Interview tips

Interview Pro Tips: How to Nail a Behavioral Interview

Allstate provides expert guidance to help you prepare for your next step in the recruitment process.

Hungry for new strategies to nail your next interview? We were, too, so we asked the experts at Allstate to break it down in this series.

How to nail a behavioral interview

Behavioral interviews focus on a candidate’s past experiences to assess how they’ve navigated specific situations and utilized skills relevant to the position. Rather than asking theoretical “How would you handle ___?” questions, your interviewer will focus instead on concrete “How did you handle ___?” prompts. 

  1. Come prepared with examples of your past experiences. Questions asked in behavioral interviews should be based on the core competencies for the position, so give the job description a close read and think about experiences you have that demonstrate your abilities in desired areas. 
  1. When answering prompts during your behavioral interview, use the STAR (situation, task, action, result) format to effectively demonstrate your experience and impact. Here’s how Allstate, which hires many students and recent grads on Handshake, suggests thinking about the STAR framework:
    • Situation: “Describe and provide relevant details of your example, explain the context of the situation and why it connects to the question.”
    • Task: “Describe your role in the situation. This can help establish the level of responsibility you had in the previous role.”
    • Action: “Explain how you addressed the situation and what steps you took to overcome the challenge. A good answer shows how you added value to the situation and made logical decisions.”
    • Result: “At the end of your answer, explain the outcome of the situation. A quality answer includes concrete examples and quantifiable achievements, including the direct effects of your efforts in your response.”
  1. Remember the basics. Allstate reminds all of its candidates that—especially when interviewing virtually—it’s best practice to speak strongly, confidently, and clearly, always remaining cognizant of your body language. Just like you wouldn’t want to mumble or cross your arms throughout an in-person interview, avoid these habits during your video calls! 
  1. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Remember, job interviews are for you, too! If you need clarity on a prompt, or have a question that you’d love to dig into a bit more with your interviewer, be sure to speak up. This process exists for both you and your prospective boss to have the chance to assess whether you’re a good fit for the position! As a thought-starter, check out this list of thoughtful interview questions while you’re preparing for your chat with the recruiter or hiring manager.  
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