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How to Prepare for Behavioural Interview Questions: A guide to understanding and preparing for this common interview technique.

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How to Prepare for Behavioural Interview Questions


Behavioural interview questions have become a staple in the modern recruitment process. These questions are designed to delve into your past experiences to predict your future performance. Unlike traditional interview questions that focus on your skills and qualifications, behavioural questions aim to reveal your character, problem-solving abilities, and how you handle challenges. In this article, we’ll guide you through the best practices for preparing for behavioural interview questions.

Understand the STAR Technique

One of the most effective ways to answer behavioural questions is by using the STAR technique. This acronym stands for:

  • S: Situation
  • T: Task
  • A: Action
  • R: Result

By structuring your answers in this format, you can provide a comprehensive and coherent response that covers all aspects of the experience you’re discussing.

Identify Key Competencies

Before the interview, review the job description to identify the key competencies required for the role. These could include teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and adaptability. Prepare examples that demonstrate these competencies.

Prepare Your Stories

Once you’ve identified the key competencies, think of specific situations where you’ve demonstrated these skills. Prepare a brief story for each, making sure to cover the Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Practise these stories until you can recount them smoothly.

Be Authentic

While it’s important to prepare, your answers should still feel spontaneous and authentic. Over-rehearsed answers can come across as disingenuous. Maintain eye contact, listen carefully to the question, and take a moment to gather your thoughts before answering.

Use Real Examples

Always use real-life examples to answer behavioural questions. Hypothetical answers are generally not as impactful and don’t provide the interviewer with insights into your actual experience and skills.

Follow Up with Questions

After answering a behavioural question, it’s often beneficial to ask the interviewer a related question. This could be something like, “Is there a specific situation where this skill would be useful in this role?” This shows that you’re engaged and thinking about how you can contribute to the company.

Helix Perspective

At Helix Hire, we believe that behavioural interviews are an invaluable tool for matching candidates with the right roles. They allow us to go beyond the CV and get to know the person, their values, and their problem-solving abilities. We encourage all our candidates to prepare for these questions, not just to impress us, but to gain a deeper understanding of themselves as professionals.

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