Preparation is key to ace a behavioral interview

Behavioral Interviewing

What It Is, Why Employers Use It, and How You Can Impress Interviewers with Your Answers

What is Behavioral Interviewing?


Behavioral interviewing is a technique used by employers to learn about your past behavioral in certain situations. These questions often start with

  • Tell me about a time when...
  • Give me an example...
  • Describe a situation where...


Why Employers Use Behavioral Interviewing?


Behavioral interviewing is used in an attempt to gain insights into how an individual will handle specific situations based on previous experience in similar situations. Often, employers want to hear what you've done in challenging situations you may encounter while in this position.


How Can I Impress an Interviewer with my Answers?


Before your interview, take time to prepare answers. Specifically, create a list of previous experiences which can be used in answering behavioral interviewing questions. These experiences should be specific, and not just help you answer the questions, but also clearly show how you will bring value to the organization. For example, when asked, "Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with your boss", it can be difficult to articulate a specific situation. If you prepare for this question, you should have one or two examples which show you in a positive light, despite the disagreement, which can be a difficult task.


One common technique for answering behavioral questions is referred to as the STAR method. STAR stands for

  • (S) Specific- use a real, distinguishable situation
  • (T) Tasks- set the scene & what needs to be done
  • (A) Actions- what you did
  • (R) Result- what happened

What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer?


  • Give me an example of a difficult problem you solved. How did you solve this problem?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work. When you realized your mistake, what did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you disagreed with your supervisor. What did you do? What was the result?
  • Describe a time when you had a particularly difficult client. How did you react? What was the result?
  • Give an example of a recent goal you set and how you went about trying to reach it.
  • Assume you already work for us. Tell a new customer, client, or taxpayer what it is that we do here. They tell them what you do here.