En Route: A Career Blog

Making it Through a Behavioral Interview

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: July 17, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Employers are increasingly making use of the “Behavioral Interview”. The theory behind this type of interview is “Past performance is the best indicator of future success.”

In behavior-based interviews, you will be asked to give specific examples of a time that you demonstrated particular behaviors or skills.

You will describe in detail a particular event, project, or experience; how you dealt with the situation, and ultimately, the outcome.

A Behavioral Interview question might look something like this:

Describe a time that you had to work with someone that didn’t like you. How did you handle it?


Tell me about the most difficult customer experience you had to deal with. How did you resolve the issue?

Both of these questions are trying to assess how you deal with conflict.

How to prepare for Behavioral Interview questions:

First, you will want to have an understanding of what competencies the employer is looking for, a good place to start is the job description, job posting, or a recruiter if you are working with one.

Some of the basic competencies that they may be looking for are:

► Innovation
► Delegation
► Flexibility
► Motivation
► Communication Skills
► Conflict Resolution
► Team Building

Next, you will want to spend some time thinking about how you demonstrated these competencies. For example, think about a specific situation, the action you took and finally the result. You should not only come up with stories about positive outcomes but situations that did not have a positive outcome, interviewers will want to know how you dealt with these situations as well.

Even if you aren’t facing a job interview, it is always a good idea to be prepared by keeping a list of competencies and accomplishments, if you write them down right after they happen you will be armed with detailed accounts the next time you interview.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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