What is a behavioral interview?

Talent acquisition and hiring constitute a major part of every organization. A good hire adds up to great manpower and vice versa. The behavioral interview is the trending way of hiring the right candidate in the right place. In this article, you will learn about what is a behavioral interview, how it is different from the traditional interview, an example of behavioral interview questions and how the use of this contributes to better hiring experiences.


In the 21st century we have witnessed, things are changing fast and the motive and pattern of doing and executing things over the year have drastically changed. Every field irrespective of their specialization has to adopt a new way to justify the emerging needs. In the context of this, the same is applied to talent acquisition and hiring in any company. Nowadays, the recruitment process is coupled with various recruitment tools which make the hiring process more organized than before. All you have to do is to use these tools and platform to hire the right candidate and rest everything falls into the place automatically. But this is not as simple as it sounds rather it's a complex process. You have to select the right candidate out of the thousands of the talent pool in the stipulated time frame, meeting all the requirements from cultural fit to the competencies required for the open position. Gone are the days when educational qualification is enough to decide a person's ability to work. You have to probe deeper in order to get the answers for the candidate's attitude and behavior. This is the core element to look into while hiring. With training, a candidate can learn and develop new skills but his behavior and attitude cannot be fixed or modified in a short span of time. The behavior of an employee is what makes up the work culture in large. Now that we know what we have to focus and look into while hiring, the question arises is how? How you can you be certain of candidate's behavior, attitude, and competencies before hiring and that too in short span of time. The answer is opting for a behavioral interview rather than relying completely on the traditional interview.

What is behavioral interview

Behavioral interview is one of the most effective and reliable techniques for hiring a candidate. The whole concept of the behavioral interview is to analyze the past behavior of the candidate. The interview question is situational and the focus is given on what you have done in so and so situation in the past rather than asking what you will do in so and so situation in the future.

Generally, it has been seen people often do not behave according to what they know and are not able to give the expected result hence the bad hire scenario comes into play. It is assumed that if the candidate has handled or achieve something well in the past, it can be taken as a pattern for his action for the future. In this way, the behavioral interview is different from a traditional interview which is generally generic and theoretical in nature. With the help of a behavioral interview, the interviewer can easily eliminate the problem of the knowing-doing gap. With the help of behavioral interview, one can easily know about the candidate energy level, planning and ability to work with others, commitment, stability, management skill, attitude and growth potential, etc.

Example of behavioral questions

In a behavioral interview, you already pre-decided the competencies you are looking for and will ask questions access if the candidate possesses those skills or not. It focuses on eliciting past evidence of having demonstrated a certain skill. When you ask a behavioral question, you are looking for a "STAR" response - S stands for situation, T for a task, A for action and R for the result. The question is framed in such a manner that it gives an answer for what was the situation in front of the person, what was the task they had to do, what action did they choose to take and finally what was the result of the action. There is no place for an imaginary situation, hence it's a tried and tested in approach.

Some of the examples of the behavioral interview are as follows- give an example of an occasion when you use logic to solve a problem, have you gone above and beyond the call of duty, have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker, explain one. Tell me about a time when you improved the way things are typically done on the job. Tell about the time when you have exceeded a deadline. Tell me about a time when you reach out for additional responsibility. What risk did you take in your previous job? Tell me about your effort to "sell" a new idea to your supervisor. How do you manage your time and set priorities in your current job?

The above mentioned are the few examples of a behavioral interview.


In this competitive era, no company can afford to go wrong with hiring the right candidate in the right place. A requirement is a tactful approach and proper procedure. One wrong decision and it will contribute to the lasting impact on the whole organization. Indeed, hiring is one of the most impacting decisions an HR recruiter is entrusted with. As data states, 80% of the turnover is the result of the bad hire. It creates a vicious circle from bad hire to bad employer image and eventually to low productivity. A bad hiring decision is a costly affair which in the long run not only ruin the productivity but also the work culture and the brand name. To avoid all this chaotic and bad hire case one must shift their focus from traditional interview to behavioral interview. Why be in doubt, when you can be certain about your decision of hiring. The behavioral interview is more specific and indicates future behavior based on past behavior. You are easily able to know what you really wanted to know about the candidate, match their qualities with pre-determined competencies and have confident hiring. No organization can go wrong while hiring their employee using behavioral interview and skill assessment test. Hence, choosing the right candidate with the help of this kind of behavioral questions is the first step towards establishing a successful organization.


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