Behavioural Interview: What is it and How to Prepare!

behavioural interview

At LocumCo, we understand the importance of preparing for behavioural interviews. These types of interviews have become increasingly common in today’s job market, as employers seek to gain insight into a candidate’s past behaviour and how it may predict future performance. In this article, we’ll delve into what behavioural interviews entail and provide you with valuable tips on how to prepare effectively.

What is a Behavioural Interview?

A behavioural interview is a structured interview technique designed to assess a candidate’s past behaviour in specific situations. Instead of asking hypothetical questions, employers inquire about real-life experiences and examples from their previous roles. The underlying principle is that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. Employers believe that by understanding how you handled certain situations in the past, they can gauge how you might respond to similar scenarios in the future.

How Does a Behavioural Interview Work?

During a behavioural interview, you can expect to be asked questions that start with phrases such as “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example of…” These questions are designed to elicit specific examples of your behaviour in various situations, such as handling conflicts, working in a team, or overcoming challenges.

The STAR technique is a popular method for structuring your responses in behavioural interviews:

  • Situation: Describe the context or background of the situation.
  • Task: Explain the specific task or goal you were working towards.
  • Action: Detail the actions you took to address the situation.
  • Result: Share the outcome of your actions and any lessons learned.

How to Prepare for a Behavioural Interview

Understand the Job Description

Review the job description carefully and identify the key competencies or skills required for the role. Tailor your examples to demonstrate how you possess these qualities.

Reflect on Past Experiences

Take time to reflect on your previous work experiences and identify situations that highlight your skills, achievements, and problem-solving abilities. Think about challenges you’ve faced, projects you’ve completed successfully, and times when you’ve demonstrated leadership or teamwork.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practise answering behavioural interview questions using the STAR technique. Rehearse your responses aloud until you feel comfortable articulating your experiences clearly and concisely. Consider asking a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews to simulate the interview environment.

Be Specific and Concise

When responding to questions, be specific and provide concrete examples from your past experiences. Focus on the actions you took and the results you achieved. Avoid vague or generic responses, and provide enough detail to illustrate your capabilities effectively.

Why Specificity Matters

When interviewers ask behavioural questions, they are seeking insight into your past experiences to predict how you might behave in similar situations in the future. Being specific allows you to provide detailed examples that demonstrate your skills, competencies, and problem-solving abilities.

  • Demonstrates Competence

Specific examples showcase your ability to handle challenges and achieve results in real-world scenarios. It provides tangible evidence of your capabilities and strengthens your credibility as a candidate.

  • Highlights Relevant Experience

Specificity allows you to tailor your responses to the requirements of the role. By referencing relevant experiences, you demonstrate your suitability for the position and align yourself with the employer’s needs.

  • Engages the Interviewer

Detailed examples capture the interviewer’s attention and make your responses more memorable. Engaging storytelling can differentiate you from other candidates and leave a lasting impression.

Tips for Being Specific and Concise

Crafting specific and concise responses requires thoughtful preparation and effective communication skills. Here are some tips to help you master this approach:

  • Use the STAR Method

Structure your responses using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a clear framework for your answers. Start by describing the situation or problem, explain the task you were faced with, outline the actions you took to address it and conclude with the results or outcomes achieved.

  • Provide Relevant Details

Focus on the most relevant aspects of your experiences and avoid including unnecessary details. Highlight specific actions you took, challenges you encountered, and the impact of your efforts. Quantify your achievements whenever possible to add credibility to your claims.

  • Be Succinct

While it’s important to be specific, avoid rambling or providing excessive information. Keep your responses concise and to the point, ensuring that you address the question directly without veering off topic. Practice articulating your ideas clearly and succinctly to make the most of your allotted interview time.

  • Tailor Your Examples

Choose examples that are directly relevant to the skills and qualities sought by the employer. Review the job description and identify key competencies or behavioural traits required for the role, then select experiences that demonstrate your proficiency in those areas.

  • Practise Active Listening

Pay close attention to the interviewer’s questions and adapt your responses accordingly. Listen for cues about the specific information they’re seeking and tailor your examples to address their concerns. This demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively and respond thoughtfully to feedback.

Stay Calm and Confident

On the day of the interview, remain calm and confident. Remember that the interviewer is interested in learning more about you and your experiences. Listen carefully to each question, take a moment to gather your thoughts, and respond thoughtfully. Maintain good eye contact and body language to convey professionalism and engagement.


Behavioural interviews are a valuable tool for employers to assess a candidate’s suitability for a role. By understanding the principles of behavioural interviewing and preparing thoroughly, you can effectively showcase your skills and experiences and increase your chances of success in the interview process. Remember, at LocumCo, we’re here to support you every step of the way in your job search journey, including preparing for behavioural interviews. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in finding your next opportunity.


Frequently Asked Questions:


What is a behavioural interview?

A behavioural interview is a technique used by employers to assess how candidates have handled specific situations in the past. It focuses on probing for examples of past behaviours to predict future performance.

How should I prepare for a behavioural interview?

Prepare by reviewing common behavioural interview questions and identifying examples from your past experiences that demonstrate relevant skills and qualities. Practice using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your responses effectively.

Are behavioural interviews different from traditional interviews?

Yes, behavioural interviews differ from traditional interviews in their focus on past behaviour rather than hypothetical scenarios. Employers use behavioural interviews to assess a candidate’s ability to handle specific situations based on past experiences.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in a behavioural interview?

Common mistakes include providing vague or irrelevant examples, focusing too much on the situation or task instead of your actions and results, and failing to demonstrate key competencies sought by the employer.

How can I stand out in a behavioural interview?

To stand out, focus on providing specific, detailed examples that showcase your skills, accomplishments, and problem-solving abilities. Demonstrate your ability to learn from past experiences and adapt to new challenges effectively.