Behavioral based interviews have become increasingly popular in the past decade. So what are behavioral based questions and how should you answer them to ensure you get the job?
A behavioral interview centres around asking the candidate questions concerning their specific experience. They require detailed responses in which the candidate provides insight into what they have accomplished in their careers.
The result gives the interviewer an accurate insight to the candidates ability to perform the role successfully based on relevant experiences (sign up for our newsletter and receive a free list of behavioral questions).
Unfortunately many candidates are ill prepared for such questions and when put on the spot struggle to give detailed answers. It is therefore essential that you prepare your answers before undergoing a behavioral based interview. So how do you prepare for the interview and what type of questions will you be asked?
Here are 5 tips that will help you answer behavioral questions in an effective manner
1. Preparation Prior to the interview please ensure you get a detailed job description. Whilst looking at the description put a tick next to every area you have relevant experience. Order them strongest to weakest. Now looking at the areas that you don’t have exposure to think of something you have done that is similar or think of a situation in which you have had to learn a new skill. You are going to use this example during the interview in case your lack of experience is mentioned.
2. How to choose the best answers If there are specific responsibilities such as managing a team, meeting sales targets or working to deadlines think of examples/achievements in which you’ve displayed that quality. If you are struggling to think of examples try and think of the proudest moments in your career. Perhaps a time you were commended by your boss, a customer or your colleagues.
3. Break the event into three parts a) THE SITUATION – Describe the scene to the interviewer, was there a crisis? A customer complaint? A tight deadline? How did you identify the situation?
b) THE PART YOU PLAYED – Once a decision had been made on how to resolve the situation, how did you do it? If part of a team, what part did you play. If the plan wasn’t working what did you do next?
c) THE RESULTS YOU GAINED – What was the outcome of your actions? Did sales increase? Did you make a customer happy? Did you save the company money?
4. Do not use Hypothetical answers in behavioral based interviews If you don’t have experience in a particular area be honest and say so. But don’t leave it at that, use an experience that is similar or may have some relevance. If you are asked to provide an example of how you have increased sales but haven’t been in a sales job, perhaps you can provide an example of how you have influenced a decision at work. You may have persuaded an unhappy customer not to buy elsewhere.
5. Always be positive If the example you provide did not have a positive outcome, focus on what you learned from the experience. Articulate how it changed the way you performed your job and made you better. The interviewer may ask you to provide examples of times when you have been under stress, failed at a task or even been fired. It is important to remember that everyone makes mistakes. The behavioral based questions will enable the interviewer to discover exactly how you deal with failure and disappointment.
Remember that 90% of success comes from the preparation. Most people fail at interview not because they can’t do the job but because they don’t convince the interviewer they can do the job!
Dexter Cousins is an Executive Head Hunter and has been helping people with their careers for over ten years. As a consultant to Global organisations, Dexter has advised companies in the UK, Europe, USA, Asia and Australia on best practice hiring processes. He is motivated by helping people reach their career goals and provides coaching and counseling on job search and interview success. http://www.careersassistant.com