A few law firms have adopted “behavioral interviewing,” a technique their clients began using two decades ago. Organizational psychologists developed this method as a way for prospective employers to learn more about job candidates than could be mined from a resume or a GPA.

The premise is that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. The goal, therefore, is to elicit information, not just about what candidates have accomplished, but how the process candidates have used to motivate themselves, identify priorities, and cope with challenges. The interviewers do this by posing open-ended questions and following up on vague answers until details about candidates’ analytical style and personality emerge.

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