Preparing for Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral Interview questioning is now a part of most job interviews.

Behavioral based interviewing is questioning used to determine how you will react in specific, on-the-job, situations. By asking questions about how you have reacted in the past to certain scenarios, the interviewer will predict how you will perform in the future.

To prepare for this type of questioning, take some time to recall challenging situations you have dealt with or projects you have worked on.  Prepare stories that highlight successful problem-solving and high achievement.  Write out at least one story for each of your past jobs and one story for each of your recent accomplishments. You will use these stories as a framework for responding to behavioral interview questions that you might be asked.

When crafting your stories, focus on explaining the situation and problem you faced in a compelling way.  Telling a compelling story will make you appear more likable.  Indicate the specific steps you took toward resolution and how you solved the problem.  Conclude with quantifiable results. This could be the dollar amount of a promotion or the dollar amount of increased profits. Write out each story and put your brand on it. Your brand is your unique individual image or the set of talents and strengths that you want to communicate to the employer.

Be sure to listen carefully to the question, ask for clarification if needed, offer a detailed and clear response, and always be honest. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers.

Examples of Behavioral Interview Questions:
  • Of which accomplishment are you most proud? Why?
  • How did you solve a problem or overcome a challenge? What was the outcome?
  • How do you handle schedule interruptions?
  • How have you handled a conflict with an employee or supervisor?
  • When working in a team, what role do you usually take? Why?
  • What strategies do you use to control your temper on the job?
  • How have you used logic to solve a problem?
  • How have you worked to reach your goals?
  • What coping strategies do you use when under a great deal of pressure?
  • When you made a mistake, how did you handle the situation?
  • Describe a decision you made that was unpopular. How did you handle it?
  • Discuss a time when you did not meet your goal. Why did it happen?
Start preparing and practicing your stories now so that you will be ready to handle any tricky behavioral interview that comes your way.  Be prepared so you can promote your successes and strengths to the hiring manager.


Kathy Lin - Tal HealthcareWritten by:
Kathy Lin, Marketing Communications Manager
Kathy writes content for Tal Healthcare, a healthcare career website. She has a background in recruiting, sales, and teaching.  She holds a BA in Biology from the University of Vermont.  When she isn’t writing you can find her outside running, skiing or biking.

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