Behavioral Interviewing Tips for Sustained Success


Behavioral interviewing operates under the premise that a candidate’s past on-the-job behavior determines how he or she might perform in a new role. This method of interviewing is more effective than asking candidates to describe their previous roles and contributions. It’s human nature to exaggerate or even embellish to impress a prospective employer. Behavioral interviewing focuses on the how and why of a situation.

Structuring a Behavioral Interview


Companies that use this strategy should first determine the core competencies needed for the position. Next, the human resources representative needs to structure questions in such a way that it becomes obvious who is and who is not a good fit for the position. Following are the most common categories of questions asked in a behavioral interview:

  1. Greatest accomplishment

Asking the candidate to describe some of his or her most impressive successes reveals initiative, leadership, planning skills, and teamwork. It also shows whether the person tends to take all credit for a successful project or shares credit equally among team members.

  1. Biggest mistake

No one likes to talk about things they have done wrong, especially in a job interview. However, asking this question can demonstrate the candidate’s willingness to be accountable for his or her own mistakes and to learn from them.

  1. Ability to handle conflict

Here’s another area job candidates don’t like to discuss as they don’t want to appear like someone who frequently gets into conflict with others. Nevertheless, everyone encounters conflict on the job. The interviewer should try to discover the exact steps the candidate took to resolve the situation for the benefit of his or her team or organization.

  1. Demonstration of work ethic

Most people will say they’re a hard worker when asked. To prove it, interviewers should request examples of when the candidate went beyond his or her job expectations to meet a tight deadline or delight a customer.

Structuring these questions correctly will also demonstrate the candidate’s ability to solve problems effectively.

The STAR Method


The way in which an interviewer asks questions using the behavioral approach is critical to obtain the most useful responses. The STAR method, which stands for situation, task completed, actions taken, and results achieved is extremely effective in eliciting these responses. For each question the interviewer asks, he or she should probe the candidate to walk through all points in the STAR acronym.

Candidates Are Catching On

Behavioral interviewing has been around long enough now that job candidates know to expect this type of questioning. In fact, all industries exist to help people prepare for the behavioral interview. Some people have become so expert at it that they can still rehearse and present false responses to typical questions. Rather than abandoning the behavioral interview, human resources representatives need to adjust how they present the questions.

Using a process of discovery ensures that the interviewer has a better picture of the person. For example, don’t feel satisfied with proof of superior analytical skills if the person appears indecisive. After asking a behavioral-based question, the interviewer should follow-up with as many clarifying questions as necessary to ensure understanding. The key is to look for a repeated pattern of behavior that coincides with what the company requires for the open position.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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