Behavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural Interview Questions






Job Interviews can be a strenuous exercise at the best of times, and while it is important that you do not appear rehearsed or wooden when being interviewed it is essential that you sound fluent and authoritative. Thinking about the type of questions that you might encounter prepares you for success. This series covers a range different questions and follows the same structure - providing a commentary to help you think through your answer; some insights into both +ve and -ve indicators that interviewers will be on the look out for and finally some possible question variations

Capability questions: Give me an example of when you .....; Tell me about doing ....

Answer Commentary: Be prepared for these questions. Think about the key areas of the work that you are applying for and identify some examples to demonstrate capability in each of them.

Best Interview Practice is to ask people to describe things they have done. You need to be very careful when answering these questions to focus on specifics - things you have actually done, said, thought etc. Vague generalities, statements like ‘well, normally I would' are all to be avoided at all cost. Even if the interviewer asks - what would you do if try to keep your answer grounded by adding an example of a time when you actually did what you said you would do in past employment.

Don't forget for the negative ones slip in something about learning from the experience, sorting it out in the end etc.

Marking:

  • + wide range of capabilities
  • + evidence of successful delivery
  • + gave examples to illustrate
  • + genuine example of managing the negatives/learning from them
  • + examples of concern for impact, interpersonal sensitivity, leadership, collaboration
  • - very narrow range of behaviours and influencing strategies
  • - poor structure (can be seen as poor analytical thinking)
  • - vague and did not get to the point (can be seen as ‘making it up')

Variations:

Focusing on past performance means questions like:

  • give me an example of when you had to solve a difficult problem;
  • tell me about a time you had to persuade someone to do something they did not want to do;
  • tell me about something that you have done to improve efficiency, reduce cost;
  • tell me about a time you felt strongly about something but you boss would not support you;
  • tell me about the worst decision you have made
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