How to Ace Your Next Behavioral Job Interview

If you are preparing for a behavioral job interview, your first question may be, “What is a behavioral interview?” Employers use this popular interviewing method to assess job candidates’ potential based on their behavior in past situations. The interview normally consists of questions that refer to how you responded to work situations with former employers, whereas a typical interview often only asks what you would do if you find yourself in a particular situation on the job you are applying for.

The technique’s concept is that your past actions are a predictor of how you will behave in the present position being offered. Behavioral interviews are 55% effective at predicting future behavior on the job, as opposed to traditional interviews, which are only 10% effective.

How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

Behavioral interviews are a great tool. Here are two crucial aspects to consider when developing yours.

  • Consider past work experiences. As you begin prepping for your behavioral interview, it is best to start by thinking about specific situations you have faced in former positions and how you responded and handled the situation. The more compelling your stories are, the more likely you are to make an impression the prospective employer will remember. Problem-solving, dealing with stress, meeting goals, and conflict resolution are great situational examples in which you can express your response in a positive light. Consider that you may be asked questions regarding circumstances in which you would have acted differently, and be prepared with an answer stating what you would have done in hindsight.
  • Be prepared for questions you may not have thought about. You never know exactly what questions they may hit you with, so be ready to think on your feet. These “what if” questions may require you to be resourceful, focusing on your initiative and drive to succeed.

What Are Some Common Questions?

Employers often know what specific skills they are looking for in the applicants they choose to interview. Glassdoor says, “A behavioral interview is most effective when the interviewer already knows what he or she is looking for in a job candidate.” Some of the common questions you may expect often resemble these:

  • Explain a situation in which you worked well under pressure.
  • Give an example of a difficult situation you faced with a coworker and how you resolved the issue.
  • Tell about an unpopular decision you made and how you successfully handled its implementation.
  • Give an example of a goal you attained, and explain how you reached the goal.
  • Tell about a time you went above and beyond for an employer or client, what motivated you, and the results.
  • Give an example of when your schedule was interrupted and how you adapted to the situation.

If you face a behavioral job interview and wish to prepare with some personal coaching, Susan Ascher is ready to help you come out on top. Visit our website, or call (973) 919-8180 to find out how you can feel more comfortable going into your interview.

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