Behavioral Based Interviewing Technique

Posted: April 14, 2011 in Interview Prep

It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect It’s successful outcome.”             – William James

Behavioral based interviewing is currently being used worldwide.  Behavioral based interviewing is said to be the most accurate predictor in the future performance is past performance in similar situations.  Behavioral interviewing, in fact is 55% predictive for future on- the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only 10% predictive.  Traditional interviewing focused upon very general questions such as; tell me about yourself, what are your strengths and describe a typical work week. Interviewers will still incorporate a few traditional based questions, but they are just to get a feel of the candidate. For example, tell me more about your last job, why did you leave your last job, and why are you interested in this job?  Companies are now changing the interview process an interviewing environment. Instead of focusing on and asking how you would behave, they will ask how you did behave.  The behavioral based interviewing style is based strictly on a specific “situation” and focuses on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related. For example, the task that needed to be done, the action you took, and the results (what happened.)  It’s important to keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. The interviewer is simply trying to understand how you behaved in a given situation. How you respond will determine if there is a fit between your skills and the position the company is seeking to fill. So, listen carefully, be clear and detailed when you respond and, most importantly, be honest. Employers are able to evaluate a candidate’s experience and behaviors of the questions asked to determine the applicants potential for success.

Preparation for the Potential Behavioral Interview

It is difficult to prepare yourself for a behavioral-based interview because of the variety of questions you may be asked.   The best way to prepare is to think about example stories that can be adapted into many behavioral based questions.  What are good examples to use? Use internships, classes and school projects, sports participation, community service, hobbies and work experience. Also, you may want to use examples of special accomplishments (personal or professional). Maybe you were elected to be on an organization’s board, winning a prize, raising money for a charity…the list goes on of special accomplishments that are very important to you.  After all, you are trying to impress the interviewing team!  Knowing what kinds of questions might be asked will help you prepare an effective selection of examples. Below are a list to help you get started and thinking in the right path of potential questions…

  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it?
  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure?
  • How would you resolve a customer service problem where the customer demanded an immediate refund?
  • Tell me about a time you had to juggle a number of work priorities. What did you do?
  • Describe a difficult problem that you tried to solve. How did you identify the problem? How did you go about trying to solve it?
  • Describe a situation when you took a risk professionally. What was the outcome?
  • Describe a situation in which you worked as part of a team but your team failed to accomplish the goal on time and within budget. What was your role? What did you learn?
  • Describe a situation working in a group or team where there was interpersonal conflict. Describe how you approached the conflict. What worked and what didn’t? How did you manage the outcome?

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