A key focus for job interviews is to learn how the candidate behaved in past work situations (also known as behavioural questions). Read on to find out more about what to expect in interviews and the best framework to use when answering questions…
Behavioural interviewing is based on the theory “the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation”. For example, if you ordered a latte with one sugar last time you bought a coffee, you’ll probably order the same next time you buy a coffee.
Interviews can be hit and miss, and some are downright awful, but top employers understand that interviews can be good predictors of future work performance if they are effectively designed and conducted. Top employers put standard behavioural questions to each candidate and assess the answers with a score. Hiring Managers are trained on how to ask these questions and assess the answers.
You know you are being asked a Behavioural Interview Question when you need to give a past example of how you performed in a specific situation. Specific situations will relate to the most important competencies/skills required to do the job. See the job description for guidance and inspiration.
THE STAR FRAMEWORK IS THE BEST WAY TO ANSWER BEHAVOURIAL, WORK AND PROJECT RELATED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.
4 ways to improve your STAR answers
1) Clearly articulate the Situation and Task – don’t assume the people you’re speaking to are intimate with your resume. “In my role as a job title at company” is a good start.
2) Always use “I” to describe the Action you took. Don’t use “we”, don’t talk about what the project or team decided to do. It’s what you did that matters.
3) Use facts and evidence to describe the Results. It’s not enough to say the result was positive or the problem was solved. “The project was delivered on time with no major issues”, or “I was recognised in a team meeting for the way I handled the problem”. The best answers include compelling evidence, such as “after this change was made, the cycle time was reduced from 3 business days to 1 and the team improved their on-time delivery performance by 27%”.
4) Practice, practice, practice. Record your answers and play them back. Get a friend to assess the clarity of your response using the STAR framework. Get your story down to 2 minutes.