What Is Behavioral Interviewing?

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If you are preparing for a job interview, you should practice answering different types of questions. Doing so will improve your confidence and help you make a great first impression when you meet with the interviewer. Many interviewers use the behavioral interviewing technique, which focuses on a candidate's past job performance, so it is important to review your job history before your interview. This will help you prepare to answer open-ended behavioral interview questions.

Many interviewers use the behavioral interviewing technique because it is a great way to determine how well a candidate would handle a job-related challenge. Instead of asking you questions that could be answered with a "yes" or "no," an interviewer using the behavioral interviewing technique would ask you to explain how you handled a past work challenge. You might have to describe how you handled a disgruntled customer or prioritized your workload on a busy day. The interviewer would use your answer to predict how well you would respond to a similar challenge in the future.

Practice using the STAR method to answer open-ended interview questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action and result. You must describe the situation, tell the recruiter about the task you were performing, describe the actions you took and explain the outcome of your actions. Be as specific as possible without giving the interviewer unnecessary information. It is best to use statistics and other numbers to back up your claims. If you increased subscription rates by 25 percent or saved your company $10,000, the interviewer will want to know about it. Many interviewers use behavioral interviewing to find out about leadership skills, adaptability, initiative and communication skills, so be prepared to answer questions related to these topics.

If you have trouble answering behavioral interview questions, look for opportunities to participate in mock interviews. This will give you the opportunity to develop persuasive answers to open-ended questions. Make sure each answer you give has a beginning, middle and end. When you are responding to a behavioral interviewing question, be specific. Instead of telling the interviewer about several situations, focus on one situation and explain how your actions resulted in a positive outcome. You should also take some time to review your employment history before your mock interview. The information will be fresh in your mind, making it easier to concentrate on formulating appropriate answers.

Because so many interviewers use the behavioral interviewing technique, it's important that you understand how to respond to open-ended questions based on your past performance. Review your employment history frequently so that you are always prepared to give specific examples. Participate in mock interviews for practice answering open-ended questions. Taking time to prepare for a behavioral interviewing session will help you impress the recruiter and improve your chances of getting a job.

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