January 2017: Behavioral Interviewing for a Successful Search

In this Issue

Opening Remarks

Happy New Year 2017!


We kick off the new year of Transforming Challenges with a description of the behavioral interviewing technique we use with our Executive Search process, explaining how it adds to the successful search for new leadership.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  •  Tom Reid and John Reid will facilitate the implementation process for Faith in Our Future in the Diocese of Trenton.   Bishop O’Connell is completing the planning phase when he announces his decisions on January 25 regarding the 25 cohorts and 107 parishes in the diocese.
  • Rich Shively, Reid Group consultant based in Seattle, has been hired by St. Olaf parish in Poulsbo, WA to facilitate a long-range planning process, assisted by John Reid.
  • John Reid facilitated Community Days for the monks at St. Gregory Abbey in Shawnee, OK during the first week in January.  The monks revised their action plan and made recommendations regarding facility and health care possibilities for their future.
  • Maureen Gallagher continues to work with the four Waukesha, WI parishes who will share a pastor beginning in July 2017.  Her current work is focused on assisting with organizing a single parish council for the four parishes and a collaborative committee structure.
  • Jim Doyle, a Reid Group consultant based in Chicago, has been hired by St. Thomas University in Miami, FL to facilitate a faculty retreat at the end of January that will lead to a strategic planning process.
  • The Reid Group has formed a strategic partnership with Tryon Clear View Group, a cost reduction company that finds savings in telecommunication, copiers, waste management and utilities for clients.  They specialize in Purchase Services Audits where they identify, verify and recover billing errors, vendor overcharges which are refundable to organizations.  They then secure these reimbursements from the vendors.  The only fee paid by the client is a percentage of the actual savings.  If you are interested in this service, contact us at info@TheReidGroup.biz.
  • Tom Reid is focusing in 2017 on nonprofit and small business organizations, offering services such as Re-energize Your Life and Creating Your Mission Statement.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us an e-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

The Reid Group webinar series

You are invited to The Reid Group Webinar:

Energizing Your Life in 2017

  • Thursday, January 26 at 4:00-5:00 PM PT
  • Host for the Call:  Tom Reid
  • Session Focus: Keys to Energizing Your Life

In this webinar we will present practical content for personal and organizational development.  Areas of focus include: 

  • Breathing practices for increased present moment awareness
  • Mental guidelines to overcome negative thinking and self-defeating behaviors
  • Tips to communicate more effectively with those with whom we live and work
  • Practices for dealing with the unanticipated impacts of change, loss & growth
  • Guiding principles for living with more energy and less stress

Space is limited, so register today.   

Feature Focus

Use Behavioral Interviewing for a Successful Search


John Reid, Senior Consultant

One of the most important decisions a governing board makes is the selection of the executive leadership of an organization. This is also true for leaders choosing department heads or Chief Operating Officers. Conversely, the poor selection of an individual unable to provide the necessary leadership wastes energy, momentum and capacity.

Focus on past behavior
In the past 20 years, The Reid Group has used a process called “behavioral interviewing” in our Executive Search process. We identify a series of questions for each candidate that focuses on their past behavior in work situations. Based on the assumption that the best predictor of future action is past behavior, the questions don’t ask “What would you do if…” but rather ask “What did you do when and what did you learn?”

Another feature of this interview process is to give the candidates the questions ahead of time. Instead of off-the-cuff responses, the interview team gets more thoughtful and detailed reflections from the candidates. While still allowing for follow-up questions, the purpose of this approach is to let the interview team see and compare each candidate at their best.

Interview the finalists at the same time
We also recommend that all the finalists be interviewed on the same day, and we often have them meet each other the night before. If the candidates are informed about the process and treated respectfully, the results of this interview approach can be remarkable. Candidates tell us that they appreciate meeting the others and that they felt more relaxed and engaged with the interview teams. As an added bonus, it saves time for the organization if the interviews don’t have to be scheduled separately, days or even weeks apart.

Once the interviews are complete, the interview team members that are not on the search committee share their perspective with the committee and answer questions about their impressions. In our experience, this input gives the search committee a broader picture of each candidate before they start their own discernment process.

Find the “right fit”
A behavioral interview process equips the search committee with valuable information as they consider how each candidate stacks up in three areas: how they “fit” with the organization, with the position and with the work team. Committee members take all the information they have on each candidate, including their assessment of the candidates gained from the interviews, and apply it to what the organization needs most at this time. No one candidate will score perfectly in each area and it is important to remember that the search committee is looking not for the “perfect fit” but for the best fit at this point in time.

If there are no “best fits,” the committee weighs the pros and cons of selecting the candidate that comes closest.   And sometimes it is necessary to start the process over because-bottom line-leadership matters and nothing less than the future of the organization is at stake.


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

bookcoverweb2Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from Amazon.com.

And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.  Kathy Johnson, Editor, Transforming Challenges
The Reid Group E-Letter is © The Reid Group, 12535 15th Ave. NE, Suite 211, Seattle WA 98125; 206-432-3565.
Any part of this newsletter may be reproduced with full attribution.