1. Careers
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is a Behavioral Interview?


Businesswoman conducting a job interview
Stuart O'Sullivan / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Question: What is a Behavioral Interview?

Candidates for employment often ask what the difference is between a regular job interview and a behavioral interview. There isn't a difference in the actual format of the job interviewer. You will still meet with an interviewer and respond to interview questions. The difference is in the type of interview questions that will be asked.

Answer: Behavioral interviews are based on the premise that a person's past performance on the job is the best predictor of future performance. When a company uses behavioral interviewing they want to know how you act and react in certain circumstances. They also want you to give specific "real life" examples of how you behaved in situations relating to the questions.

In a behavioral interview, an employer has decided what skills they need for the job and the questions you will be asked will be geared to finding out if you have those skills. The interviewer wants to know how you handled a situation, rather than just gathering information about you.

In a traditional job interview, you will be asked a series of questions which typically have uncomplicated answers like "What did you like about your job?" or "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" or "What were your responsibilities?"

Behavioral interview questions will be more focused. For example, "Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it?" or "Have you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor? How?"

More About Behavioral Job Interviews
Here's more information on behavioral job interviews, including behavioral job interview questions, how to prepare for a behavioral interview, and techniques and strategies for acing a behavioral job interview.

Read More: How to Respond to Behavioral Interview Questions | Top 10 Behavioral Interview Questions | How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

Interview Articles and Advice

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.