Career Services Office

Students and Alumni - Career Guides

Career Resources - Interviewing - Behavioral Based Interviewing

More and more employers are asking questions that illicit responses demonstrating your skills and abilities through real-life experiences. The saying that the "past accomplishments reflect future behavior" is a principle supporting Behavioral Based Interviewing (BBI). During BBI, detailed questions are asked by the recruiter to extract examples of your past behavior during actual situations. A handy formula to ensure a thorough response to BBI is the STAR method of answering questions. In answering a question:

Describe the


Explain the




Communicate the



Situation A:
Recruiter: Give me an example of your leadership skills
Candidate: I was president of Student Government
Recruiter: What did your group accomplish through your leadership?
Candidate: We established committees to develop community outreach programs.
Recruiter: Specifically who did you help and what was the outcome?
Candidate: Just about anybody who needed us…we were there for them.

The recruiter was probing for specifics and details. The candidate responded in vague terms and selected a situation that showed lack of leadership.

Situation B:
Recruiter: Give me an example of your leadership skills.
Candidate: Two years ago, I was elected Student Government president, based on my platform to increase community outreach programs. Through volunteer programs, we provided transportation to the 100 elderly residents and a tutorial program for 85 elementary school students. The results were significantly improved community relations.

Remember, with the BBI the recruiter will continue to probe until detailed answers are given. Use the STAR method to give a complete answer from the start!