4 Steps to Prepare for a Behavioral Job Interview

We know that companies will continue to hire, and many people out of work may be looking for new roles. Open positions may have more competition, so it will be more important than ever to stand out during the interview process.

What is a Behavioral Interview?

Behavioral interview questions generally start with “tell me about a time when.” A few examples of behavioral interview questions include: - Tell me about a time a customer got upset with you. - Describe a significant mistake you made and what you did to correct it. - Tell me about a time when you were right, and others were wrong. - Describe a time when you had to adapt to big changes at work.

To answer a behavioral interview question, you generally want to start by describing the situation, then lay out the problem, followed by going into detail about the action you took to solve the problem, and finishing with the result or any lessons learned.

Preparing for a Behavioral Interview

Most of us don’t know how to prepare for a behavioral interview. If you don’t know what questions the interviewer will ask, how can you ever feel confident that you are ready? Well, hopefully, this step-by-step preparation process will allow you to feel more confident when you walk through those doors.

Gather Your Stories

Your first step is to narrow down eight to ten stories by brainstorming dozens of potential situations. Then, sit down and start writing out topics. Go through old performance reviews, emails, or task lists to jog your memory about possible stories. Write down anything that comes to mind, no matter how good or bad.


Write Out Your Stories

Once you narrow your list of stories, it’s now time to start writing them out in detail. First, of course, you will want to ensure your stories follow the process outlined below. - Describe the situation - Layout the problem - Detail the action you took to solve the problem - Finish with the result and any lessons learned


Rehearse Your Stories

Spend an hour or two reading through sample interview questions and think about what story applies to each. Maybe run through a few examples in detail, talking through exactly how you would answer the question. Of course, there is such thing as over-preparing as well. Rehearse too much, and you may appear robotic during the interview.


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