The Purpose of Behavioral Interviews

In this lesson, we'll look at why organizations conduct behavioral interviews.

Past behavior is a predictor of future behavior #

When preparing for interviews, it is very common for people to gloss over the behavioral portion and just focus on fine-tuning their applicable knowledge. However, interviewers also want to know if you are someone they would want to work with. They may be wondering:

  • Are you calm under pressure?
  • Are you comfortable giving formal presentations?
  • Can you respectfully give your boss bad news?

Behavioral interviews help employers to understand how you have performed and behaved in the past in both positive and negative situations. According to PH.D. Katherine Hansen, “behavioral interview questions are said to be 55 percent predictive of future on-the-job behavior.”

This is because traditional interviews focus on technical questions that you may have spent time studying on or a similar website. While acing the traditional interview is extremely important, it gives no insight into how you handle stress, failure, or conflict. That’s why behavioral interviews ​exist; to make sure that you’re not the kind of person who will get overwhelmed with the job in three months and cause an unnecessary commotion.

One interview method is not necessarily better than the other; however, when the methods are combined, the interview process becomes more indicative of each candidate’s true potential. With a mix of behavioral and technical questions, candidates have more opportunity to provide concrete examples of their strengths.

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