The Behavioural Interview

The Behavioural Interview

The Behavioural Interview

The Behavioural Interview

At Insearch Executive Solutions our selection process begins with a full behavioural interview and various other tests, where appropriate.

What is a Behavioural Interview?

Behavioural interviewing requires candidates to respond with specific examples of past experiences rather than generalized or hypothetical responses. At the root of this interview style, is the belief that past performance is the most accurate predictor of future performance.

Typical behaviour-based questions begin with, "Tell me about a time when..." or "Give me an example of..." and require candidates to provide a complete, three-part response in a format known as SAR: situation, action, and result.

Examples of some behavioural

  • Describe a situation in which you didn’t meet your stated goal. How did you handle it?  
  • Tell us about a situation in which you encountered resistance from key people? How did you convince the person or people to do what you wanted?  
  • Describe a situation in which you took the initiative to change a process or system and make it better. How did you identify the problem? How did you go about instituting change?


Why Use This Technique?

Basically when used correctly, behavioural-based interviewing demonstrates a person’s critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and ability to effectively manage relationships with peers and superiors. It forces job candidates to prove how their experience would benefit the company rather than just listing it as a matter of fact.

Compare this to just asking simple yes or no questions, a job candidate can easily tell an interviewer what he or she wants to hear. For example, if you're asked what you would do if a client suddenly moved up the deadline on a project, you could reply that you would put in overtime as necessary.

However, if the interviewer asks what you have done in the past to complete a project on a tight deadline, you would have to give a real-life example, detailing how you handled the situation. Then the interviewer could ask some probing questions to verify that what you are saying actually happened. For example, she might ask how many hours you spent on the project and whether the client was happy with the results, or what grade you got if you're talking about a school project.


The end result as a recruiter is that by using a behavioural interview as part of the screening process we can increase our chances of providing the best fit candidate for the role.