Five Tips for Mastering a Behavioral Interview
You are awaiting an interview for an exciting new job. You are nervous. You check how you look in the mirror multiple times. You rehearse a few answers to potential questions in your head. You look at your watch to await your turn. You feel anxious…
Place yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. This is just another working day for them. They probably have deadlines to finish, and quickly glanced at your CV ten minutes before your interview (if they did at all). Of course, this is an important decision for them too: who to hire is key for their team. But they are likely looking at multiple candidates. The fact that you’ve been invited to an interview means they think you are capable, but they want to hear from you in real life before they add you to the team. It’s your time to shine!
A few behavioral tips and tricks:
Be confident. This is different for different people. For some individuals, such as people with high levels of extraversion, it comes naturally to appear confident. For others, confidence can be harder to acquire, and it comes only with extensive preparation. If you tend to be anxious and suffer from imposter syndrome, remember: the mere fact you are there means they think you are a potential hire.
Come prepared. Be sure you know what the company and role is about. You would be surprised, but often people neglect doing even the most basic preparation. Sometimes you can get away with it, but it looks bad if you get found out! Check the interviewers’ LinkedIn. It might not be relevant, but chances are, there is some relevant personal connection you can make that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Be personal. Interviewers are human too, and all humans like to be appreciated. Be sure to pay attention when the interviewer introduces him or herself and remember their name. Repeat it a few times as well, so they can tell you remember. Also, to show you did your research, perhaps mention if you went to the same university together or have a connection in common.
Be curious. Remember, it’s not just the company interviewing you, it is you interviewing the company! You are a well established subject expert trying to figure out if this company is a good fit for you. Asking good questions shows that you have done your homework, and will help you make a decision on the offer later on.
Relax. You are having a conversation with fellow adults. They’ve been in your exact situation themselves and are not here to embarrass you. If you do feel nervous, you can even tell your interviewer and they’ll likely be understanding! It’s funny, but saying something as simple as “I am a bit nervous, sorry” can instantly get rid of the nerves. There is something about hiding your nerves that makes them harder to deal with.