Behaviour Based Interviewing

Today, more employers are conducting a different type of interview than they have throughout the late 1990’s. Known as “behaviour-based interviews”, these interviews are filled with behaviour-based questions designed to elicit patterns of accomplishments relevant to the employer’s situation. They are specific and challenge interviewees to provide concrete examples of their achievements in different types of situations. Such interviews are based on the simple belief that how a candidate has responded to types of situations in the past is a good predictor of how that person will behave in a similar future situations.

This is an opportunity for you to sell your positives with an example or two. Briefly describe the situation, enthusiastically explain what you did, and indicate the outcome. Obviously you want to select examples that promote your skills and have a positive outcome. Even if the interviewer asks about a time when something negative happened, select a time where you were able to turn the situation around and something positive came out of it.

In other words, highlight something positive that you did or that you learned from a negative experience.

As you prepare for your interview, jot down examples of situations where you:
  • Demonstrated leadership or creativity
  • Showed a high level of technical competence
  • Solved a complex financial or personnel problem
  • Made a good decision
  • Handled change positively
  • Handled criticism professionally
  • Met a tight deadline
  • Worked as part of a team
The following are some examples of questions you should be prepared to answer:
  • What do you think are your top technical skills or strengths? Give an example of how these skills have enhanced your job performance.
  • What was the hardest work-related decision you’ve had to make? What process did you go through to arrive at the decision? Would you make the same decision today?
  • Describe a time when unanticipated events came up and threw off your priorities or schedule. How did you deal with the conflicts?
  • Describe a project that you have worked on independently and with limited supervision. What methods did you use to manage your time? What was the result of the project?