#behavioural interview questions and answers
I believe in the potential of behavioral interviews to elicit interesting and valuable stories from applicants. In practice, however, the process confuses some applicants because they do not understand why the interviewer is asking a particular question.
- What kind of story does she want to hear?
- What kinds of details will impress her?
- What qualities does she hope I will demonstrate through my answers?
LEADERSHIP: stories that demonstrate your ability to influence a person, group or organization
TEAMWORK: stories that demonstrate your ability to build and maintain professional relationships
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: stories that demonstrate your ability to set an objective and achieve it
Most of us probably have the kinds of experiences that interviewer wants to hear about, we just don’t know how to think of them up on the spot, how to frame them so they make sense, or how to deliver them so that they sound impressive. If you understand the intention of the question, you’ll be able to give an answer that will be effective every time.
Unfortunately, interviews usually ask behavioral questions without any guidance. The interviewer asks her question. Then, the interviewee mumbles out a long and boring response that fails to address the questions behind the question – what the interviewer really wanted to hear but did not ask you to tell her.
If interviewers explained the process, interviewees might feel comfortable having a discussion rather than presenting a memorized speech. Therefore, I suggest you imagine your interviewer saying something like this:
“I’m going to ask you a behavioral question. As a part of your answer, please tell me about yourself. Your motivations. Your intentions. Your personal qualities. In your answer, be sure to cover the situation, the task, your action steps, and the results. If possible, I would also like to hear what you learned from this experience and how you’ve applied that lesson. Here is the question. “