“Past performance is the best indicator of future behavior.”
Behavioral interviews evaluate ones behavioral competencies and are used to determine your fit into employer’s corporate culture. They dig deeper and go further than traditional interviews. They have the candidate focus is on a specific time, situation or action.
Behavioral Interview Tips
Behavioral interviews are based on the premise that, “past performance is the best indicator of future behavior.” If you have done something in the past, you will probably do it again.
In fact, behavioral interviews have been proven to be 55% predictive of on-the-job behavior versus only 10% for traditional interviews.
Preparing for Behavior Interview Questions
To prep yourself for behavioral interviews, it is helpful to jot down some key career accomplishments or challenges. These topics are often found on your resume or from past performance evaluations and will assist you in preparing your answers to behavioral based interview questions.
Identifying and Answering Behavioral Questions
Behavioral interview questions usually start by stating one of the following, so use these as clues to help you recognize this type of questioning:
- Tell me about a time…
- Give me an example…
- Discuss a time…
- Describe a recent situation…
- Walk me through a situation…
Once you have identified that it is a behavior based question, refer to your “Key Career Accomplishments/Challenges” notes that you created to start pulling together your STAR response.
- What is a STAR response?
- Situation: Describe the Situation
- Task: Explain Task or Problem
- Action: Describe the Specific Action You Took
- Result: Give Specific Consequences
- By answering a question using STAR, it will help ensure that you completely describe your answer and will “paint the picture” to your interviewer.
Notes on Behavioral Based Responses:
- Think specific
- Don’t say “usually, always, or never”
- Say “I” (this is your personal story you are sharing)
- Be prepared for negative questions
- Was the result positive? Measurable?
- Be concise – Train your internal clock to give a one to two minute response, at that point wrap up your answer. This will allow your interviewer to ask follow-up questions while still fresh in their minds with the limited interview time available.
Example Behavioral Questions
You should be prepared to answer…
- Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
- Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
- Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
- Walk me through a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
- Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
- Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.
- What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.
- Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
- Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.
- Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
- Discuss a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.
- Discuss an example of a time when you motivated others.
- Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
- Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.
- Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
- Walk me through a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
- Please tell me about a time you had to fire a friend.
- Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).
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