Behavioral based interview, as the name suggests, is aimed at determining the behavior of a potential employee. The basis of getting a candidate's behavior is the principle that future behavior can be predicted by past behavior. This is because human beings are creatures of habit and hence past behaviors have a high chance of being repeated.
The employer will seek to know how a candidate has performed previous duties and handled problems in situations that are similar to the expected work environment. This will be an indicator of how the candidate will most likely act when employed.
Conducting a behavioral based interview effectively does not start with the applicant. The interviewer must first of all analyze the intended job itself to help in determining the types of behaviors necessary in carrying out the job well. These include particular skills, qualities, and responses that a candidate needs to possess so as to excel in the work. It is this knowledge that will guide in getting the appropriate questions - questions that will require a candidate to talk about particular events that he/she has encountered that are similar to what is expected in the job applied for. These experiences do not have to necessarily come from the candidate's previous work experience but can as well originate from other life experiences.
Behavioral questions are asked in a manner that requires the interviewee to describe specific circumstances. For example, the interviewer may ask the candidate what he/she did when a given situation arose. The interviewer should see to it that the candidate remains specific to the given situation and gives a focused and relevant description of that particular event. Such a description is called a 'star'. A good star is composed of a situation, action taken, and the end result. This will give the applicant's 'behavioral example'.
The candidate needs to know how to give a good behavioral example by taking necessary preparations. It is possible to prepare for a behavioral based question by reviewing the job posting to help in determining the expected behavioral responses expected to yield good job performance. The candidate should then begin to think of appropriate examples. A job posting is designed such that it should match the best applicant to a given position.
It is a good idea to find out from work colleagues how they have succeeded. A supervisor can be a great resource in knowing what people in his/her position expect from employees. In addition, candidates should broaden their horizons by attending career self-assessment workshops and other relevant counseling.
When someone finds an advertisement about a position of interest, let him/her read the post carefully. He/she should then work on polishing his/her star to be in a position to give a good behavioral example.