A common area where candidates fall short at the interview stage is the ability to answer behavioural questions. Preparation is essential, not only for technical questions based on your knowledge of the law, but also to questions aimed at assessing certain behavioural competencies.
Behavioural questions work on the premise that past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour. They often include a request to provide examples or scenarios which demonstrate skills such as attention to detail, the ability to prioritise and problem solving.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. The interviewer is simply trying to understand how you behaved in a given situation. How you respond will determine if there is a fit between your skills and the position the company is seeking to fill.
The best approach to adopt is known as the STAR technique. Set the scene by describing the
Situation, then the Task that needed to be done, the Actions you took, specifying all the steps and, most importantly, the Result. This model enables a structured answer which will give the interviewer confidence in your abilities and will best articulate your skills.
Common pitfalls to avoid include giving vague statements, opinions and theoretical statements.
Since you won’t know exactly what situations you will be asked about regarding the behavioural aspects of the interview, refresh your memory and consider some of the situations you have dealt with or matters you have worked on that demonstrate core competencies, such as teamwork, attention to detail, prioritising, problem solving and dealing with difficult clients.