Behavioral-Based Interview| Meaning, Examples, Techniques
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What is Behavioral-Based Interviewing?

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Behavioral-based interviewing is a way of interviewing job candidates that focuses on their past behaviors and actions to predict how they will perform in the future. 

So, instead of asking general questions or hypothetical questions like “What would you do if…?” employers ask candidates to provide specific examples of situations they have faced in the past and how they handled them. 

This helps in understanding a candidate’s problem-solving skills, communication abilities, and how well they work with others. By looking at real-life examples, you can get a better idea of how a candidate might perform in the job you are hiring for.

Examples of Behavioral-based based Interview Questions

  • How did you improve a process or implement a new system in your workplace?
  • Tell us about a situation where you had to make a tough decision under pressure. How did you approach it?
  • How did you handle adapting to a significant change in a project or work environment?
  • Did you ever have to resolve a conflict between two colleagues? If yes,  how did you resolve it?

Common Techniques Used by Candidates for Responding to Behaviour-based Interviewing 

Typically, candidates use the following methodologies to respond to Behaviour-based interview questions.

1. STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result)

The STAR method is a structured framework used for answering behavioral interview questions. It stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, and helps candidates provide detailed and organized responses. Candidates can effectively showcase their skills and abilities by describing the situation, task, actions taken, and outcomes achieved.

For employers, the STAR method offers a consistent way to evaluate candidates’ past experiences and assess their problem-solving, communication, and results-oriented capabilities.

2. SOAR (Situation-Obstacles-Action-Results)

SOAR provides a clear breakdown of the response. First, it requires the candidate to describe the situation or context in which the behavior occurred. 

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Then, they explain any obstacles or challenges they faced during the situation. After that, they detail the specific actions they took to address the situation and overcome the obstacles. Lastly, they discuss the result or outcome of their actions.

3. CAR (Challenge-Action-Result)

Similarly, CAR, which stands for Challenge, Action, and Result, also provides a structured approach. It begins with the candidate explaining the challenge or problem they encountered. 

Then, they describe the actions they took to address the challenge, showcasing their problem-solving abilities. Finally, they share the result or impact of their actions.

It’s important for businesses and employers to recognize that these techniques, whether they be SOAR or CAR, are helpful frameworks for candidates to structure their responses. 

What are the Benefits of Behavioral-based Interviewing

Here are a few benefits of this approach –

It Provides Real-life Examples

Behavioral-based interviewing allows employers to hear about actual situations a candidate has encountered and how they handled them. This gives employers a clearer picture of the candidate’s skills, abilities, and problem-solving approach.

It Predicts Future Performance

By looking at a candidate’s past behavior, employers can make better predictions about how they will perform in similar situations in the future. Instead of relying solely on qualifications and experience, employers can gain insights into a candidate’s decision-making, problem-solving, and communication skills.

It Helps Assess Cultural Fit

Behavioral-based interviewing can also help employers assess a candidate’s fit with the company culture. By understanding how a candidate has behaved in the past, employers can evaluate whether their values, work style, and approach align with the organization’s values and environment.

It Reduces Bias

Using a structured and consistent approach like behavioral-based interviewing helps minimize bias in the hiring process. This method focuses on gathering objective information about a candidate’s skills and experiences, rather than making judgments based on subjective impressions or assumptions.

It Improves the Interview Experience

Behavioral-based interviewing encourages candidates to reflect on their past experiences and share success stories. This approach creates a more engaging and interactive interview process, allowing candidates to showcase their abilities and strengths.

It Promotes Self-awareness

Behavioral-based interviewing often requires candidates to reflect on their past experiences and articulate their actions and decision-making processes. This prompts candidates to develop a better understanding of their own strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. 

This self-awareness can be valuable for personal and professional growth and can help candidates better articulate their skills and qualifications during the interview.

It Encourages More Thoughtful Responses

Since behavioral-based interviewing focuses on specific situations and asks candidates to provide detailed examples, it encourages candidates to think more deeply about their past experiences and consider how they have approached challenges and achieved success. 

This leads to more thoughtful and detailed responses from candidates, providing employers with more insight into their abilities and problem-solving skills.

The Challenges of Behavioural-based Interviewing 

Following are some of the challenges associated with conducting behavioral-based interviews.

Time-consuming Nature

Conducting behavioral-based interviews can be more time-consuming compared to traditional interviews. 

It requires interviewers to probe for detailed examples, review and evaluate candidates’ responses thoroughly, and assess the relevance of their experiences to the job requirements. This can result in longer interview sessions and more effort to make a final hiring decision.

Limited Focus on Future Behavior 

Behavioral-based interviewing primarily focuses on past behavior and experiences to predict future performance. 

However, this approach may not always accurately determine how a candidate will behave in a new or unfamiliar situation. It is important to remember that past behavior does not always predict future behavior.

Lack of Standardized Evaluation

Since behavioral-based interviewing often relies on open-ended questions and subjective evaluations of candidates’ responses, there can be a lack of standardized evaluation criteria. This can make it more difficult for hiring managers to compare candidates consistently and objectively.

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Potential for Rehearsed Answers

Candidates who are familiar with the behavioral-based interviewing technique may have rehearsed their responses to common questions. This can make it challenging for interviewers to discern genuine behavior and reactions from rehearsed answers. 

Additionally, candidates may provide exaggerated or false information to align with the desired behavior.

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