It is tough preparing for a behavioral job interview. You are so excited when you get the call but then all that goes away and it’s replaced with the anxiety to perform well. It’s natural to feel nervous about the whole process. Who knows better than you what you have accomplished? Even so, it doesn’t typically alleviate your concerns.
What Are Behavioral Job Interview Questions
So, what are behavioral interview questions and why do so many companies ask those types of questions? Many companies use a technique referred to as behavioral interviewing. The questions typically start with “Tell me about a time when you” or “Describe a time when you”. The interviewer is looking for a specific example of when you demonstrated a particular behavior relevant to the job. The rationale behind it is the best predictor of future success is past performance.
Job candidates have a tendency to speak in generalities. These questions get you focused on specific situations where you demonstrated a particular skill. It gives them the best chance of predicting future performance and probability of success on the job.
How Do I Prepare
If you were lucky enough to take behavioral interview training, then you may have been introduced to the STAR method. It’s an acronym that stands for Situation Task Action Result, a formula for answering behavioral interview questions. It’s something that you should practice because it doesn’t come naturally when you first do it. You explain the situation and task. Then you articulate the action you took and the end result. This technique is actually a great way to stay focused during the interview process. Being able to successfully share relevant specifics will help you get an edge on the competition.
Mock Interview Preparation
A career coach or professional resume writer that specializes in this technique is invaluable. You can schedule a session or two that will help you practice the method and get valuable feedback. Job interviews are tricky enough without going solo preparing for a completely different technique. Sometimes you need some help to be concise, frame your answers correctly and think through specific examples of relevant accomplishments that truly show you are a strong candidate. Some people practice on their own or with a friend. Friends and family members typically don’t have the expertise to help you prepare.
When preparing for a behavioral interview, think about the job requirements and skills that are essential to doing well in the role. You want to have solid examples ready for each in order to be prepared for a wide array of questions. Behavioral interviews are not easy until you really get the hang of it. Practice the STAR method and get used to answering questions in that format. A session with a career coach may be just what you need. It can help you frame what you want to articulate and be confident in your answers. It is best to stick with the most relevant information. Nailing that behavioral interview is essential to getting the job.