Behavioral Interviews

What is Behavior-Based Interviewing?

With behavior-based interviewing, questions are focused on actions and behaviors rather than subjective impressions. This approach to interviewing is designed to minimize personal impressions that can affect the hiring decision. It is based on the premise that the best way to predict future behavior is to explore past behavior.

What Do Employers Evaluate in a Behavioral Interview?

During a behavioral interview, employers evaluate:

  • Content Skills – Knowledge that is work specific, such as computer programming or accounting skills.
  • Functional or Transferable Skills – Basic skills that are used to perform general tasks or functions of a job and can be transferred from one job to another, such as organization, communication, and critical thinking abilities.
  • Adaptive or Self-Management Skills – Characteristics such as dependable, team player, self-directed, and punctual.

Three Most Common Question Types

  • Theoretical – Place you in hypothetical situations and are used to test your skill at answering questions. Example: How would you organize your friends to help you move into a new apartment?
  • Leading – Hint at the answer the interviewer is seeking by the way they are phrased. Example: Working on your own doesn’t bother you, does it?
  • Behavioral – Seek demonstrated examples of behavior from past experiences and concentrate on job-related functions. They are usually open-ended questions; not yes or no. Example: Why did you decide to major in this program at UNT rather than a small, private college?

How to Best Answer Behavior-Based Questions

When answering questions, use the STAR Method to recall recent situations that show favorable behaviors or actions.

  • Situation – Use specific details about a situation or task.
  • Task – Tell what led to it.
  • Action – Discuss what you did and who was involved.
  • Result – What was the outcome?