Preparing for Behavioral Based Interviews

What is behavioral interviewing?  This relatively new interviewing strategy is based on the premise that relevant past behavior in a work setting can be a very good predictor of future performance in a similar work environment.

It makes perfect sense . . . and for experienced professionals this kind of interviewing allows them to shine by highlighting their experience, accomplishments and expertise through short, powerful stories.

What Does This Mean for Me?

It means that you can relax a bit.  Behavioral based interviews tend to have more of a conversational feel to them.  You’ll see that they flow naturally and logically as the interviewer looks for your concrete examples of what you have done in the past and how that relates to what you could do for them in the future.

A close cousin of these “past-focused” questions are “future-focused” questions which are looking for your ability to handle a new situation.  These are often called competency-based questions because they are looking to future behavior specifically.  You will probably be asked both kinds of questions throughout the interview.

First Step in Preparing for Behavioral-Based Questions

The hiring manager will be asking targeted questions tied directly to the desired knowledge and skills competencies usually detailed in the job description.  So that’s where you start . . . take the job description and yellow highlight the key compentencies they are asking for.

You will usually see they are looking for this five compentencies:

  • specific knowledge
  • demonstrated skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • proven experience and
  • accomplishments in the chosen area

In my next blog, I’ll teach you how to tell a powerful story using C.A.R to illustrate each of these areas.  It’s an easy way to remember and tell an interviewer your career strengths.  You will be surprised how easy it is!

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