Behavior-based interviewing is an increasingly popular interviewing technique and is based on the idea that past behavior is predictive of future behavior. Behavior-based questions are designed to determine certain key competencies that the company desires their employees to have. The candidate is asked to provide specific examples that demonstrate these specific skills or characteristics. The interviewer then continues to probe for details to determine how the person is likely to behave in a work situation.
To prepare for this type of interview, review past work, internship or volunteer experience. Choose examples of times when you had to make tough decisions or deal with difficult situations and analyze how you handled them. Practice describing these events.
The following is a list of possible behavior-based questions:
- Describe a situation in which you had to use reference materials to write a research paper. What was the topic? What journals did you read? (research)
- Give me a specific example of a time when a co-worker or classmate criticized your work in front of others. How did you respond? How has that event shaped the way you communicate with others? (communication)
- Give me a specific example of a time when you sold your supervisor or professor on an idea or concept. How did you proceed? What was the result? (assertiveness)
- Describe the system you use for keeping track of multiple projects. How do you track your progress so that you can meet deadlines? How do you stay focused? (commitment to task)
- Tell me about a time when you came up with an innovative solution to a challenge your company or class was facing. What was the challenge? What role did others play? (creativity and imagination)
- Describe a specific problem you solved for your employer or professor. How did you approach the problem? What role did others play? What was the outcome? (decision making)
- Describe a time when you got co-workers or classmates who dislike each other to work together. How did you accomplish this? What was the outcome? (teamwork)
- Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What things did you fail to do? What were the repercussions? What did you learn? (time management)