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How to Coast Through a Behavioral Interview with Ease

March 5, 2018 | Career Blog

“Have you been in a situation where you didn’t have enough work to do”
“Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure “
“Describe a stressful Situation at work and how you handled it”

If you’ve heard questions like these during a hiring process, you’ve been part of a behavioral- based interview. It’s an assessment that focuses on what you’ve done in the past. And as you might expect, behavioral interviews are different from traditional ones.

Want to ace your next behavioral interview? Then it’s critical to learn the theory behind behavioral interviews, the types of questions asked, and the best preparation methods.

Purpose of Behavioral Questioning

Over the years, behavioral interviews have become increasingly popular because they allow companies to make better hiring decisions. They’re based on the premise that past behavior is the best way to predict future performance. It’s a practical approach to interviewing because, the fact is, people do not tend to change. That’s why the interviewer is interested in how you did behave in the past, not how you would behave in the future.

Kind of Questions Asked in Behavioral Interviews

The interviewer first identifies the key behavioral traits a candidate should possess to be successful in the position. He or she then develops a list of questions designed to find out whether candidates show evidence of the desired traits. For example, if teamwork is one of the critical traits, the interviewer might ask questions like these:

  • Share some examples of how you get a team to share their ideas with you. Were the ideas useful?
  • Tell me about a time when you felt it necessary to modify or change your actions in order to respond to the needs of another person.
  • How did you resolve your most challenging work situation in a team environment?

How to Perform Well During a Behavioral Interview

  1. Learn the company and the position. Pay attention to its core values, since several of the behavioral questions will likely relate to them. You should also uncover the key traits of the position for which you are applying. Start by looking for clues in the job description, or ask the hiring manager what abilities will be assessed during the interview.
  2. Gather your workplace success stories. These examples should demonstrate that you possess the traits necessary to perform well in the position. You should identify at least one example for each of the identified traits.
  3. Make sure your stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. A great way to include these components is by using the STAR technique. The beginning of your story should describe the Situation you were in or the Task you needed to accomplish. The middle of your story should recount the Action you took. The end of your story should outline the Results you achieved.
  4. Be specific–be honest. When you tell your stories, include all of the important details. Provide hard facts and statistics whenever possible. And be honest at all costs. Behavioral interviewers are trained to probe, and they will discover if you are embellishing or lying.

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