A behavioral interview is a means to understand your skills, job fit and past performance. Questions generally ask you to reflect on a past situation to answer a specific question. This gives the interviewer an indication on how you might handle similar situations in the work place.
Why conduct a behavioral interview?
Behavioral interviews provide a solid predictor of a candidate’s future job performance. It is believed that your past performance predicts how you will perform in the future.
How do you prepare for a behavioral interview?
Candidates that are successful in a behavioral interview are able to share specific past examples. If they don’t have an example that directly relates to the question, they acknowledge they don’t have an example and then offer a related example. This lets the interviewer know the candidate heard the question and wants to offer a related example to demonstrate that skill.
Be prepared to present the context of the situation, actions you took, the results from your actions and if appropriate your learnings from it. Think about several examples for each category above. Examples can come from your past work experience, class project experience, extra-curricular experience and volunteering experience.
Keep the context brief – enough so the interviewer understands the situation. The interviewer doesn’t need every detail of the situation. They are more interested in your actions, results and learnings. If they want more context, they will ask for it.