Behavioural Interviewing

Increasingly interviewers are turning towards behavioural interviewing techniques. The pig has done some research in this area and today shares tips with you on how to do well in a behavioural interview. The concept of behavioural interviewing is simple : it gives the interviewer a more rounded assessment of a candidate.


It allows the interviewer a deeper view into the "why" and "how" of your previous experience and it also helps them guage whether you are a good fit to their requirements and chemistry. For most roles, particularly in a competitive job market, companies will be looking for candidates who meet a whole range of criteria including hard skills (like 5 years knowledge of excel) as well as soft skills (like the ability to persuade people).


Behavioural interviewing is good at showcasing your soft skills and also it helps organisations evaluate you as a fit. Do you talk their language? Do you handle obstacles the same way they do? Do you have the same goals and motivation? How do they do this? By asking more detailed questions about specific experiences and outcomes. These may be structured or non-structured. The job seeking piggy recommends that in either format you frame your responses in a structured way. You may remember that the pig tends to talk alot and can lost their way.


This can be a real problem in a behavioural interview as you don't want to overload the interviewer with information. Stick with a structure and make sure you get your most important points across. Here is a simple method for doing it, called the STAR approach. Situation Task Action Result You break up your answer into the 4 parts


1) describing the situation

2) outlining your specific task or role

3) what action you took to accomplish your task

4) what the results were Why use this format?


Because its simple and easy to remember! If you lose your way or get confused or flustered during an interview (even the pig gets hot and bothered sometimes!) you can fall back into the structure and refocus your answer. But the main reason for using this structure is because it shows you have a clear and logical understanding of what you were doing and why. You walk the interviewer through the end to end process - proving at each step that you understood what to do and were effective in doing it.


Behavioural interviewing - be a STAR! Here is a specific example of a S T A R response. Interviewer: Mr J.S. Pig, have you ever had to implement a new policy in difficult circumstances. Tell us more about how you put this in place.


Job Seeking Piggy:

SITUATION: At the Animal Farm we went through a management change with profound impacts on the business model and organisational structure. Several key stakeholders were struggling to adapt.



I was responsible for building grass roots support for the change and getting stakeholders to buy into the new organisational structure.



With stakeholder consultation a new company charter was developed with 7 rules which articulated the rights and obligations of all participants. I created a new logo and motto "four legs good, two legs bad"



Workplace contentment rose by all measures, productivity was higher than before the management change and operating costs were significantly lower.