Behavioral interview means that the applicant is placed in an employment-related situation and is assessed on how they would react. The logic behind this type of interview is to evaluate the individual’s future performance based on his past behaviour.
The Difference Between Traditional and Behavioral Interview
Traditional interviews entail a series of questions that have straightforward answers. In a behavioral interview, the employer will already have an idea what qualifications they need and would ask the applicant if they have those skills. Instead of asking how a person would behave, they will want to know how the person did behave. It is mostly based in past actions and not future.
Employers will ask for past accomplishments so be ready to narrate some examples. They would want to know how the person used his intellect to solve a problem.
Describe a situation where an unpopular decision had to be made and how you handled implementing it.
Employers will also want to know how the person works with a team when he is not the leader. Some people are so used to being the organizer that they do not know how to contribute without telling everyone what to do.
Tell me about a situation where you were able to help the team achieve its goal without necessarily taking the lead.
Consider situations and projects that have been dealt with in the past. Stories will be most helpful in responding to behavioral interview questions.
The interviewer will rely solely on your story so make sure to speak audibly and loud enough for them to hear every word. Make up questions and try answering them by describing a specific experience. Be sure to incorporate two or three skills that have been used during that situation.
During the Interview
A general career advice is to answer a question by narrating a specific situation and the task that has to be done along with the result. There are no right or wrong answers, the interviewer is simply trying to understand how the person will react to certain situations. The response of the person will determine if he is qualified for the position being offered.
The questions are designed to know if the position and the person match. A person should never make up stories regarding his work experience since it can be easy to verify them with a simple phone call to the past employer. If there are no applicable examples that can be related with the question, just simply say so.
Use All Life Experience as Answers
Fresh graduates and young employees seldom have many work experience. To get around having fewer job related experience, use life experiences instead. Relate stories from college and organizations where the same situation applies.
Instead of telling the employer how easy it was to handle a problem and risk being labelled as arrogant, tell them how challenging it was. They would often want to hear real stories about struggle and triumph rather than easy success.
by Alex Freund