Career Advice

Help! I Need To Prepare For A Behavioural Interview

by Leah Lambart Thursday February 6th 2020

Help! I Need To Prepare For A Behavioural Interview-behavioural-interview

If you are planning to start applying for graduate positions anytime soon, then it is more than likely that you may be invited to attend a ‘behavioural interview’.

Behavioural interviews are now conducted by approximately 80% of companies, so the sooner that you can master behavioural interview skills the better.

So what is a behavioural interview?

A behavioural interview is an interview that usually includes general interview questions such as “Tell us about yourself?”, “What are your strengths/weaknesses?” etc but also includes questions known as ‘behavioural questions’. Behavioural questions are questions that ask for specific examples in order to test core skills such as; leadership, communication, teamwork, resilience, accountability, and problem solving amongst many others. Behavioural questions require evidence-based responses as opposed to what you would do in a particular scenario.

Behavioural questions can be easily identified as they will ask the candidate for an example of when they used a particular skill and how effective they have been. You will be able to identify a behavioural question as it will start with the following:

“Tell us about a time when……..”;

“Give us an example of…………….”; or

“Describe a situation when……….”

How do I answer such a question?

To have any chance of success in a behavioural interview, it is really important that you understand the correct way to answer these questions. Behavioural questions require a response using a structure that we call ‘STAR’ method which stands for:

S = Situation

T = Task

A = Actions

R = Result

How to prepare?

If you have a behavioural interview coming up, I suggest you read the position description very carefully and get a really solid understanding of the key skills (also called key selection criteria or key competencies) required for the role. The next step is to brainstorm what examples you have from any paid or unpaid work that demonstrate these competencies. If you haven’t worked as yet, then it would be appropriate to use examples from university team projects or when you have been a member of a university committee or club. Then describe your example using the STAR method whilst trying to make it as natural as can be (it does take practice!).

If you can go into the interview with a good idea of the examples you are going to use for each skill then you are going to be streets ahead of other candidates who are not so well prepared.

Leah Lambart

Leah Lambart and her team at Relaunch Me, provide one-on-one behavioural interview coaching both face-to-face in Malvern, VIC or via Skype/Zoom or phone.

If you need help preparing for your next interview, contact Leah and her team via the Relaunch Me website to organise a coaching session, or for regular career advice and tips follow us on Facebook or Instagram at @relaunchmecareerconsulting.

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