Preparing for Behavioural Interview Questions as a New Grad
Behavioural based interview questions essentially give an interviewer an idea of how you’ve performed and behaved in the past based on actual results and scenarios. When compared to traditional interviews, behavioural interview questions are said to be 55% predictive of future on-the-job behaviour, whereas traditional is only 10% — making them increasingly popular today. As a recent grad or student with limited professional experience, it may be challenging to showcase your future on-the-job behaviour, so interview preparation is key.
The behavioural interview question style is being adopted by many top employers globally. Responses to these questions allow hiring managers to gain insight into past behavioural patterns to help predict future actions and select the best fit for their organization. To knock your interview out of the park, it’s vital to form structured responses that highlight your skills, competencies and experiences. It can be difficult to know where to start, so we’ve compiled five simple steps so you can ace any behavioural interview questions that come your way.
1. Recognize the skills required for the job
Study the skills that are outlined in the job description since it’s the perfect insight into what they’re looking for. A thorough understanding of these skills is a great way to anticipate the behavioural interview questions they may ask to gauge your proficiency as it relates to these skills. For example, if time management is a sought-after skill, the interviewer may ask you to describe a situation where you had to be strategic to meet your priorities.
2. Consider your varying experience
Entering the workforce as a new grad may leave you feeling like you’re lacking in experience. But don’t forget, experience is gained through more than a job. As a new grad, you’ve accumulated a great amount of experience through your education, group projects, exam preparation, co-ops or volunteer work, and maybe even your part-time work. Take the time to review your past experiences to identify when and how you harnessed the skills and transferable experience required for the position.
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3. Showcase your talents and skills
Your answers should not just exemplify your priorities and values, they should also highlight your talents and skills. Showcase some of your best attributes which could be communication, organization, creativity, responsibility and stress management. Include in your answers the qualities needed to be successful within the position. Use real-life examples to demonstrate to the hiring manager what makes you the best candidate for the job.
4. Structure your answers
Structuring your answers is a sure way to guarantee that you have painted a complete picture for the interviewer. Employ the STAR method — situation, task, action and result! Describe how the situation unfolded, identify your task at hand, detail the action you completed and explain the results of your actions. Pre-develop your answers to keep them in line and focused, ensuring you don’t lose direction from the question at hand and provide the interviewer with a clear and concise response.
5. Practice your responses
Practice truly does make perfect. Simulate the interview experience with help from family or friends. Provide them with some common behavioural questions and even let them improvise with their own. Practicing your structured responses will help you gain the confidence you need to be successful in the interview process and to fine tune your answers along the way.
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