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Behavioral Interview Tips – Top Five Hints for Sailing through a Behavioral Interview

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The idea behind behavioral interviews is that behavior in past experiences will predict how a person reacts in future situations. This type of interviewing is considered far more effective at predicting future employee performance than traditional interviewing is.

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For that reason, many employers are moving to this type of interview. The behavioral questions are standardized, and the interviewer rates the answers according to a scale.

What are they looking for in Behavioral Interviews?

The interviewer is looking for valuable behaviors like problem solving skills, leadership, self-motivation, working well in a team, attention to detail, and more. Behavioral interview tips are simply tips on how to prepare rather than sample answers because the answers you give have to be uniquely yours.

Behavioral interviewers are looking for highly specific information. They will question you after your initial answer about thought processes, decision making, and other facets of the story. There are certain behavioral interview tips that can help you feel confident in this type of interview situation.

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Here are five of the best Behavioral Interview Tips:

1. Prepare eight stories of your own experiences in the past one to two years. These eight should be split into two groups of four. The first four should be entirely positive. The second four should start with a negative event and end positively through action on your part.

Your examples are easier to remember and avoid rabbit trails if you think in terms of three parts to the experience. The first is setting the scene. What did you observe or what problem arose that caused you to take action? The second is the action you took. The third is the resolution or positive outcome from the situation.

2. Include details but don’t get bogged down in them. One of the best behavioral interview tips is to include numbers in your example. This quantifying detail is appreciated by potential employers. Including too many details can cause your interviewer to turn you out. Remember that they will ask you more questions about the same event so tell what happened but leave some information to answer other inquiries.

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3. Think about your thought and decision making processes. A common behavioral interview question is asking you to describe how you came to that decision or what your thought process was. Think these through so you can say it calmly and clearly.

4. Stay calm and collected throughout the interview. If you need to think about an answer, simply say, “That’s a great question. Let me think a moment.” Collect your thoughts and then answer. This is much better than jumping in to the answer too quickly with random or rambling statements. All the preparation behavioral interview tips will be worth nothing if you lose your cool and forget what you prepared.

5. Above all else, tell the truth. With a behavioral interview’s deeper questions about personal experience, it is much easier for an interviewer to assess whether or not you are lying. They can also call references and ask for verification.

These simple behavioral interview tips can help you have an arsenal of experiences that can be tailored to fit the questions an interviewer is likely to ask.

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by Don Georgevich

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