Getting called in to interview for your dream job is a thrilling moment. Now it’s up to you to ace the interview and win over the hiring manager. The key to success is to ensure you prepare for the Behavioural Interview or your excitement can quickly turn to disappointment. The Behavioural Interview enables the interviewer to dig deep into your work history and assess if you truly have the experience they require. The good news is that you can build a winning strategy to shine in this type of interview and dramatically increase your ability to land the position you want. All it takes is research and preparation.
What is a Behavioural Interview?
Your strategy will become clearer when you understand what the Behavioural Interview is all about. You’ll be asked open-ended questions that give you an opportunity to demonstrate your track record of accomplishments and successes. Questions often begin with openings like these:
- “Tell me about a time…”
- “Describe a situation where you…”
- “Give me an example of a time you…”
Interviewers ask these questions for several reasons. First, they need to find out how closely your experience matches the requirements of the job. Then, by asking questions about what you have done in the past, they can assess how you would handle similar situations in the future.
Evaluate Your Current Interview Strategy
In order to ace the interview, you need to recognize the problems with your current Behavioural Interview strategy. The following four questions will help you evaluate where your interviews have gone wrong in the past so you can then create a better plan:
1. Can you answer these commonly asked Behavioural Interview Questions?
Consider how you would answer the following questions from INC’s “9 Most Common Behavioural Interview Questions and Answers”:
- Tell me about the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last six months.
- Describe a major mistake you made, and what you did to correct it.
- Tell me about the last time a customer or co-worker got upset with you.
- Give me an example of a time you knew you were right, but still had to follow directions or guidelines.
- Tell me about a time you worked with a challenging team. What created the challenge? How did you turn it around?
- Describe a time you were given critical feedback. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time you had to raise an uncomfortable issue with your boss.
- Tell me about a goal you achieved.
- Tell me about a goal you failed to achieve.
2. Are you ready for the specific or job-related questions the interviewer may ask?
Preparing for a Behavioural Interview is essential to your success. If you aren’t ready when the time comes, you have little chance of impressing the hiring manager. No matter how well you’ve performed in your past positions, it pays to spend plenty of time preparing and practicing for each new interview.
3. Do you speak in generalities?
Anyone can speak in generalities. It takes planning and preparation to tell relevant stories that are filled with concrete details. So, how do you develop a story that has the concrete details you need? In “2 Tips for Acing the Behavioural Interview”, we suggest using the STAR formula. The concept is to talk about the Situation or Task, the Action, and the Result. If you want to nail the behavioural interview, you must describe the specific situation, explain what you did to resolve the situation, and then describe the positive result. This is the formula for success.
4. Do you have multiple stories to tell?
Many job seekers make the mistake of referring to the same story numerous times during the interview. When you do that, you don’t show the breadth of your experience. You appear to have a limited scope of expertise and therefore may not be the right candidate for the role.
Are You Ready to Improve Your Behavioural Interview Skills?Learning how to ace the Behavioural Interview takes time and effort. You can perfect these skills with a career coach who understands how Behavioural Interviews work and what hiring managers want. At JL Careers, we can help you fine-tune your interviewing skills so you can make the most of each interview opportunity and get the job you want. Contact us to start your journey to ace your next interview!
Wishing you much career success!
Joanne Loberg Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc