Behavioral interview questions. What are they, how do you ask them, how do you answer them, and how do you assess them? Whether you’re a hiring manager or a job seeker, and whether you’re new or old to the job search game, there is much to be learned from today’s expert Q&A with Leslye Schumacher.
What are behavioral interview questions and how do they differ from more-traditional interview questions?
Behavioral based interview questions are developed around specific skills (what someone has learned) or behaviors (what comes naturally to someone) that the employer is looking for in filling a particular position. The questions will be open ended and typically involve asking for examples that illustrate the specific skills or behaviors the employer is seeking.
Traditional interview questions are ones where the candidate can give a rehearsed or prepared answer and that don’t necessarily relate to specific skills or behaviors needed for the job. For example:
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” – The answer MAY give you some insight into the career path the person desires but it doesn’t give you any meaningful information about whether or not the person CAN do the job.
“Why did you leave your last job?” – Rarely, are you going to get a candid answer to this question.
“What are your strengths/weaknesses?” – This question borders on cliché. Any reasonably smart person will list strengths that align with what you have listed in your job ad and weaknesses that aren’t!
Why do behavioral interview questions tend to be a better predictor of future job performance?