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By Edupliance | 9th March, 2016

Times are changing and so have the methods of interviewing an employee for a job. Earlier on, only questions related to your core competencies and your previous experience were asked. If you got everything correct, you were hired!

Now, it is the 21st century and interviews have taken a massive leap towards personalitybased questions rather than bookish knowledge. Candidates are questioned on the basis of the job’s requirements and not what they have already achieved. This method is called Behavioral Based Interviewing which forms questions on the basis of the candidate’s approach to the interview and his/her impending behavior to the questions being shot at him/her.

What is Behavioral Based Interviewing?

This approach also called Critical Behavior Interviewing (CBI), is a tactic used by employers to pre-determine a candidate’s core competencies and skills needed for success in a particular job area.

The questions asked in this interview format probes for behavior patterns and does not seek correct answers. It is a method of looking out for the best and most affable response to a workplace situation or scenario.

This interview is slightly different from a regular job interview in its approach. The format remains the same – you meet an interviewer and he asks you a few questions that you respond to; the difference is in the questions that are being asked; they are vastly different to a regular interview in terms of being more open-ended, more dynamic and more provocative.

Why do HR and other Professionals need to know about Behavior-Based Interviews?

Nowadays, this kind of interview format is in vogue and is a big hit with recruiters for key managerial positions and high-level HR positions.

To know for sure that you will not be a liability to the workplace and that your erratic behavior will not be a cause for concern in the future, you will be evaluated based on your past performances and problem-solving techniques.

Every person seeking a job interview in today’s time should practice this interview format before appearing for the real thing so that they are ready with answers on the spot. You simply have to describe your skills, but in a more straightforward and descriptive nature.

What can Professionals know about you through Behavior-Based Interviews?

Behavioral based interviewing mainly seeks answers to various employment-related situations and how the interviewee acted in those circumstances. The logic of doing this is that a person’s behavior is repetitive akin to his characteristics, so if you behaved in a certain manner in your past job, chances are that you will behave similarly in your new job.

Traditional Interviews vs. Behavior-Based Interviews – Which is better?

The questions in a traditional interview are like this:

  • “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
  • “What kind of remuneration are you expecting from this job?”
  • “What are your major competencies and core strengths in your work experience?”

The questions in a Behavior-Based Interview are like this:

  • “Describe your weekly work schedule.”
  • “What major challenges did you face when you were assigned XYZ project?”
  • “How did you handle the delay in executing ABC task?”

As you can see, the latter is more open-ended and interpersonal where the employer will ask questions revolving around your skills and asks you how you behaved in the past. By knowing how you handled a situation, they know your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to job specific roles.

Both interview formats have their pros and cons, but the latter is specifically in vogue nowadays for posts that are more demanding in nature. For a fresher, the former works fine.

What all things do you need to know about this Interview? Here are some of the examples of the pattern of questions asked in a Behavioral Interview (If you are the interviewer)

Behavioral interview questions are more probing and more specific in nature. They demand logic when it comes to problem solving and how quickly and efficiently you applied that logic in the confines of your job role.

Some questions are really specific and personal like:

  • Have you ever superseded your authority and clearance level? How?
  • Have you handled being unpopular at your workplace? How did you overcome it?
  • How much time does it take for you to convince your team members to adopt an approach? Did they follow your ideas?
  • Have you ever been in a difficult situation with any of your co-workers? How was the experience like?
  • How is your quality of work when you are made to work under pressure?

Preparation for a Behavioral Interview (If you are the interviewee)

  • The best way to prepare for such an interview is to have confidence in what you did. Keep your memory fresh and this will help you frame the responses akin to the interviewer’s liking.
  • Prepare stories in advance where you successfully overcame difficulties and performed remarkably.
  • Do NOT make up false stories. A lie entails more lies!
  • Be descriptive and focus on your behavioral characteristics while describing events. Employers love to know how your skills and common sense helped you be useful to your job description.

Remember that such interviews are action-oriented. There are no right or wrong answers in this situation; the employer gets to decide the right from the wrong here – he is the one hiring you.

The interviewer is simply trying to gauge your performance in a particular situation. Your response, demeanor and amicability is what will determine if you are the perfect match for the position the company seeks to fill. Be clear and detailed with your answers and do not cook up any stories!

Hopefully, if the employer likes what you said, you will be hired, otherwise, a rejection will mean that this job didn’t suit your skills. Try and try till you succeed.


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