Behavioral Interviewing Tips

by Beverly Harvey

The most common type of interview is the behavioral interview. Questions like:

“Tell us about a time in the past year when you had to deal with a difficult team member and describe what you did.”

“Give us an example of a time when you used your customer philosophy to deal with a perplexing problem.”

This type of behavioral interviewing poses open-ended questions to determine which skills candidates have used successfully in prior positions. The theory is that past behavior predicts future behavior.

Employers now develop their questions to elicit your background and strengths in the skill areas needed for that particular position rather than just asking hypothetical questions about possible job situations that may arise.

To succeed in a behavioral interview, you must be able to relate incidences that link your experiences and skills to the potential position and employer.

To prepare for the interview be sure to research the company paying close attention to the organization’s core values. Consider how your background will fit into this organization and jot down a few notes to review just before your interview.

Answer behavioral questions with a basic 3-step response:

  1. Tell the interviewer about a situation or task you faced,
  2. Describe the action you took in response
  3. Explain the successful results of your actions and how this impacted the company’s bottom line.

Remember to keep it brief and to the point, don’t ramble on.

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