Behavior orientated interviews

Performance and Personality

Many companies make use of behavioral interviews, apart from their traditional interviews, to establish whether a candidate would fit in the corporate culture and specific position.

Preparation for this type of interview

One way to prepare for this type of interview is to take a few self assessment tests to determine your working and thinking style. The employer is normally looking for specific characteristics in the candidate.

Apart from doing the self assessment tests which can be found at several places on the Internet, you should also list the job requirements and personality traits indicated in the original job advert.

If you were referred by someone, ask the person more about the job requirements and personality traits. Also try to get hold of one of the employees in the company or someone who has worked for the company previously, as the person may be able to assist you with information on the corporate culture.

The list of requirements and personality traits will help you to prepare answers to fit the profile. It is important though, to not lie and also not to lie to yourself. Below are the traits required for the three major groups of competency tests. Compare the job type and requirements to the categories below and prepare accordingly


Flexibility traits

  • Investigation and analytical thinking skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Boldness
  • Conflict resolution
  • Written and oral communication abilities
  • Accuracy
  • Detail orientation
  • Originality
  • Creativity
  • Customer care skills
  • Business management
  • Innovativeness
  • Ongoing training
  • Tact
  • Planning and control
  • Ability to manage and delegate work
  • Ability to make decisions
  • Relationships
  • Research
  • Motivation
  • Energy

Tools, applications and machinery operation

  • Factual
  • Accuracy
  • Control
  • Independency
  • Task orientated
  • Judgment
  • People skills
  • Competency
  • Leadership
  • Supervision
  • Negotiation
  • Innovation
  • Goal setting
  • Decision making

Individual efficiency

  • Timeliness
  • Reliability
  • Determination
  • Strategic thinking skills
  • Responsibility
  • Knowledge
  • Expertise
  • Qualifications
  • Empathy
  • Team building
  • Safety
  • Trustworthiness
  • Able to work with confidential information
  • Integrity
  • Risk management
  • Participation
  • Operating procedures
  • Confidence

When answering questions relating to behavior, try to highlight accomplishments and positive attributes. Provide clear examples of how you handled every situation and the positive outcome or accomplishment for each one. Also explain what led to the situation.

Rather than just stating you were an office manager elaborate you were an office manager where you managed 30 staff members and the daily operation of a department being part of a corporation of 280 employees.

Prepare examples of how you worked in a team, handled conflict, build confidence, completed projects, resolved issues etc. Also prepare one or two examples of situations not working out perfectly and how you handled it.

Prepare two to four selling points and how you can highlight them.