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Preparing for behavioral interviews May 5, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in IT Career.

So you next interview is confirmed to be ‘behavioral’ . Here is a run down on how you can prepare:

  • Read the job description and prepare a list of behavioral competencies the interviewer may be looking for. A reasonable list of competencies is here.
  • Prepare 6-8, 2-3 min scenario’s from experiences in your life.These experiences should map to one or more behavioral competencies relevant for the job.
  • Experiences can be from past projects, hobbies, charity work etc. Try not to take them all from one aspect of your career/life. E:g Present or last job.
  • Don’t try to make-up scenarios that just didn’t happen. It most probably wont work unless you are a adept story teller.
  • Write down the scenarios and make them interesting. Each scenario should have three parts:
  1. Situation or the task at hand
  2. Action you took
  3. Result
  • Talk to the hiring manger / agent to understand the key competencies for the job. Refine and prioritize your list of competencies based on the conversation.
  • Prioritize the scenario’s for these key competencies and refine them. Don’t ignore the rest of the scenario’s though.
  • Practice them multiple times by narrating them to friends/family.
  • Review possible behavioral questions for the key competencies you identified, to see if your scenarios hold-up to the questions. A sample list of questions is here.
  • Carry a list of scenarios mapping to competencies to the interview.
  • For every question, try to understand the competency the interviewer is looking for.
  • Play out the scenario you prepared and invite questions.


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