Does the thought of attending a behavioral interview scare you? Unless you have some good behavioral answers then perhaps it would scare you.
Behavioral questions and answers have been used for finding candidates who best fit an employer’s needs and over time they have become a valuable tool for job interviewers who need to quickly eliminate people who do not show the preferred attributes. You might also have heard them called situation interview questions.
Perhaps you do not know what a behavioral interview is or what it is for. Maybe you are preparing for a new job interview and worry that it might be one of those mysterious behavioral interviews you have heard about but have never understood.
Well, there is absolutely no need to worry. They are now used all the time. In fact they are no different from those interviews you might have attended for previous jobs. You will have answered behavioral interview questions in the past without knowing it.
What is the difference between a behavioral interview and an ordinary job interview?
Quite simply, the behavioral interviewing method is a technique used in virtually all current job interviews to see what you are capable of doing in a new job by checking how you performed in previous jobs.
A new employer could ask you how you will accomplish tasks in a new job and let you talk about what you will do in the future. That does not give any indication of what you will actually do but only what you are saying you will do. You could be hiding something or unintentionally giving the interviewer a picture that is your own interpretation of your capabilities.
It is probable that your answer will vary from what you did in the past. You will be telling the interviewer what you will do in the future. However, the interview process must get a clear indication of your actual performance rather than the description you want to give in a way that is intended to show how good you believe you are for the job.
There is more information about the leading course on answering behavioral interview questions here.
Behavioral based interview questions aim to understand what you really did in past situations
The theory is that your past behavior is a good predictor of how you will perform in the future. It should avoid any dressing up of how you will act in the new job.
These interview questions could be about a hypothetical future task but asking you to describe how you actually performed in the past in a similar task or situation. You might be asked to describe what the task was and how you undertook it. You are also likely to be asked to describe the outcome including both successes and problems. In other words, how did you behave or perform.
Your answer about a previous task is nearer to a real job situation than describing a possible future case. Your potential employer will know what they are looking for and your past behavior is a good guide to show if you are up to their expectations.
If the job interviewer asks, "What were you responsible for?" you could give a list of tasks without showing how you performed. On the other hand if you are asked, "How did you ensure tasks were completed on time?" you need to show how you did the work. In other words - how you behaved.
Behavioral interviewing is very targeted at specific situations and gives you the opportunity to really show what you are capable of. Don't let them scare you. Check out more information about behavioral interview questions and answers here and you’ll be ready to win the job you want.