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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

Behavioral Interviews

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A behavioral interview is a structured interview conducted either by an individual or panel of interviewers. Behavioral interview questions prompt candidates to describe a past experience or situation, demonstrating how he/she handled the situation. Past experiences are generally a good indicator for how he/she would handle it again. An effective strategy for answering a behavioral interview question is the PARL method.

The PARL Method
Problem: Identify the problem or situation you encountered

Action: Describe the action you took to address the problem or situation

Result: Disclose the result of the action you took

Learn: Discuss what you learned from the experience (can be helpful to include when discussing previous failures or challenges)

Behavioral Interview Strategies

  • Research employer website and review job/internship posting for clues on what employer/organization is seeking
  • Prepare a minimum of three questions based on your research to learn more about the employer and job/internship
  • Dress professionally and invest in a portfolio to store application materials, e.g. resume, writing samples, transcript, certificates, reference letters
  • Provide specific examples of your skills and experiences
  • Focus on the positive and highlight your strengths
  • Display a positive attitude and your desire to learn new skills
  • Send a thank you note or email within 24 hours of the interview

Practice Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Why did you apply for this opportunity?
  • Which pages of our organization's website did you review to prepare for your interview today?
  • What five words best describe you?
  • Describe an area of weakness in your previous employment.
  • Why did you decide to attend UT Austin?
  • What were your reasons for selecting your liberal arts major?
  • How does this job/internship opportunity relate to your future career plans?
  • What student organizations were you actively involved? Did you assume a leadership role in these organizations?
  • Which of your academic, volunteer, leadership, work, and internship experiences are most relevant to this opportunity?
  • What are examples of the courses that prepared you for this opportunity?

To schedule a mock interview with a Career Coach, contact our office at 512-471-7900.


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