If you are seeking a job generally in this competitive job world industry, you need to be aware that employers are frequently turning to the use of behavioural interviewing, rather than traditional modes. Employers are aware that traditional interviews do not give the desired ability to predict a candidate’s future job performance. Behavioural interviews are four to five times more likely to give the employer information about your past performance, which is the indicator of your future performance. They will be asking questions that will probe your past and will be listening carefully for you to respond using key words that are a part of their predetermined acceptable answers.


The term “behavioural interview” can be defined as the type of interview which allows employers to gain a keen sense of the type of employee you are. Rather than ask you to respond to something specific such as, “Name three things you enjoyed in your last position,” the employer might phrase it, “Tell me about some things that you enjoyed about your last position.” He or she will be listening for predetermined keywords and will rate you accordingly.


  1. (1)Listen to the question carefully. Commonly, behavioural interview questions tend be long-winded and may sound vague (blame an overuse of adjectives, adverbs and trendy language.) Here is an example: “Good problem-solving often includes a careful review of the substantial facts and weighing of options before making a decision. Give me an instance when you reached a practical business decision by assessing the facts and weighing the options.”
  2. (2)Make sure you understand the question before you start to answer

You may paraphrase the question and ask the interviewer if you understand it correctly. If necessary, ask the interviewer to repeat the question. Do not, however, ask the interviewer to repeat every question—the interviewer may doubt your ability to listen.

   (3)Organise your answer. Allow yourself five to eight seconds to collect your thoughts and structure your response. Interviewers appreciate this break and could use the time to drink some water, review their notes, or rest their hands from note taking.

(4)State your answer. Try to limit your answer to about three minutes. Three minutes is long enough to relate a story completely and short enough to hold the interviewer’s attention.

(5)Do not change your plan. Resist the temptation to think of new details as you state the answer. By sticking to your planned details and structure, you can provide a consistent, concise, and well-reasoned answer.

(6)Answer follow-up questions. In response to your three-minute answer, the interviewer may pose additional questions. These questions may require simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers or brief elaboration.


However most guides on behavioural interviewing suggest using the three step STAR process when giving an answer to a behavioural job interview:

  1. The Situation or Task you were in
    2. Action that you took
    3. Result of that action



Author: Temitayo Olojede | Career Advisor | Job mandate |

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