Behavioral interviews are a type of interview that asks the candidate to describe specific situations from their experience. This interview type is becoming more common with many companies. If you want to be prepared for every interview, working on behavioral interview techniques is one element you should include in your interview preparation.
It is very difficult to excel in a behavioral interview if you haven’t prepared for this specific type. The interview style requires you to tell very specific stories from your background. Trying to select and tell the best story, emphasizing your strongest skills and showing how you will succeed, is extremely difficult on the fly. You may nail one or two questions, but it’s likely you will bomb a few too. If you are competing against a candidate that has prepared thoroughly, you will be at a distinct disadvantage.
Although being prepared for a common interview type should be enough motivation to work on behavioral interview preparation, there is another important reason you should improve your behavioral interviewing skills:
Behavioral interview techniques can be applied to non-behavioral interviews.
At its core, behavioral interviewing emphasizes storytelling. You will be asked to describe times when you encountered situations similar to the situations in the job you are seeking. The stories you prepare should show your skills, experience, attitude and character. All of these elements are important in every interview. Learning to provide examples that demonstrate your performance will help set you apart in any interview.
The better you get at showing an interviewer how you have performed, the more effective your interviews will be. Hiring managers want to know what they are going to get when they hire someone. Despite this, many job seekers are vague in their presentations. Every job seeker is going to claim to be hard working, a good communicator, good with people, knowledgeable in their field and successful in their career. If you make the same assertions as everyone else, you will look like everyone else.
Using behavioral interview techniques allows you to show the interviewer how you have performed in the past. You can make a strong, memorable impression by describing, very clearly, what you did and what the results were.