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How to Conduct a Behavioral Interview


Employers in today’s job market want to hire the best candidates. Traditional style interviews are becoming less common. These employers are turning to behavioral interview questions to truly reveal the caliber of the job applicant. If you truly want to be effective in this style interview, proper planning, and practicing are necessary.

Behavioral Interviews Focus on Past Scenarios

Hiring specialists believe that behavioral interview questions are particularly effective because these questions focus on past behaviors. The notion that past behavior hints at future performance is widely received by most Human Resource Professionals. People tend to handle future situations similar to how they handled the same situations in the past. A potential employer can ask specific questions about leadership in a past job to get a good idea of the candidate’s leadership style. The goal of the behavioral interview is to reveal how the job candidate performed in their last job.

Behavioral Interviews Guard against False Information

Traditionally, employers asked general information about a candidate’s past. The failure to get specific information opens the door to candidates embellishing their credentials. In a behavioral interview, this is not as likely. The interviewer will ask a question followed by follow-up questions. Each new question will usually build on the previous question, so it is easier to determine if a candidate is not telling the truth. The detailed nature of the interview minimizes the possibility of fraudulent information from the job applicant.

Preparing for the Behavioral Interview

It is important to prepare in advance for the behavioral interview. Writing down possible questions that an employer may ask is a good place to start. For instance, studying the job description is a good way to come up with good questions. Most employers will tend to gear the interview around the job description. They will ask questions about your previous job that will hint at your ability to do the job at hand. Practicing is crucial to be successful in the interview. The more relaxed and confident a candidate comes across, the more the interviewer will be convinced that perhaps this person is the right one for the job. The tone should be conversational and not rehearsed. It is easy to spot a job candidate that is unnatural and fake.



“Behavioral Interviewing .” The College at Brockport: State University of New York. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2010.

“Buffalo State – CDC – Examples of Behavioral Interview Questions.” Buffalo State College. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2010.

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