Interview Style: Behavioral
What is a behavioral interview?
A behavioral interview, also known as a competency-based interview, is designed to see how the interviewee handled past employment-related situations. The idea is that your past behavior predicts your future one. “Behavioral interviews are said to be 55% predictive of future on the job behavior.”
Why is a behavioral interview used?
Companies like using behavioral interviews because it makes it harder for an interviewee to lie. The interviewer will dig deeper into the story you’re telling. For example, an interviewer might stop and ask him/her to lead the interviewer through the decision making process. If someone is lying, his/her story will not hold up through a series of probing questions.
What does a behavioral interview look for?
A behavioral interview looks to see if the interviewee’s skills and abilities will be able to handle the job he/she is interviewing for. The company looks to see how he/she has handled similar challenges that he/she is likely to encounter in the position available.
Behavioral interview questions typically focus on a few categories- teamwork, leadership, handling conflict, problem-solving, failures, work ethic, accomplishments, and cultural awareness.
What are some behavioral interview questions?
Depending on what industry someone is applying for, the questions vary accordingly. Some generic questions that are easily manipulated to fit different industries are:
Click for more behavioral interview questions.
- “Tell me about a time when you solved a difficult problem.”
- “Tell me about a time when you handled a difficult customer. What did you do?
- “Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone whose personality clashed with yours. How did you handle the situation?”
- “Tell me about a time you were under extreme amounts of pressure. What did you do? How did you overcome it?”
- “Tell me about a time you failed. How did you adapt and grow?”
- “Tell me about a time that you had to explain a complex problem/product/situation to a frustrated client.”
- “Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it."
How you can prepare for a behavioral interview
Take time to think about all the different things you’ve accomplished in you previous career. Make a list that highlights the good and bad things you’ve experienced, struggled with, and accomplished. No one is perfect. It’s important to find the light and the growth that came out from problems encountered or negative outcomes.
Furthermore, review the job description. By reading what they are looking for, you may have a better idea of what skills and responsibilities they deem important. If the job description is heavily focused on teamwork while working on projects, you can infer they might question revolving around that. For example, “Tell me about a project no one on your team was excited for. How did you handle it?” or “Tell me about a time when you had to work on a project with someone you did not get along with.” Moreover, they may ask why a project failed or succeeded and what you got out of the experience.
Want to know about more interview styles? Look for our next blog, “Interview Style: Case Problem Solving,” released on Monday, August 20th, 2018.