In order to get a good overview of a candidate, recruiters often ask about about past experiences and top accomplishments. While these answers provide a good framework, in order to truly figure out if the candidate will be a good fit, companies should use a candidate’s past behavior to predict future behavior.

Cornerstone OnDemand’s Melissa Hooven suggests that hiring managers use the STAR method as a way to gain better insight on future hires. The method has interviewers ask candidates to describe a situation, task or action, and the results (STAR) when answering each question.

Hooven shares why the STAR behavioral interviewing technique is effective for evaluating a candidate.

Talking about Past Behaviors

“We do a lot of situational interviewing where we walk [candidates] through a normal situation they’d encounter and ask them to talk about a time where this has happened before,” Hooven says. “I ask them to explain the situation, the task list they created to get through the situation and the outcome of it, whether good or bad.”

Creating a Universal Language

Regardless of the department or position, STAR works for recruiting company-wide and is customizable to each position. “The best thing about this method is that it creates a common language that allows managers to internally speak to each other about a candidate,” Hooven suggests.

Ensuring a Full Situation is Described

Often, candidates fail to describe every component that makes the STAR method work. In this case, Hooven recommends prompting the candidate by asking: What was the deadline? How did you prioritize? and Where did you fall short and where did you excel? Adds Hooven: “If it’s clear that an interview is always answering with incomplete STARs, it’s clear that he’s not going to be a good candidate — or employee.”

via How Recruiters Can Rely on the Past As Future Indicators When Interviewing.