Mastering Behavioural Interviews

Submitted by: Rhonda M

Mastering behavioural interview means learning how to answer one one core question: Why should we hire you? Your answers will need to go beyond standard fare information about your skills and jobs and detail examples.

What is behavioral interviewing?

Behavioral interviews delve into your past actions in a given situation. The assumption is that your past behavior will predict your future behavior in a similar situation. Your answers will be situational, and it won't work if you memorise. Behavioural interview questions can make you squirm because they don't have a "correct answer". The interviewer may even ask you about a time when something went wrong, and how you handled it. Typically, behavioral questions begin with such phrases as "tell me when..." or "describe a situation where you had to


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..." or "give me example of how...".

Some behavioral Interview questions

1. Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren't thrilled about? How did you do it? 2. Tell me about your most innovative project. 3. Tell me about the most frustrating presentation you made. What did you learn from this? 4. Tell me about a time where you had a problem with a co-worker or supervisor. How did you resolve the conflict? 5. How do you handle pressure? 6. Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure. 8. Give an example of a time when you had to persuade others? What did you do? 9. How would you go about working if you were required to conform to a policy with which you did not agree? 10. Let's say your boss had to quit and his or her work that they left was crucial to the organization. You would not be equipped to do all of the work yourself, nor are you qualified. What would you do? 11. What do you consider to be a cut-throat environment? How would you act to keep your job in this type of situation?

Preparing to answer behavioral interview questions

Answering behavioral questions requires details-facts, figures and anecdotes. In the end, it is the anecdotes that the employer will remember There is no correct answer except your past experience. To have a ready store of personal data at your fingertips, do your homework. Think of experiences where you performed admirably, where you successfully and creatively solved problems. Your stories will help you respond meaningfully to the interviewer's tough questions. Also, examine your potential job and its description closely. Then, reflect on your work experiences. Focus on the actions you took that demonstrate your best transferrable skills.

Mastering behavioral interviews:The STAR Techniques

To answer behavioural questions, use the STAR technique. STAR stands for

Situation -The particular incident • Task - what was required to be done • Action - What specific actions you took • Result -What was the outcome.

The STAR technique will help you portray yourself concretely to an interviewer so he/she has a clear picture that you can do the job. Understanding the purpose of behavioral interview, preparing yourself and and using the STAR technique to organize your answers to behavioral questions can help you be more successful at your next job interview.


About the Author: Rhonda M teaches communications and job search to college students. Here is more information on behavioural interviews