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How to Prep For Behavioral Interviews

Author: Michael Scaletti

A behavioral interview is an interview that focuses on a candidate's past experiences by asking candidates to provide specific examples of how they have demonstrated certain behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities. They are one of the most common interview types used at the moment, and they can be a bit of a daunting process for many candidates. A little prepwork and foresight, however, can go a long way towards ensuring that you are ready and confident to face whatever is asked.

Remember that the goal of a behavioral interview is to evaluate how you overcome challenging situations as opposed to simply assessing your skillset and knowledge base. This is often critical in understanding how successful you will be when put into the position you are interviewing for, so not only is being properly prepared for a behavioral interview a great way to show your recruiter that you will excel in a role, careful listentening during one can give you a better understanding of what types of challenges you may face in the role.

Examples of Behavioral Interview Questions:

  • Tell me about a challenging project you have taken on. Describe the main challenges you faced. How did you overcome these challenges?

  • Tell me about a difficult client you have had to manage in order to achieve success.

  • Give me some examples of how you have used positive reinforcement or constructive criticism to get an underperforming employee or colleague to excel.

  • Give me an example of a time when your ideas were challenged at work. How did you react?

How to prepare for a behavioral interview:

  1. Do Your Research. It's important to thoroughly research the company you are interviewing with and the role you are interviewing for before heading to any interview. This is doubly important for behavioral interviews, as you need to know what type of work they do and what type of clients they serve in order to have an adequite understanding of the tupe of challenges you may be facing, which will inform your answers to behavioral questions.

  2. Have ready examples. The key aspect of a behavioral interview is analysing how you have reacted to adverse or challenging situations in the past, so be sure to have several examples prepared that will alow you to illustrate your resourcefullness, problem solving, time management, etc. Be able to identify the key aspects of each example. What was the challenge? Who was involved? How did you overcome the challenge? Be specific!

  3. Stay on point. Once you have identified the key aspects of your example figure out how best to communicate those aspects in a clear and concise manner, without getting off track.

  4. Be Attentive. Pay attention to what the interviewer is saying and what they are asking, carefully examine what they want to know, and craft your responses appropriately.

  5. Practice Positivity. As we pointed out recently, while practicing positivity may not make you better at your job, it will make you a better employee. Be positive about your previous experiences and the people and challenges you encountered there.

  6. Be your best self. The whole point of a behavioral interview is getting to know you and your behaviors. So be yourself! But be the best version of yourself that you can present.

Ready to find your next career? Get in touch with The Job Shop and we can help you find your next great role!

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