What is a Behavioral Job Interview? How Do I Prepare For It?

Danny A. writes...

"What is a behavioral job interview? What tips can you give to prepare for one and for me to 'pass' it so to speak? Thank you. I am having a really rough time with my job interviews and know I can do much better at answering questions but I get nervous and tongue tied."

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Replies (2)
    • Hi Danny.

      I've asked Don Georgevich, a professional with more knowledge than I, for information on a behavioral job interview. I will post this helpful info below along with a link for more information.

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      Being prepared for behavioral interview questions is one of the smartest things you can do in your job search.
      Knowing how to answer these questions can make all the difference between landing the job and having to keep on looking for another one.
      Behavioral or competency-based interviews are simply a set of questions that ask you to talk about examples from your past work experience to help an interviewer figure out your strengths.
      Behavioral interviewers will look for the three parts (Problem, Action, Results) of your answer and take notes about how you answered the question.
      These are also known as STAR interview questions.
      STAR stands for:
       - Situation
       - Task
       - Action  
       - Result
      1. The first thing you want to do when answering a behavioral question is describe a work related Situation or Task that you needed to accomplish, and you want to be concise.
      2. Then describe the Action you took.  Don’t tell them what you might do or would do, you need to tell them what you did.
      3. And finally, describe what happened -- the result. What did you accomplish?  What did you learn? How much time or money did you save?  And most importantly does your result solve the problem you described in step 1.
      That’s the formula for answering any behavioral question.

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      Here is a link to Don's Complete Interview Answer Guide ( click here ). With it, you will unlock all of the strategies to help you to answer any behavioral question by turning your past work experiences into powerful behavioral answers. His guide is packed with examples of behavioral questions using the STAR format.

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      • More behavioral interview information from Don...

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        You already know that most employers use behavioral interviews to determine your core competencies.  
        And you know that behavioral interview questions account for at least 40% of your interview.
        So what happens when you are not prepared for behavioral interviews?
        You end up looking like a deer in the headlights and you walk away from the interview without a job offer in hand.
        So let’s take a look at some behavioral strategies you can use on your next interview.
        1. Carefully listen to your interviewer and the question they are asking you. Let them finish asking you the question and don't jump to any conclusions about how to answer it. You might even repeat the question back to them to help you get a better feel for it.
        2. Carefully choose your language when answering their questions. Try to use language that is specific to your industry so you look like more of an expert.
        3. Before your interview, research key words, terms, and buzz words that might be used by the company you are interviewing with and incorporate that language into your answers.
        4. When giving your answers, don't go into extreme detail, just give them the basic facts because this allows for two things:
            a. It shortens the length of your answer, making it more digestible to your interviewer. Basically, they'll have a better idea of what you said because you explained it in a simple manner.
            b. A shorter answer allows for your interviewer to ask follow-up questions about some of the details, and now you can further demonstrate your competencies by answering those specific questions.
        5. Carefully choose examples from your past that you want to talk about. I say that because if you are unwilling to go into detail about certain topics, then avoid bringing them up.
        When you follow these guidelines, you’ll be much more prepared for the type of questions that are coming at you.
        Don's Complete Interview Answer Guide is packed with strategies that will enable you to answer any behavioral question. There are tons of examples of how to answer behavioral questions by turning your past work experiences into powerful behavioral answers.

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