A behavioral interview involves a company asking questions that begin with phrases such as “tell me about a time when" or “give me an example of.” With these kinds of questions, hiring managers are typically trying to achieve two things; first, they want to know how you performed in a real-world situation. Second, they want to understand the measurable value you added to that situation.
If you can demonstrate through examples that you've succeeded, you'll likely be considered for the position. Knowing that, this blog will list a couple ways that you can better prepare yourself for answering behavioral questions.
With the pressure that comes with job interviews, it can be hard to think of experiences off the top of your head. By having a handful of experiences prepared and ready to go, you can reduce the risk of not having anything to say.
Of course you can’t anticipate every single thing they’ll ask, but having reference points doesn’t hurt.
Below are a few of the common areas that employers will ask behavioral questions about:
- Problem solving
- Working under pressure
- Teamwork - both good and bad experiences
- Results of projects - both successes and failures
By thinking of these ideas in advance, you can recall the one that fits the question best.
When you’re sharing your experiences, you’ll want to keep it succinct. To help with that, there’s a framework you can use to make sure you still provide a comprehensive answer.
The acronym for the framework is STAR - Situation, Task, Action, Result
- Situation: Give context to your story (who, what, where, when, why, how)
- Task: What needed to be completed?
- Action: What was your role and how did your actions impact the situation?
- Result: What was the final outcome and were all issues resolved?
Remember, employers want to hear about the skills you used and the lessons you learned, so make sure to weave them into your responses.
There are a lot of unknowns when you’re looking for a job. By preparing yourself for some of the behavioral interview questions that may be asked, you can reduce the pressure associated with them and give yourself a better chance to accurately describe your qualifications and experiences.
Looking for more interview tips? We’ve got a lot of them in The Break Room – check out the list here!