Situation Behavior Impact Framework


06 February 2023

Situation Behavior Impact Framework illustration

What is the Situation – Behavior – Impact framework?

SBI or Situation Behavior Impact Framework

It is easily the most effective framework or tool that one can use in multiple situations in life. A lot of time we unconsciously adopt this but structuring your narrative – be it while answering interview questions, explaining a problem statement, or if you are a manager using this framework while delivering feedback can prove to be the most effective tool for communication.

Idea in Brief

It is one of the most effective interview frameworks people use. The SBI model will help you not only structure your responses during interview prep but also help you in responding effectively to questions during the interview itself.

This is a framework to structure your conversation

Starting first with: Describing the situation – try to be as objective as possible and limit your bias on how you interpret the situation.

Behavior – once the lay of the land is known, at this stage – describe the behavior.

Impact – next talk about the impact the behavior had on the situation.

How to use the SBI framework to answer an interview question?

Let's take an example question such as “Tell me about a time when your team had a tight deadline for a project, and how did you handle it”

You can go about almost anyways answering the question but the best framework to structure it would be to adopt the SBI framework.

Try to construct your answer and organize it against this framework.

Illustration with Example

Situation: This is when I was working at X company and was leading the Y project for my team. This project had to be delivered before the end of the year due to regulatory requirements. I had attrition of 1 person in a 4-pizza team, which put us under a strict timeline to deliver.

Behavior: As project lead for the team, I did an assessment of our project plan and evaluated that the remaining time at hand (2 months) to finish dev work and end-to-end testing would require us 4 dev months of work. With only 3 engineers dedicated to this project, it would not only be stretched but also put us at risk of delivering high-quality work. To ensure delivery quality and requirements are not compromised, I reached out to my leadership team to take loaner help from one of our veteran engg who was dedicated to a different project with longer ETAs.

Impact: With this approach, I was able to secure the bandwidth needed to deliver the project, which in fact was an on-time delivery.

Breaking an answer into SBI format helps both the interviewer and interviewee to follow the conversation easily

Next time you are in an interview, try to keep this framework in mind to organize your thoughts prior to answering any question. This will help you answer with confidence, and get your point across the board successfully.

Situation Behavior Impact Framework illustration