INTERVIEWS / AUG. 06, 2013
version 1, draft 1

What is a Behavioral Interview?

What is a behavioral interview?

A behavioral interview is a job interview that aims to determine if the job seeker has the specific characteristics required for the role. Although the interview setting is identical to a standard interview, the candidate will be asked a different set of questions from a standard interview, that aim to discover more about the candidate’s personality traits. This can be achieved by asking the candidate to provide real life examples of how they have behaved in certain situations.

Why conduct a behavioral interview?

Behavioral interviews are conducted because they help you to select the best employees for the position based not only on their skills, education and experiences, but on their individual character traits.

If you are hiring for a role that is primarily based on characteristics, personality fit and easy assimilation into the corporate culture, then a behavioral interview is the ideal choice. You may also feel that certain skills are preferable over others, and performing a behavioral interview is the best way to ascertain whether or not the individual has these skills.

How to prepare for an effective behavioral interview

Before the interview takes place it is important that you write a job posting that describes the behavioral characteristics required for the role. In order to do this you will need to ensure that you understand exactly what you want from the employee.

First of all you should determine the exact specifications of the role, including experience required, education level, required skills and knowledge. Finally, write a detailed outline of the preferred characteristics of the successful individual.

Prepare a list of questions for the interview. There should be a combination of behavioral and traditional questions prepared. Use the same questions for each interview that you conduct, to ensure as much objectivity as possible during the interview stage.

Examples of behavioral interview questions

  • Give me an example of a time that you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor
  • Provide an example of a time when you used logic to solve a problem
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and how you achieved it
  • Describe a time when you made an unpopular decision and how you handled it

 

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