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Mastering the Art: Unveiling the Top Behavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural interviews dig into your past to see how you might handle future job situations. Employers want to know if you can adapt, solve problems, and fit in with their team. According to Hays, they’re looking for what drives you, how you work, and if you’ve got the right traits for the job.
Written by
Isabella Goode
Guest Post
Published on
June 28, 2024

Nailing Your Video Job Interview

Video job interviews are now a big part of getting hired. They let you connect with leading job agencies such as Gravitas Recruitment Group and potential employers without worrying about where you live. To shine in these virtual meetings, you need to get the hang of behavioural interviews and the STAR technique.

What’s a Behavioural Interview?

Behavioural interviews dig into your past to see how you might handle future job situations. Employers want to know if you can adapt, solve problems, and fit in with their team. According to Hays, they’re looking for what drives you, how you work, and if you’ve got the right traits for the job.

You’ll likely face these questions in video interviews. Your answers give clues about your habits and choices. So, it’s key to clearly explain your experiences and show how you’ve made a difference in past jobs.

The STAR Technique: Your Secret Weapon

The STAR technique is a great way to structure your answers to behavioural questions. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

  • Situation: Set the scene. What was going on?
  • Task: What did you need to do?
  • Action: What steps did you take?
  • Result: What happened in the end?

Using STAR helps you give clear, detailed answers. It keeps you from being too vague and shows you know your stuff. Employers love it because it highlights your past actions as a clue to future success. InterviewGold swears by it for making your examples pop.

Employers appreciate this method because it reduces bias and focuses on real experiences, making it easier to pick the best candidates. If you want to get even better at this, check out more on interview preparation for tips on using STAR like a pro.

Mastering the STAR technique can seriously boost your chances in video interviews. But don’t forget other important stuff like sending a good interview follow-up email and dressing right in interview attire. These little things help you come across as polished and professional.

Mastering Competency Interviews

Competency interviews are a crucial part of the hiring process, where employers figure out if you've got the chops for the job. Knowing the difference between behavioural and competency interviews, and how to prep for them, can make you shine.

Behavioural vs. Competency Interviews

At first, behavioural and competency interviews might seem like twins, but they're not. Behavioural interviews dig into your past actions and how they match up with the company's vibe. Competency interviews, though, zero in on the skills and knowledge you need for the job.

Both types of interviews often kick off with questions like “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example of…” because your past behaviour is a good clue to how you'll act in the future.

For instance, if the interview type was behavioural, the focus would be on company values and behaviours. A common starter would include, “Tell me about a time when you showed leadership.”

Whereas, with a competency interview, the focus would be more on job-specific skills and knowledge. As for what you might get asked. A common starter would be, "Describe a situation where you used your technical skills to solve a problem."

Getting Ready for Competency Questions

To nail competency questions, get cosy with the STAR technique: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This method helps you tell your story clearly, covering what was going on, what you had to do, what you did, and what happened.

Employers love the STAR method because it cuts down on bias and shows what you can really do. Big names like the Government, Civil Service, banks, and the NHS swear by it.

To ace your competency interview, try these tips:

  1. Check the job description: Know what skills they're looking for.
  2. Think about your past: Find examples where you showed those skills.
  3. Practice the STAR method: Make sure you can tell your stories clearly.
  4. Mix it up: Have a bunch of different examples ready so you don't repeat yourself.

Getting ready for a competency interview isn't just about knowing the questions. You also need to think about what to wear, how to prepare, and how to follow up after the interview. A good follow-up email can leave a great impression.

Real-Life Example

Let’s say you’re interviewing for a project manager role. The job description highlights the need for strong leadership and problem-solving skills. Here’s how you might use the STAR method:

Situation: "In my last job, we had a project that was falling behind schedule due to unexpected technical issues."

Task: "As the project manager, it was my job to get us back on track."

Action: "I organised a series of daily stand-up meetings to identify and address issues quickly. I also reallocated resources to ensure the most critical tasks were prioritised."

Result: "We managed to complete the project on time and even under budget, which earned us praise from the client and a bonus for the team."

By preparing stories like this, you'll be ready to show off your skills and impress your future boss.

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