Behavior Based Interview Questions: Preparing Superior Answers

behaviorbasedinterviewquestionsBehavior based interview questions are at the core of many interviews today. If you want to have a successful interview, it is imperative that you know what these questions are, as well as how to answer them in an effective manner.

Description of Behavior Based Interview Questions

Behavior based interviewing is a popular type of interview technique that is based on the main idea that your past performance is a good indication of your future performance. Put simply, this means that how well you performed in previous jobs will determine how well you will do in the new position.

When an interviewer asks you a question that is behavior based, you will be asked to describe a situation where you have exhibited the abilities, personal traits and skills that are being sought after for the position that you are currently applying for. It is also crucial that you have the skills to answer these questions effectively, which you can learn with the interview skills training course.

How Behavior Based Questions Work and How You Should Answer

During an interview you will be asked to describe a time that you demonstrated a certain behavior, for example communication skills, teamwork or leadership. The interviewer may also post the question as “Tell me about a time that you had to resolve conflict, contributed to the success of a team or any other situation.” The response that you should create will describe an event that is relevant to that experience that you had in a previous job, volunteer activity, class project or team. In order to successfully answer this type of question, you will need to do the following:

·       Become familiar with the job that you are applying for and know what qualities and skills are being sought;

·       Take time to anticipate the questions or the topics that you will be asked about;

·       Consider practicing how you are going to answer these questions and what examples you will give. You should ensure that the examples you plan to use highlight the skills that are sought for the position you are interviewing for;

·       Try to use example situations that are as recent as possible;

·       Do not use examples that stem from your personal life, such as family, relationships or friends;

·       Be sure to vary the examples that you give and not talk about only one central project or area of your life.

The examples that you give should be short stories that have a beginning, middle and an end. In order to do that effectively, you should implement the STAR model, which stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. You should also check out this lesson that covers other essential interview skills.

Crafting your STAR Model in your Stories

Each element of the STAR model is essential when you are answering behavioral interview questions. This will ensure that the story you tell completely answers the question in an informative manner.

·       Situation: This is when you will set up the situation briefly, by explaining the context of the example you give, which will include the who, what, when, where and how;

·       Task: After setting up the situation you will explain the task that was completed or the actual problem that had to be solved;

·       Action: Describe, in detail, the actions that you took to solve the problem or complete the task;

·       Result: The closing of the story should include the result that occurred due to your efforts. If you are able, quantify the outcome, such as how much you actually contributed to the fundraising, how many children were tutored or how many new employees you trained.

Remember, when you are answering the interview questions, you need to be confident and speak clearly on the topic. Check out the lesson here to learn the appropriate way to answer interview questions smoothly.

Sample Behavior Based Interview Questions and Answers

Crafting your interview answers with the STAR method is not easy. It will take time, effort and practice to do it effectively. This is why you should practice this technique with possible interview questions that you may encounter. This way, when they come up you will be prepared and able to answer confidently.

Sample Question: Describe a project that you handled where you faced several deadlines and your strategy for handling it.

Answer Based on the STAR Method:

Situation: Describe the situation that relates to this question. For example, last year I applied for grants to fund a speaker. Obtaining these grants is difficult and you must meet the deadlines.

Task: I researched the options and found appropriate possibilities.

Action: I created a database to keep track of the deadlines, which ensured that I met the deadlines for each grant.

Result: The primary grant was successful, but a smaller was not, so I worked to find a last minute source of funds for the speaker.

You will want to elaborate on each part of the answer, giving specific details about your particular actions. This will show the interviewer that you are confident in your abilities and able to produce results, even in pressure ridden situations.

Other Potential Behavior Based Interview Questions

Once you get the STAR method of answering questions mastered, you should research other potential questions you will encounter. After you learn what the questions are, you need to consider how you will answer each one. Some possible questions that you may encounter include:

·       Describe a difficult decision you had to make in the past six months,

·       Tell about a time when you took initiative to do something, even if it was not your responsibility,

·       Tell about a time when you solved a difficult situation that had a significant impact.

Remember, when you are being interviewed, the interviewer will be seeking certain skills, which you must be able to illustrate in your answers. No two interviews will be the same, but the interview blueprint offered by this lesson can help you be fully prepared to answer any question that you encounter.