Types of Interviews | Behavioral Interviews | Sample Behavioral-Based Interview Questions
There are many different types of interviews. Once you are selected for an interview,
you may experience one or more of the situations described below. When you schedule
an interview, try to get as much information about whom you will be meeting. It is
rare to have only one interview prior to a job offer. Most employers will bring back
a candidate more than once to be sure a potential employee will fit into the organizational
|TYPE OF INTERVIEW
May be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video to help employers determine
if you meet the minimum qualifications for a job. These interviews are usually handled
by a Human Resources representative and tend to follow a set format and logical procedure.
||Emphasize succinctly and directly that you possess the desired skills and abilities
for the position. For phone interviews, keep your resume close at hand for easy access
and reference. For video interviews, rehearse in advance to come across naturally.
This is the most common interview format and is usually conducted on site by the hiring
supervisor, manager or owner. The interviewer focuses on questions to assess your
skills, knowledge, and abilities as they relate to the position.
||Your focus should be on the person asking questions. Maintain eye contact, listen
and respond once a question has been asked. Establish rapport with the interviewer
and communicate how your qualifications will benefit the organization.
This group interview is usually conducted by three or more people who generally ask
you questions that correspond to their areas of interest or expertise.
||Maintain primary eye contact with the panel member who asked the question, but also
seek eye contact with other panel members as you give your response.
This format is used by employers to evaluate a candidate’s experiences and behaviors
in order to determine their potential for success.
||The interviewer identifies desired skills and behaviors, and then structures open-ended
questions and statements to elicit detailed responses.
Many organizations will conduct interviews by phone to narrow a field of candidates.
Phone interviews may also be used as a preliminary interview for candidates who live
long distances from the job site.
||It is important to treat this interview as you would a face-to-face connection. Since
your voice is key, convey energy with inflection in your voice. Keep a copy of your
resume nearby as a reference.
|This type of interview is designed to assess how well you can handle yourself in social
situations. You will probably be dining with your potential boss and co-workers or
Human Resource professionals.
||Although the setting may be casual, remember it is a business meal and you are being
watched. Develop common ground with your interviewer and follow his/her lead in selection
of food and etiquette. Do not order alcohol even if others do and avoid messy foods.
|The stress interview is usually a deliberate attempt to see how you handle yourself
||The interviewer may be sarcastic or argumentative, or may keep you waiting. Do not
take it personally. Calmly answer each question and ask for clarification if you need
it and never rush into an answer.
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Behavioral interviewing is a widely used mode of job interviewing. This type of
interviewing consists of questions that ask you to describe how you exhibited a
particular “behavior” in a recent situation. The interviewer identifies desired
skills and behaviors, and then structures open-ended questions and statements
to elicit detailed responses. A rating system is developed and selected
criteria are evaluated during the interview.
Even if you don’t have a great deal of work experience, organizations expect
you to be able to relate past experiences, from undergraduate or graduate
school, internships, employment, campus activities, volunteer work, membership
in an organization, etc., to the job for which you are interviewing.
Answering Behavioral Interview Questions: The "STAR"
One strategy for preparing for behavioral interviews is to use the
"STAR" Technique, as outlined below:
S - Describe the situation
or event you were in.
T - Describe the Task(s) you
A - What action(s) did you
R - What was/were the
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- Recall recent situations that show favorable behaviors or actions, especially involving
course work, work experience, leadership, teamwork, initiative, planning, and customer
- Prepare short descriptions of each situation; be sure each story has a beginning,
middle, and an end (i.e., be ready to describe the situation, including the task at
hand, your action, and the outcome or result).
- Be sure the outcome or result reflects positively on you (even if the result itself
was not favorable).
- Be honest. Don't embellish or omit any part of the story.
- Be specific. Don't generalize about several events; give a detailed account of one
- Vary your examples; don’t take them all from just one area of your life.
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SAMPLE BEHAVIORAL-BASED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
- Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince
someone to see things your way.
- Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving
- Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve
- Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone's
- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which
you did not agree.
- Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.
- Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order
to get a job done.
- Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize
- Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision.
- What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.
- Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when
that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
- Tell me about a difficult decision you've made in the last year.
- Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish failed.
- Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
- Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer
- Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
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