Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Behavioral Based Interviews

2011-02-23 14:10:21

A lot of people like to "prepare" for interviews. They want to think of clever or good answers for interview questions. But it's not that easy to prepare for a behavioral-based interview.

What exactly *is* behavioral-based interviewing? It's a style of questioning used more and more today. The basic premise is that what you have done and how you have acted in the past will be a good indicator of how you will handle future situations.

Your best preparation is to think of situations in your professional past that were difficult, contained some element of conflict or decision making, and had a positive outcome. Your clues are going to be in the job description and your own field. For example, as a recruiter I am generally asked about dealing with a difficult manager (account management), or persuading a manager to look at a candidate that didn't fit their "model" for the job (persuasion), or how I handle a candidate that lied on their application/resume (ethics, conflict). If you are in project management, you might be asked about a time when a project slipped or handling change orders. When I'm speaking to an Executive Administrator, I ask about specific examples of dealing with confidential information. And those candidates who don't give me a *specific situation* obviously aren't listening and probably won't be good in a full interview loop.

You have to remember that the employer is looking not just at your resolution to an issue or conflict, but also how you communicate. The example you choose is just as important as the outcome. If you choose something well, lame, the hiring manager isn't going to be confident in your ability to react under pressure, or your self confidence. If you cannot think of an example and say that you have never had to deal with major conflict, at worst you are lying (and perhaps have a poor employment history and you lack initiative) or at best that you just don't have enough experience.

There are dozens of websites on the subject. But, again, your best preparation is your own career history which you should know really well.

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