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5 Interview Types and How to Ace Them

Tania Khadder

2. The Behavioral Interview

What Is It?

The behavioral interview assumes that the most accurate indicator of future success is past performance in a similar situation. The interviewer will have in mind a set of skills they’re looking for in a candidate, and will assess whether or not you have said skills based on how you’ve demonstrated them in the past.

So instead of asking more general questions, like “Why do you want to work in this industry?”, someone conducting a behavioral interview will say “Give an example of when you faced XYZ situation.” Once you’ve answered the initial question, they’ll probe further, asking you how you felt, what you said, what you did and what the final outcome was.

How to Ace It

The behavioral interview is growing more and more common, so it’s essential you learn how to prepare for it.

At first, it may seem an impossible task. After all, there’s no telling what specific scenarios an interviewer might ask you to describe. But don’t fret. By preparing – in detail – a few stories from your professional experience, you can likely adapt one of them to any question they throw at you. Think of instances where you overcame a challenge, performed memorably, and motivated yourself and others.

For each story, be prepared to address the following points:

• The situation
• What actions you took
• How it made you feel
• What you learned

And the more familiar you are with the job description, the better your chances for success. By looking at what qualities they’re looking for in a candidate, you may be able to predict what type of questions they’ll ask.

Whatever you do, don’t lie or give an overly vague response. Behavioral interviews are especially useful at exposing made-up answers – which is one reason employers like them. Make sure you know what you’re talking about and that you’re ready to provide more detail if necessary.

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