A Guide to Conduct Effective Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interviews are gaining popularity since they allow recruiters to gain insight in how a candidate would have behave in specific situations.
REMOTO WORKFORCE Team I Updated on - June 11, 2022

Conducting behavioral interviews is a great way to identify how candidates have acted in the past and what decisions they would make if hired. What are behavioral interviews? How do they differ from traditional interviews? How can you make sure that your behavior interviews are interesting?

In this post, we’ll go over the fundamentals of behavioral job interviews and offer essential information for conducting them.


What is a Behavioral Job Interview?

In a behavioral interview, a recruiter poses questions regarding candidates’ past behavior to gain insight into how they will behave in the future when facing specific situations.

For example, interviewers may ask candidates to describe when they had to deal with a demanding customer or co-worker or solve a problem.

Why get information on the past behavior of a candidate? Behavioral interviews work based on the assumption that past behavior may predict future behavior. Thence, the role of questions is essential since they can provide information about if a candidate is an excellent fit for a job.


Contrasts Between Behavioral and Traditional Job Interviews

There’s no question that the traditional job interview has been around for a long time. However, in recent years, behavioral job interview has been gaining popularity. Therefore, what is the difference between these two types of interviews? Which one is better?

Traditional job interviews typically involve asking questions about a candidate’s qualifications and experience. For instance, a recruiter can ask about strengths, weaknesses, and academic degrees in a conventional interview. Typically, questions are framed in the present or conditional tense.

In contrast, behavioral job interviews focus on how a candidate has handled specific situations in the past.

Before a job interview, recruiters have decided what skills are needed in the person to hire and elaborate questions that allow them to identify if a particular candidate meets the requirements. Instead of asking how you would behave, they will ask how you behaved. Hence, questions are planned in the past tense.

So which type of interview is better? That depends on what you’re looking for in a candidate.

If you want to know more about a person’s qualifications and experience, then a traditional interview is probably your best bet. If you’re more interested in learning about a person’s character and how they might handle certain situations, then a behavioral interview is probably a better choice.

Watch this video to deepen your knowledge of behavioral job interviews from the perspective of a candidate.


How to Be Prepared for Conducting a Behavioral Job Interview 

In interviewing candidates for a job, many employers prefer to use a behavioral interview. Conducting a behavioral interview may seem difficult, but there are several easy methods to do it.

First, it’s important to come prepared. Make sure you know the job requirements inside and out and have a list of specific behaviors you want to assess.

Next, ask open-ended questions that allow the candidate to share detailed stories about their experiences. For example, instead of asking “Did you ever have to deal with a difficult customer?” try “Can you tell me about a time when you had to diffuse a tense situation?”

Finally, note the candidate’s body language and overall demeanor. This can be just as informative as the answers themselves.


6 Perfect Questions for a Behavioral Interview

We recommend you these six perfect questions for your behavioral interview:

  • Please describe an occasion when you had to deal with a difficult client in the past.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate on a team project.
  • What is your experience dealing with conflict?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to go above and beyond to complete a task.
  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work.
  • Can you tell me about a situation when you had to use technology for project management?


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