BEI (Behaviour Event Interview)

BEI (Behaviour Event Interview)

What is BEI?

BEI (Behaviour Event Interview) is a technique that asks candidate to describe a situation or an experience they had in a previous job. Responses may not be as polished as the traditional type of question because they cannot be rehearsed ahead of time.

Why BEI is useful?

BEI is important because it helps in assessing whether the candidate demonstrates traits that fit the workplace. BEI questions solicit real-life experiential responses that provide a way to evaluate skills, knowledge, and behaviors versus philosophical views.


What is the Purpose of BEI?

The objective of a Behavioural Event Interview (BEI) is to get very detailed behavioural descriptions of how a person goes about doing his or her work. The interviewer’s job is to elicit complete stories that describe the interviewee’s specific behaviours, thoughts, and actions in actual situations.


What is the difference between Traditional Interview and BEI Interview?

Traditional Interview:

  • Focuses On Technical Skills and Job Knowledge
  • Questions On How The Candidate ‘Would’ Behave
  • Answers May Not Be Based On Actual Performance
  • Generic Questions
  • Responses Can Be Manipulated

BEI Interview:

  • Focuses On Technical Skills, Job Knowledge and Behaviours Critical To Job Success past Experience And Situations
  • Questions On How The Candidate ‘Did’ Behave
  • Answers Are Referring To Actual Past Performance
  • Probing Questions
  • Responses Are Genuine


How do you conduct BEI?

  • Identify the skills and experiences required for success: This goes far beyond just reading the job description. Start by speaking with people who have been successful in the role. What skills and traits benefited them most? After that, talk to the department head to learn what success looks like in this role and what characteristics are needed to achieve it. Collaborate internally to come up with a specific list of traits so everyone involved knows what kind of candidate would work out best.
  • Use that list to develop your behavioural interview questions: Ask the candidate how they have demonstrated each skill in prior Job. If for example, communicating with customers is an important part of the position’s necessary skill set, ask the candidate to describe the time when they successfully managed an important customer with significant demands. Here are few other common skill areas and some suggested behavioural- type question:
    1. Communication:“Can you tell me about a time you spoke with an angry customer or colleague? What was the problem and what did you do about it?”
    2. Problem-solving: “Can you describe a time when you anticipated a problem and took action to prevent it?”
    3. Taking initiative:“Tell me about a time you took initiative and did something you were not expected to do to help your team or company.”
    4. Leadership:“Please discuss a time when you needed to influence someone who didn’t agree with you. How did you persuade them to see your point of view?”
    5. Working under pressure:“Describe a point when you faced a difficult deadline and were juggling multiple priorities. What did you do to meet the deadline?”


  • Carefully evaluate the candidate’s answers, looking for concrete details and a disciplined, professional approach to solving problems. After each question, candidates should describe a challenging situation, what actions they took to improve it and the successful end result. If they don’t, you’ll need to follow up with more questions. Keep in mind the acronym STAR when evaluating the candidate’s answers:
    1. What was the situation the candidate faces?
    2. What was the task done by the candidate?
    3. What Action did the candidate take?
    4. What Result came out of it of the action taken by the candidate?


  • The Takeaway: A candidate’s past performance in a similar situation, during which they used the same skills needed in the job they’re applying for, is the best predictor of future success at your middle market company.



By adopting the three-step approach to behavioural interviewing recommended above, you’ll be better prepared to make great hires who can help your middle market company thrive.


In BEI the most important factor is the STAR Framework


What is STAR in BEI?

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioural-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing. Situation: Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish.


What STAR stands for?


  1. Situation: Disclose details of the event
  2. Task: Explaining your responsibilities in that situation
  3. Action: Describes how you accomplished the task
  4. Result: Outline the impact of your actions



How to use the STAR Framework?


Question: “Tell me about a time where you were faced with multiple competing deadlines. What did you do and how did it turn out?


Situation: what was the situation the candidate was in?

E.g., “tell me about a time…”

Task: what was the task the candidate needed to accomplish?

e.g., “where you were faced with multiple competing deadlines.”

Action: what were the actions the candidate took to accomplish this task?

E.g., “what did you do and…”

Results: what were the results of these actions?

E.G., “How Did It Turn Out?”

Competencies: What do mean by competencies. A competency is defined as any measurable characteristic of an individual that predicts outstanding performance in a given job, role, organization, or culture. It is what enables top performers to demonstrate critical behaviours more often, in more situations, with better results.


All organizations look for these competencies which take out the behaviour of the candidates in the interview.


Types of Competencies:

  • Achievement Oriented: By achievement orientation we mean having a drive and passion of achieving the goals that are set by the organisation. It is  also about improving performance, setting up challenging goals for oneself and taking calculated entrepreneurial risks to drive oneself and the team towards high performance


  • Relationship Building: This is one of the more important competency that an organisations look for. This competency tells how the person maintains the relationship with his co- workers. The BEI question to this is ““How Do You Build Relationships?”


  • Professional Approach: To strive for best of processes and superior quality of execution with highest professional standards.


  • Real value to customer: Become the customer champion by ensuring best possible solutions to meet customers’ needs


Example of some BEI Questions?

There are few examples for the BEI questions that can be framed and asked to the candidate like

  • Give us an example of a goal you failed to meet, and how you handled the situation.
  • Tell us about a time when you solved a problem at your job that wasn’t part of your job description.
  • How do you handle a challenge? …
  • Have you ever made a mistake? …
  • Give an example of how you set goals. …
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.


Do’s and Don’ts in BEI


  • Rapport Building at the beginning of the interview
  • Taking Permission to take notes
  • Check the preference of language
  • Make notes of the verbatim
  • Probe till STAR is clear
  • Use Contra Evidence questions if straightforward questions don’t elicit clarity
  • Manage Time Well



  • Judging while the candidate speaks
  • Letting the interviewee deviate from topic
  • Asking Hypothetical questions
  • Focusing more on why then How

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