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Behavioural Interview | Concept, Common Questions and Importance

Last Updated : 23 Feb, 2024
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What is Behavioural Interview?

A Behavioural interview can be defined as an interview of the potential employee taken by the employer in order to access the employee’s past experience. A behavioural interview helps the employer and hiring team determine the suitable candidate for the job in accordance with his/her abilities, critical thinking, and other requirements for the job. A behavioural interview is a highly effective job interview technique designed to delve deep into a candidate’s past experiences to gauge their potential performance in future roles.

Geeky Takeaways:

  • Rather than relying on hypothetical questions, the interviews require candidates to share more specific, real-life examples from their professional history.
  • Interviewers typically use phrases like “Tell me about a time when…” or “Describe a situation where…” to prompt detailed responses.
  • Candidates are encouraged to structure their answers, allowing interviewers to assess critical skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, communication, and adaptability.
  • By examining a candidate’s past actions and behaviour, employers can make well-informed hiring decisions, making behavioural interviews a powerful tool for candidate evaluation.

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Some Common Behavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural interview questions are designed to uncover specific examples of a candidate’s past behaviour and how they handled various situations. Some of the common behavioural interview questions:

1. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult coworker or team member. How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?

2. Describe a situation in which you had to meet a tight deadline. How did you prioritise tasks and manage your time to ensure you met the deadline successfully?

3. Can you share an example of a project or task that did not go as planned? What challenges did you face, and how did you adapt to the unexpected circumstances?

4. Give me an example of a time when you had to take on a leadership role, even if you were not in a formal leadership position.

5. Tell me about a situation where you had to resolve a conflict between team members. What steps did you take to address the issue, and what was the resolution?

6. Describe a moment when you had to learn a new skill or adapt to a new technology for a job. How did you approach the learning process, and what was the outcome?

7. Can you provide an example of a time when you faced a particularly challenging decision at work? How did you analyse the situation, and what choice did you ultimately make?

8. Tell me about a project or accomplishment you’re especially proud of. What role did you play, and what were the key factors that contributed to your success?

9. Share an instance when you had to handle a dissatisfied or upset customer or client.

10. Describe a situation in which you had to work under significant pressure or tight constraints. How did you stay composed and perform effectively?

Importance of Behavioural Interview

The emergence of behavioural interviewing in the 1970s marked a significant shift in the way interviews were conducted. It introduced a more insightful approach by posing open-ended questions to candidates, encouraging them to share their experiences and reactions to specific past situations.

1. Exploration of Candidate’s Behaviour: Behavioural Interview technique allowed for deeper exploration through follow-up questions, ensuring a more comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s demeanor. This approach empowers interviewers to understand behavioural patterns and pinpoint the candidate’s core competencies.

2. Finding the Suitable Candidate: The hiring team and employer can make sure that they are hiring the right employee for the job as they assess the actual employee’s ability to work for the required job.

3. More Practical Approach: Instead of conventional inquiries, these interviews delve into scenarios where candidates have showcased leadership, teamwork, communication prowess, or conflict resolution skills.

Advantages of Behavioural Interview

1. Objective Assessment: Behavioural interviews promote a more objective and standardised evaluation process. By asking candidates to provide specific examples of their past behaviour, interviewers can assess their qualifications in a consistent manner. This reduces the influence of biases and subjective judgments that can sometimes affect hiring decisions in more traditional interviews.

2. Skill and Competency Alignment: Behavioural interviews are tailored to assess specific skills and competencies relevant to the job role. This alignment ensures that the interview focuses on the key attributes required for success in the position, leading to a better match between the candidate’s capabilities and the job’s demands.

3. Candidate Self-Reflection: Behavioural questions often require candidates to reflect on their own experiences and actions. This self-analysis can be a valuable exercise for candidates as it prompts them to think critically about their past achievements and challenges, fostering a deeper understanding of their own strengths and areas for improvement.

4. Legal Compliance: Behavioural interviews are designed to comply with legal and ethical hiring standards. By focusing on job-related behaviours and competencies, these interviews reduce the risk of asking inappropriate or discriminatory questions, helping organisations maintain compliance with employment laws and regulations.


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