / team in terms of its purpose, its size (people numbers / revenues / projects etc) customers, and structure and physical bases. Leadership team make up and organogram. This will provide a useful backdrop on which to position a candidate in terms of the skills they’ve used and developed. It’s also worth understanding the culture of business as described by the candidate. If it sounds like yours and the candidate doesn’t like it you’ll hire a misfit.

So, the biographical interview has its place. It is best used in conjunction with a very well defined set of competency and behavioural questions.