Behavioral interviewing is a widely used style of job interviewing and is used by employers to evaluate a candidate’s experiences and behaviors to determine their potential for success. Behavioral interview questions ask you to provide an example of a time you were in a particular situation or encountered a specific challenge. It's often used because it is the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation. Behavioral Interviewing is said to be 55% predictive of future on-the-job behavior; Traditional Interviewing only 10%
What the interview will look like
- Expect a structured interview with set questions. The interviewer will be evaluating you against a pre-determined set of desired behaviors deemed necessary for success at their organization
- Questioning may contain multiple parts and include follow-up questions for more detail
- Be ready to relate your experiences and your transferable skills to the position and organization specifically
- Employers will most likely take notes on your answers
How to answer behavioral interview questions
- Tell the interviewer about a particular situation rather than providing a general response
- Keep your answer succinct and focused, while providing enough relevant detail
- Preparation and practice are essential. Use the list of common behavioral interview questions below to brainstorm examples and practice answering questions.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the employer and imagine how the ideal candidate from their eyes would answer the question
- Vary your experiences as you answer – don’t just focus on a few experiences
- Be honest, don’t embellish or simply say what you think the interview wants to hear
Use the STAR method
The STAR method is a way to structure your response to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the experience you are describing.
S – Describe the Situation or event, not a generalized description
T – Describe the Task presented – what are you trying to solve or work towards?
A – Describe the Action you took, not the group as a whole
R – Describe the Result of your action – if negative, what did you learn from this experience?