Behavioral Interviews Guide

Day of interview prep

Mandy Giacchetto, Director at Gingko Bioworks, ex-BCG
Published: February 23, 2022

Ok, so you’ve done all the prep. You researched the company. You prepared your five core stories. Using these stories, you drafted and rehearsed practice responses to questions across the five (!!) behavioral question categories. You did a sample case study. It’s the day of the interview. You literally can’t do anything more, and you shouldn’t!

At this point, it’s most important that you relax, and fall back on a couple of key principles.

  • Bring the (positive) energy.
  • Be you; let your personality come through.
  • Remember that you are human; and your interviewer is too.

Bring the (positive) energy

Do something the morning or day of the interview that puts you in a good mood. For some people that’s blasting their favorite song or playlist. For some, it’s exercising. For others, it could be doing something artistic, creating something. Or, it might be calling a friend or family member who can enthrall you with banter.

For me, I sing out loud. Sometimes to music, sometimes acapella. Can I sing well? Absolutely not, but it helps me to not take myself seriously. If I go into an interview with a genuine smile on my face, then the people I meet on the other side of the table feel that, and they tend to respond back with an equally genuine smile or ice breaker. Bonus: the singing also warms up my vocal chords. I want to go into a first impression with a strong, stable voice.


  • …over-rehearse responses right up until the interview.
  • …cram the night before; this isn’t a college exam!
  • …forget to hydrate :)

Be yourself

You are your greatest asset. Ask yourself this: Would I want them to hire me for NOT me? If your answer to that is “no”, then remember to be yourself in the interview, and let them get to know you the way many of your current peers do. If you have a sense of humor, let that show through (but don’t force it). If you like to nerd out about the latest headline in a science journal, then don’t be afraid to work that into the conversation.

And, whatever you do, when you’re answering your questions using your stories, stick to the truth. Be humble. Be self-reflective. It would be weird if all of your successes to date happened in the first try. Many of your successes are due to lessons learned, and even mistakes made. Share that journey!


  • …pretend to have more in common with your interviewer than you do.
  • …forget to lead with your own values; don’t bend them for someone else.

Remember you are human

Which gets us to the final reminder. You are a human. You are vulnerable. You are imperfect. Guess what? So are the people interviewing you! Do you have compassion for people in tough situations? I bet your interviewers do too.


  • …be too hard on yourself.
  • …have unrealistic expectations of being perfect.

If you put the work in, and you are able to represent your best self, then there is no harm and no foul. Everything will work out.

P.S. Preparing for behavioral interviews?

Get sample interview questions & example answers from PMs and consultants at Bain, Microsoft, BCG & more. Plus, guidance on how to structure your answers!