Common Behavioural Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Many interviews will now include a mixture of questions relating to both the task or technical aspects of a role as well as the behavioural aspects. Much of the time, you will be able to pick up what specific behaviours a company is looking for from the job description or person specification for the role in which you are applying. Typical behavioural questions may centre around:
- Communication skills
- Time management
- Customer service
- Conflict management
- Your personal values
It’s important to consider how you may answer any questions where you will need to talk about how you demonstrate particular behaviours. Most companies will place how you behave at least as important as your ability to deliver the technical aspects of the role, or sometimes, higher than this. Behavioural questions can help the interviewer to assess how you may fit within the team, and the overall company culture, as well as how you may react to certain challenges, people or situations. So, they’re a really important part of the interview!
What is the difference between competency-based and behavioural based interview questions?
Competency-based questions relate to how you can demonstrate your ability to carry out the task/technical aspects of a role. The questions will focus mainly on your skills.
Behavioural-based questions relate to your behaviours in certain situations – how you do things, your approach and your cultural fit.
How can you prepare for behavioural interview questions?
A great way to structure your answers to behavioural based interview questions is to use the CAR method. Whilst you may not know the exact questions you will be asked, you can prepare by thinking of some great examples where you have demonstrated certain behaviours, using the CAR method to make notes. Remember – you can take your preparation notes into the interview with you.
CAR stands for:
C – Context
Describe the situation in which you were working or the challenge you faced.
A – Action
Talk about how you solved the problem/addressed the issue and the actions that you took.
R – Result
Talk about the outcome and what you learned.
The article below shows some examples of behavioural questions and answers using the CAR method.
There is also another method – STAR – which is really popular for helping with interview preparation. You can see our blog on this here.
Examples of behavioural interview questions
To get you started with your thought process for potential questions, here is a guide produced by LinkedIn. It is written with employers in mind, however, the employer perspective will give you insight into why behaviours are so important to a company. The guide includes some useful question examples to help you prepare, as well as some ideas of questions you could ask the interviewer.
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