The intent of behavioral based interviewing techniques is that from the answers to his questions, the interviewer will be able to determine how an applicant will address specific situations in his company. The questions the interviewer asks will have this focus and purpose. A person on an interview shouldn’t be surprised by this line of questioning, and can prepare for them.

Behavioral Based Interviewing

The theory behind the behavioral interview is that when a prospective employer knows how an applicant handled a problem in the past it gives an indication about how the applicant will handle future problems. The behavioral interviewer feels the applicant will tell the interviewer what they want to hear. The theory is that in a real situation, you will be true to yourself and describe how you actually handled the situation. The purpose is to find how someone works with groups, individuals, under pressure, time constraints, goals, leadership, teamwork, deal with several problems at once and other common workplace obstacles. The behavioral interview focuses on these areas to hire the perfect person for a job.

Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral based interview questions often start with describe, give me a specific example, or how did the applicant accomplish a certain goal and the results achieved. The answer states the situation, the objective, and actions to solve the problem and the results. Answer the question like a good story. Describe the situation, tell what was done to solve the problem, and conclude with the result.

An interviewer may ask an applicant to describe how they moved a policy or product forward that they didn’t agree with, how they handled the task and the end result. There may be variations of how the interviewee had to change someone’s opinion or point of view. The interviewer may ask about a failure, and an explanation of why the applicant’s approach failed, or what to do for a better result.

Preparing For an Interview

Preparing for the interview gives a person confidence for any job interview. Find out all you can about the company and the position before the interview. Know the company’s product and their competitors. Know what the position applied for entails, and enough about the job to ask good questions. A good source for behavioral interview questions is books. Most libraries have a good selection of employment books to give a variety of approaches to the interview. Read the questions and their answers, and techniques for answering them. The interviewee should consider a variety of possible questions that may come up, write them down, and match them to their own past experiences. Choose clear cut examples that resolved the situation using logic, initiative and skill. Practice by going over the questions and answers. If possible, have someone ask the questions, and give the answers back. Have them make up questions on their own to ask. This should help deliver the answer smoothly without stumbling. This practice for a behavioral based interview should help when asked the actual questions.

Two-Minute Presentation

Often the interviewer asks the question, “Tell me about yourself.” This is the perfect time to use an interview technique to tell about yourself. In about two minutes the interviewer will tell of experience, strengths, why they are looking for a job, accomplishments, and what you are looking for. It’s best to end with a question. It’s also an opportunity to use the two minute speech to fill the silence.

Seal the Deal

Prepare as much as you can without sounding memorized. That is good advice for covering any interview technique. Then it’s time to seal the deal. Keep it short and don’t overstay your welcome. Write a summary of the interview and performance. Include a list of the questions and answers. Send a thank you letter to keep your name in front of the employer.

Practice interview questions. This will give confidence whether changing careers or interviewing for a position.