In a behavioral interviewer, you will be asked to describe past situations that exemplify your ability to use the skills, abilities or knowledge required for the job. Often the questions will begin “Give me an example of………” The key to being successful in any behavioral interview is to communicate a clear story behind your interest in the position. Your challenge is to convince the interviewer that you have the initiative, interest, skills and mature competence to do the job.
To prepare for a behavioral interview, begin by creating a detailed list of the skills and traits that specifically relate to the opening. Some competencies will be common to many jobs, such as leadership, problem solving, creativity, and teamwork, while others will be specifically tied to the role you are seeking. Next, think about relevant examples, or stories, that illustrate how you have mastered a particular skill, or show you possess a trait. To help structure your stories use the S.T.A.R. format, giving points about the situation (S), task (T), action (A) and result (R). Use the attached STAR worksheet to better understand the elements of these type answers and to gather key words facts and phrases that will help shape your talking points.
Finally, dig deeper into behavioral interviews and questions regarding competencies with our Guide to Behavioral Interviews.