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What Is A Behavioural Interview & How You Can Ace It

. 5 min read . Written by Siddhesh Suman
What Is A Behavioural  Interview & How You Can Ace It

You finally get an interview call for the job you’ve been eyeing for a while, and your excitement is through the roof. But then your recruiter says, “It’s going to be a behavioural interview.” That makes you wonder, “what is a behavioural interview? How do I prepare for it?” Ahh!

Well, fret not. Continue reading to know everything about this interview style,  along with the best ways to prepare for it. 

What Is A Behavioural  Interview?

Behavioural interviews are a popular interviewing technique in the corporate universe.

In this type of interview, the recruiter observes how you act in different work-related scenarios.

It determines if you possess the skills for the role by interpreting your ability to deal with the responsibilities the role demands. 

Traditional Interview vs Behavioural Interview

Behavioural interviews aren’t too different from traditional ones. The only big difference between them is the kind of questions asked. The questions asked in traditional interviews are pretty straightforward, such as: 

  • Tell us something about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Whereas in a behavioural interview, the questions are a little tricky and situational. For example: 

  • Can you share an incident where you had to manage a difficult situation?
  • Is there a goal that you failed to achieve? If yes, how was that experience?
behavioural interview
Behavioural interview questions

Remember: In a behavioural interview question, the recruiter is more interested in knowing how you handled a certain situation instead of how you will handle it in the future. 

Behavioural  Interview Questions

We’ve gathered a bunch of commonly asked behavioural interview questions from some expert recruiters. These will surely come in handy when you’re appearing for a behavioural interview, or even a traditional one.

  1. What was the hardest obstacle you overcame in your last job, and how?
  2. Speaking of workplace obstacles, how did you deal with toxic colleagues/work culture in your previous job(s)?
  3. You mentioned an unhealthy atmosphere in your last job. How did you stay calm during some particularly bad days?
  4. Tell me about a time when you handled a challenging situation.
  5. Have you ever felt dissatisfied with your work? If yes, how did you deal with it?
  6. What was a proud leadership moment for you?
  7. What do you do when your schedule is interrupted?
  8. How have you handled a difficult situation with a coworker? 
  9. Did you ever take an unconventional approach for a project even when it bore some risk? How was that experience?
  10. Have you ever had to convince your team to work on a project they weren’t thrilled about? How did you do it?
  11. Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled something differently.
  12. Tell me about a time when you had to be creative to solve a problem.

Note: behavioural interview questions may differ for each individual depending on the company, job role, or the candidate’s previous job experience. 

No matter what the questions are, it’s important to stay calm and be yourself. When it comes to cracking interviews, confidence is key. And remember: You’ve got this! 

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Preparing For A Behavioural Interview

The type of job interview isn’t always communicated to the candidate beforehand. Since behavioural questions have become an important part of any interview process today, it is always best to know what abilities your employer is seeking by carefully going through the job description and noting down events from your previous job where you effectively displayed those abilities. You can never be too prepared for an interview!

Here are a few desired abilities during a behavioural interview, apart from technical skills:

  • Quick thinking
  • Decision-making abilities
  • Time management 
  • Problem-Solving
  • Conflict resolution
  • Communication skills 
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership skills 
  • Negotiation and  persuasion

If you’re a fresher who’s just out of college, chances are that your interviewer will not ask you questions that they would ask an experienced candidate. Instead, they may tailor the questions based on a college setting. You can answer those questions based on the situations you handled during a project, your college festival, during internships, or in a part-time job. 

To make it even easier for you to answer behavioural interview questions, you can take the help of the STAR interview method to structure your answers or examples. 

Using The STAR Interview Method

‘STAR’ stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It is a sure-shot way of acing a behavioural interview. 

  • Situation: Provide a background of the situation you want to talk about.
  • Task: Explain the task you had to complete or the problems you faced while completing the task. 
  • Action: Talk about the steps you took to resolve the problem and complete the task. 
  • Result: Discuss the results, your actions generated. 
behavioural interview
STAR interview Method

That’s it – you’re all set for your job interview! Remember that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to behavioural interviews. Radiate confidence, be clear of your thoughts, and most importantly, stay truthful. Good luck! 

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