Behavioural Interview Techniques - Getting You Through the Ordeal

By Maple Resourcing

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Behavioural Interview Techniques - Getting You Through The Ordeal



















With company culture and candidate fit becoming more important to the success of a project and of a team, employers are finding that behavioural interviewing is one of the most effective indicators of how a candidate will perform in the role if they were to be hired.
 

What is behavioural interviewing?

Behavioural interviewing is said to be one of the most accurate predictors of a candidate’s future performance by assessing their past behaviour.  Candidates are invited to explain circumstances around a given situation, how they approached it, and what the outcome was.

By using this method, an employer can identify those candidates who have real and valuable experience who would be likely to perform well within the company and the dynamics of the team.  It differs to a traditional interviewing selection process, which bases success on whether the candidate just ‘interviewed well’.


How to prepare for a behavioural interview 

The most important thing here is to do your homework on the company culture, its values and the situations you may find yourself in according to the person-skills and requirements of the job description.

For example, if a company culture and values include work-life balance and quality, and the role is focused on time-critical delivery, it may not be a good thing to incorporate in your responses that you usually move heaven and earth to meet the deadline, regardless of the hours you and your team have to work.  That would not only go against the company culture, but may also compromise on the quality of your work or the service you provide.  Instead, demonstrate that you can explore solutions, provide a range of options and negotiate, without affecting quality or the well-being of the team.
 

Behavioural interview questions

Some of the questions you may be asked in an interview, depending upon the role and industry, may be along the lines of:

• Tell me about a time when you had to use your influence with senior stakeholders and what was the outcome.
• Give an example of a time when you’ve had to deal with an unsatisfactory performer on your team.
• Has there been a time when a member of staff was causing a health and safety risk to the team, and how did you handle it?
 

Behavioural interview techniques - STAR

It’s important to focus on the word ‘I’ throughout the behavioural assessment.  The word ‘we’ is not about YOU.  This is all about the action YOU took in the examples you give. 

The most popular technique, and one that’s easy to remember, is the STAR technique.
S = Situation.  Give the background and set the scene to the situation.
T = Task.  What was the task in question?  What was the ultimate goal?
A = Action. Describe the action you took, actions and reactions of others.
R = Result.  What was the outcome?  It could be good or bad.  Be honest, and if it was a bad outcome, describe the learnings and turn it into a positive.

Always talk to your resourcing agency contact for any helpful tips.  They will have a deeper knowledge and more experience of the employing company through relationship with them and this may help put your mind at ease and help with your preparations.

 

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