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THEY ARE NOT ILLEGAL OR EVEN IMPROPER BUT THEY SURELY CAN MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE –
BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS!!!!
Behavioral Interview Questions are situational and are designed to uncover your skills and talents (competencies). These are questions that make you think and reveal qualities about yourself indirectly – They can make you uncomfortable because you are required to “think on your feet” and decide exactly what personality trait/work habit the interviewer is looking for. How do you answer the question and make yourself appear competent? Some of these questions are in the category of “When did you stop beating your wife?” They have an underlying assumption that you did something wrong – “Tell me about a time you did not properly handle a disagreement with a coworker.”
Does the interviewer want to know that you admit your mistakes and learn from them?
Is he/she looking for a positive attitude? Both would be good guesses.
In answering these, just like any other questions, a helpful hint is to research the company and the position to determine qualities that a useful employee would exhibit. Desirable work traits or competencies are many and varied depending on the position.
Qualities such as integrity, leadership, motivation, sensitivity, tenacity, risk taking,decisiveness, delegation, assertiveness, diplomacy, energy, adaptability – the list is huge and specific for the type of job. If this is a “front desk” position, then you would be expected to have good people skills and positive energy for sure. Answer accordingly. If the position will require negotiation skills, you might be requested to discuss a time when you had to use your powers of persuasion to get someone to do something. TAKE YOUR TIME. ASK FOR CLARIFICATION IF NEEDED. THINK! ESPECIALLY THINK WHAT THE UNDERLYING PURPOSE OF THE QUESTION IS.
Consider the STAR method. S.T.A.R. = SITUATION, TASK, ACTIVITY/ACTION, RESULT. Prepare to include all these areas in your answer. Recommendation – spend no more than 50% of your answer on the S,T, and A and 50% on the R. What did you learn? Details of what exactly happened in the proposed situation are not as important as your result.
Why not practice by looking over sample behavioral questions? Conceptualize possible replies. Discuss possible answers with a trusted person who has had success in the area for which you are applying or with your recruiter. Let us recruiters work for you. Ask for help with specific questions that could be a problem for you. We are always ready to provide help in interview preparation.
Following are some questions to explore and to experiment with answering:
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with two co-workers who didn’t get along with one another.
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision that affected those with whom you worked. What was the outcome?
- Describe a time when a co-worker approached you and criticized your work. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to see your point of view. What tactics did you use? What were the outcomes? What did you learn?
- Give me an example of a time when you used creativity to complete a project, work with someone else or develop a new idea.
- Describe a time when you were assigned a task but were provided little direction about how to complete the task. What steps did you take to complete the task? What was the outcome?
- Describe a situation when you had to get a job done in spite of an unforeseen problem.
- Give me an example of a time you had to convince others to conform to a policy you didn’t believe in.
- Tell me about a time you made a successful presentation to a prospective client.
- Give me an example of a time when you failed to meet a goal. What did you fail to do? What were the consequences? What was the outcome?
Just for fun, consider some atypical interview questions which might be used to determine your creativity or ability to think quickly.
- If you were a knife, fork, or a spoon, which would you be and why?
- Sell me something in this room, anything.
- If the tables were turned, how would you interview me?
Good luck. Consider sharing some behavioral interview questions which stumped you at the time but wish you had another chance at. What was the question, how did you respond at the time of the interview and how do you wish you had answered?
PREPARATION IS KEY.
“It’s not the will to win that matters -everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Paul “Bear” Bryant
“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin