Today, many employers are conducting a different type of interview known as “behavior-based interviews”. These interviews are filled with specific questions designed to uncover patterns of accomplishments relevant to an employer’s situation. They challenge interviewees to provide concrete examples of their resilience.
Four questions you may hear:
- What do you think are your top technical skills or strengths? How have these skills enhanced your job performance?
- What was the hardest work-related decision you’ve had to make? What process did you go through to arrive at the decision? Would you make the same decision today?
- Describe a time when unanticipated events came up and threw off your priorities or schedule. How did you deal with the conflicts?
- Describe a project that you have worked on independently and with limited supervision. What methods did you use to manage your time? What was the result of the project?
This is a great opportunity for you to sell your positive attributes. Tell a story about yourself by using the STAR Narrative: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Right now, start to think of very detailed (but brief) examples that will promote your skills and emphasize your success.
Even if the interviewer asks you about a negative experience, spin it to something positive. For example, discuss the lesson you learned or the skill you strengthened. Be sure to remain upbeat and optimistic as you relay the experience.
As you prepare for your interview, jot down examples where you:
• Demonstrated leadership or creativity
• Showed a high level of technical competence
• Solved a complex financial or personnel problem
• Made a good or bad decision (and learned something positive from making that decision)
• Met or missed a deadline (and learned something positive from missing that deadline)
• Handled a transition
• Handled criticism
• Worked as part of a team to accomplish a specific task