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Behavioural Interview Techniques

Behavioural Interview Questions

As part of a structured interview you are likely to be asked Behavioural Questions to test specific competencies required for the role. These are the questions that start with:

"Tell me about a time when..."

"Give me an example of a situation where..."

"Describe a situation at work where..."

The interviewer will be looking for you to answer this question with a specific example from your past work history. A good way to frame your answer is to use the ST/AR formula:

Firstly describe the Situation or Task you were faced with.

Then describe the Action you took in this situation.

Finally describe the Result or outcome.

In these questions, the interviewer will be assessing your competency in particular areas. For example, if they were trying to assess your Planning and Prioritising skills, they may ask a question like, Tell me about a time when you have several urgent and important tasks to complete that had conflicting deadlines.

They will be looking for context of the situation, then what steps you took to manage your workload, how you decided what was most important, perhaps who else you needed to communicate with, what happened to each deadline and what impact this pressure had on you. They will also want to know the final outcome.

The key to providing good answers to behavioural questions is to:

  • Be specific - talk about one specific time
  • Ensure your response is always in past tense - ie what you did, not what you would do. The interviewer is looking for past behaviour as an indicator of future performance. They are not looking for a hypothetical answer.
  • Be honest! If you try to fabricate an answer to a behavioural question, a skilled interviewer will catch you out in their probing or follow up questions.

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