Preparing For Behavioural Based Questions
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In today's world, practicing for traditional interview questions such as "tell me about your last role", "why did you leave said role", "outline your strengths and weaknesses" isn't enough. Recruiters and hiring managers want to understand more about you, how you have performed and behaved in the past with actual results and scenarios. Gone are the days of the simple open ended questions that permit the opportunity for you to share what you think the interview wants to hear.
If candidate selection was purely based on what we read on your resume - the wrong people would be hired for role. That's not to say the same thing can't ha[[en when a behavioural-based interview is used, but the behavioural questions usually allow for a better job fit and performance match for the long term!
Before any interview, it is important to go in as prepared as you can. Read over the job advertisement, study the job description (highly recommend requesting one of you haven’t been given one) and go over your resume so your dates are fresh in your head. The main thing to focus on in the job advert and the job description is the role requirements and the key selection criteria. Structured behavioural based interview questions often come from the position description - so this is your best friend!
To prepare, make sure you:
Come up with a number of examples you can draw upon and elaborate on in interview. Think back to your past roles and think of achievements you may have received or big projects you worked on.
with each of these scenarios, make sure you structure your answer using the STAR method:
Situation – Talk about the situation you found yourself in at work, paint a picture for the interview ie “The customer service team I was apart of in my last role worked on a major project with…..)
Task – discuss the task you took in this project, what part did you play. Ie “it was my role to lead the team…
Action – the action, you as an individual took in this situation. Do not refer to ‘we’, or your team, the interviewer I keen to hear how you handled the situation i.e. “I set up weekly checks in with the team members, as well as setting up a structured timeline with the client, and checking in on them weekly too. This ensured consistency and accuracy across the team
Result – what was the outcome of this scenario, was it positive or negative? Did you learn anything from this?
I.e. we successfully met the project deadline in a timely and accurate manner, we maintained open communication across the group, and the client was so pleased with the outcome they set up another project a few months later…”
Be open and honest
Maintain structure – don’t waffle and give long winded answers
Talk about workplace achievements, major projects you have worked on
Practice your interview out loud, in a mirror
Always dress appropriately for interview – whether it is online or in person
Ask questions at the end, about the process, the culture, what training will be provided in this role.
Some common Behavioural based questions
Here are some examples of behavioural based questions you may be asked (source: Indeed.com 2019)
- "Has there been a time when you had to pitch an idea to a manager or senior leader? What was the outcome?"
- "Tell me about a time when you overcame a conflict at work."
- "Explain a situation in which you would have handled things differently."
- "Tell me about a time you handled a stressful situation when you were under a lot of pressure."
- "Can you tell me about a time you set and achieved a certain goal?"
- "What is your proudest professional accomplishment and why?"
We often walk out of interviews thinking of a million other things we could’ve said. But if you go in prepared, you can leave knowing you gave it your best shot! If you feel that you need brushing up on how to best interview or how to answer behavioural based questions KLC Recruitment can help. Get in contact with us today and one of our highly skilled consultants will set you up with an Interview Technique Session. If you are fairly confident in your interviewing skills however just aren't getting the calls after applying to even get to that stage KLC can help ensure your resume stands out! Ask about our Resume Writing Sessions today!
Stephanie Banks Smith
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