Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
Web Tools and Search Bar
Behavioral Based Interviewing
Many job interviews today consist of behavioral-based interview questions. Employers ask these questions to determine how you responded in previous work situations. The logic is that how you behaved in the past will predict how you will behave in the future. Some companies even ask behavioral-based questions based on workplace competencies or workplace values that are related to that specific company.
Here are some examples of behavioral-based questions:
- Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
- Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
- What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?
- Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
- Please tell me a time when you were forced to change your schedule or day-to-day activities at work.
- Describe a time when you used effective listening skills to understand a client's needs.
- Tell me about a time when you used innovation to create a new event or program.
The most common method of answering behavioral-based interview questions is by using the S.T.A.R Method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). We will use this question as an example "Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it."
“Situation”- Before telling the interviewer how you reached your goal, you need to give them some background about the situation.
"When I was a Junior, I was recruitment chair for my professional sorority. We had been struggling with recruiting members the past few years and we were in risk of not having enough new members to continue our organization."
"Task"-After describing the situation, tell the interview what tasks needed to be done to rectify the situation.
"The chapter President asked me to come up with some new recruiting strategies to increase membership. I decided to set a personal goal to recruit at least 10 new members for the organization."
"Action"-What actions did you take to complete your task?
"In order to achieve my goal, I called other chapters to get ideas of unique recruiting strategies. I got some great ideas, and decided to try two of them. The summer before school started, I reached out to potential recruits via social media. This helped because students became aware of our organization before they even came to campus. I also implemented a mentoring program, which matched older members with newer members to help them acclimate to campus and our organization."
“Result”- What was the result of your actions? At this point, you should have answered the interviewer’s question in its entirety.
"As a result of these new strategies, our chapter brought in 15 new members. I exceeded my goal of recruiting 10 students, and I was even elected President the next year due to my diligence with this organizational problem."
Career Development Center
Memorial Hall 125
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: (309) 298-1838