Understanding Behavioral Interviews

Interviewing is one part of the job search that very few people get overly enthusiastic about. Through the years, interviewing techniques have consistently evolved, leading towards a hyper-focus around the one-stop-shop of all interviews – behavioral interviewing. This type of interviewing is said to be the leading indicator of future performance by understanding relevant, situational past performance. According to Google, Hunter & Schmidt and other sources, a structured, behavioral interview has the same 26% predictor of how someone will perform in a job as a cognitive abilities assessment.

As opposed to traditional interviewing tactics, structured behavioral interviews tend to be more direct, objective and factual. By asking situational or factual questions, the interviewer is looking for specific indicators that the interviewee should hit upon. This allows the hiring manager to determine if the candidate aligns with the characteristics of the organization and role.

Understanding both the interviewer’s and interviewee’s perspectives will make the behavioral interviewing process significantly less intimidating. Ideally, both parties are looking for alignment between a candidate and the vacant position, as well as the organization as a whole.

As an interviewer, it is best when a candidate has done their homework; it makes a world of difference when a candidate comes in prepared by having completed research about the organization, a fresh resume, notepad, pen and some relevant and intelligent questions for the interviewer. The interviewer’s goal is optimize their time with the candidate and make a good hiring decision faster. They want to know that a candidate will align culturally and have the ability to exceed productivity measures, as well as drive value back to the organization.

Qualifying the opportunity and position is just as important for the interviewee as it is the employer. An interviewee’s goal is understanding the environment, team dynamics, organizational culture, position and how well they feel they will fit with the organization. For the candidate, this point in the interview process is the perfect opportunity to represent and market themselves with everything a resume can’t capture.

So, how does one prepare and confidently convince an interviewer he/she should hire you over any other candidates interviewing for the position? Here is a brief list of recommendations for the candidate:

  1. Make sure you answer the question and don’t just talk in circles, hoping the interviewer forgot the question.
  2. Provide relevant and quality responses.
  3. Be honest and don’t respond with what you think the interviewer is looking for.
  4. Be direct in your response, so that your answer is clear.
  5. Responses are not limited to work experience only. If you can think of the perfect example, but it aligns with a personal passion or life experience, feel free to share it!
  6. Walk in and out with confidence. Remember that it is just as important for you to be excited about the opportunity as it is for the client to see you as the right fit!

Have you just wrapped up a behavioral interview and the moment you left thought of the perfect question or wish that you would have said something? Following up with a simple ‘thank you’ through a handwritten card, note, message or email if the perfect way to demonstrate appreciation, ability to follow through and sincerity, while giving you the opportunity to sneak any last words in.

Do you think you’ve nailed how to win a hiring manager over during a behavioral interview? Comment below and let us know what your most successful tactics have been!

Sandra is Manager of Talent Innovation at Medix. Her expertise in intelligent hiring and passion for team building led her to become a Medixteam.com Blog contributor.

One thought on “Understanding Behavioral Interviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>