How to Effectively Prepare Before a Behavioral Interview
Preparation before a behavioral interview is of the utmost importance. If you do not practice answering behavioral questions beforehand you will find it difficult for your application to progress to a job offer. In order to prepare effectively, consider the following five steps:
- Reflect upon your previous work history, experiences, and background. Concentrate on work-related examples if possible. Otherwise if you are stuck, draw upon experiences outside of work, such as at University or through clubs, societies, or sporting teams.
- Make a list of specific situations where you have had to:
- Work in a team
- Work against deadlines
- Deal with conflict or a difficult customer/client/team member
- Show leadership
- Solve a problem
- Show initiative
- Manage competing priorities
- Use negotiation or influencing skills
- Rectify a significant mistake
- Achieve a goal or accomplish something
- Go above and beyond to get the job done
- Any other notable situations specific to your role
- Think carefully about what you have learnt from each experience and what skills you were able to acquire from it. Consider the obstacles you encountered along the way. Were you to be in a similar situation in the future, how would you approach it knowing what you do now?
- Locate the competencies, skills, or attributes required for the role you have applied for. Think about how you have exhibited these in each of the situations you have listed above. Tailor your answers to the specific role you have applied for.
- Practice. Practice. Practice! Read our sample behavioral questions and practice giving answers. It is most effective when you do this out loud, so practice in front of the mirror or get a friend or family member to pretend to be the interviewer