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Behavioral Interview

Behavioral interviews have grown over the years and are one of the most common formats interviewers employ. Past performance dictates future performance is the thought process utilized when implementing these types of interview questions. Questions are asked to determine if the candidate has relevant competencies and qualifications to match the job function requirements.

Using the C.A.R. or the S.T.A.R. approach to come up with effective responses will help you prepare for a behavioral interview.

C.A.R. consists of:

  • What was the Challenge?
  • What was the Action you took?
  • What was the Result?

The S.T.A.R. approach includes:

  • What was the Situation?
  • What was the Task?
  • What was the Action?
  • What were the Results you achieved?

When preparing your examples or stories to prove competencies try to make it as relevant to the position you are interviewing for… this shows, that if they could do this type of work for another company, they can do it for us. For example, if you are applying for a sales position, make the response related to sales, where possible. Most of the questions will start out with, “Tell me about a time when…”; “Give me an example of…:”; or “Describe a situation where you had to….”

  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision that was unpopular.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to accept an idea of yours.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty to successfully complete a project.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to meet a critical deadline and a major obstacle was thrown your way.
  • Give me an example of a time when you needed to motivate a team of people to get a project or job completed.
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to use exceptional research skills to accomplish a goal or task.

After you answer the question, you may be asked probing follow-up questions. These may include:

  • Could you have done the job differently?
  • Who was on your team and what were their roles?
  • How did you prioritize or organize the project?
  • How long ago did you work on that project?
  • What was your role?

This type of interview will uncover the candidate’s attitudes, leadership of work style, and personality. As you can see, it is very important to draw from your past experiences to answer these questions. For this reason, it is critical to think ahead of time about projects you worked on, tasks you have completed, and how they contributed to the company.

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Candace Davies ACCC, CRW, CIC, CPRW, CEIP, CECC
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