Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions are impossible to memorize so you have to prepare for your interview with STAR stories

There are 100 common interview questions, of which approximately 12 interview questions are designed to destroy you.

Also, there are thousands of behavioral interview questions (BIQs). It is impossible to memorize them.

Many of the Fortune companies only use BIQs to identify promising candidates, allowing them to tell a story of their background and how it matches their job requirements.

Behavioral interview questions usually start with:

“Tell me about a time …” or “Describe specific situations you have been in …” where you have to demonstrate specific skills.

Often, the questions revolve around soft skills, such as Teamwork (ability to work with others).  An example is “Tell me about a time when you faced conflict with a team member?” 

Adaptability. “Describe a time when your company was undergoing a major change?”

Motivation. “Describe a time when you saw a problem and took the initiative ?”

Communication skills. ”Give me an example of a time you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work?”

Problem-solving. “ Tell me about a problem you solved and were rewarded for it by your manager or company?”

Don’t be intimidated!

Prepare for your interview by analyzing both the hard and soft skills needed for the positions you are applying for at companies.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Be brief and be truthful.

The best solution to behavioral interview questions is to use the mnemonic acronym, STAR.

Situation 

What is sought here is the circumstance and context around the event. Usually, a sentence or phrase should be enough to set the stage.

Task 

Briefly summarize the dilemma or describe the main objective. This section should rarely exceed a single sentence.

Action 

Explain what specific course of action you (not the team) took in pursuit of the task. Although this part is essential, the critical element is the result.

Result 

Describe what the action taken did, both in terms of the successful resolution of the situation and its impact on the organization. Use metrics as often as possible. This part is essential because it is what will explain what makes YOU a STAR.

Author BIO

Les Segarnick (The Interview Doctor) is an accomplished recruitment expert, volunteer, and instructor. He has established himself as a well-respected advisor to professionals seeking new job opportunities. Since retiring as President and Owner of Action Employment Services, a national recruiting firm that he owned and led for more than three decades, Les has focused his efforts on sharing his knowledge and expertise in the areas of interview techniques and job search strategies through a wide array of volunteer activities. He is currently serving as a facilitator of career development and job search workshops and regularly spends time conducting one-on-one practice interviews with people in job transition, at no charge. Visit the events calendar for his Friday workshops.

Les has also lectured in a variety of classroom settings on such topics as elevator pitch, resume critique, interview techniques, job search strategies, networking, and the importance of using keywords . He has spoken to Juniors and Seniors at the Fox School of Business at Temple University on job and internships searches.

Through his experience as a hands-on owner of a national recruiting firm, Les was personally involved in more than 3,500 job placements and over 1000 practice interviews. His company specialized in engineering, sales, and marketing, and successfully placed professionals throughout Western New York and around the country. Known as the “The Interview Doctor,” his motto is “Ask Me How I Make a Difference.”

So, tell me about yourself and much more with Alex Freund on Monday, December 28, 2020, 9-11 AM with meeting led by Kevin Keene. Free for Bronze or BENG members or $5 fee. RSVP on Salesforce http://bit.ly/MalvernMon9a  RSVP on Meetup if you want to see who is coming, see the presentation description, and speaker BIO. The Zoom link will come in your email confirmation once registration is complete. We do not send it out, so record it upon…

Top 10 Interview Questions & Tips

Interview preparation takes time. If you want to be good at anything, it takes practice. You must craft your STAR stories and practice your responses to interviewing questions. Below are ten interview questions and how you might respond.

Q1 Interviewer: “Why did you leave your last employer?”

Response from candidate #1: “I was laid off.”

Your response as candidate #2: “ I enjoyed working for the ZYX company for 2 (5, 8, 15, etc.) years. I started as a Customer Service Representative and worked my way up to the Customer Service Manager in 4 years. I worked well with my team and the management staff. Last year, the company lost its largest account and decided to downsize. I was in the third and last reduction in force. When I left, only the maintenance people were there to keep the pipes from freezing.

Evaluate: Who will stand above the competition, who will be remembered?

Tip: Answer questions in paragraphs, not sentences. Paint a picture with your responses to be considered for the second interview.

Q2 Interviewer: “What are three strengths that you bring to the position?”

Tip: Answer with three strengths from the job requirements, using metrics, written using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. Keep in mind the three reasons you are being hired: 

  • Make money for your new employer
  • Save money for your new employer
  • Save time for your new employer

Q3 Interviewer: “What would you consider your greatest accomplishment, so far, in your career?”

Tip: Your response should match any of the job requirements, using metrics, written using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. You should have at least five accomplishment stories matching five different job requirements.

Q4 Interviewer: “Where do you expect to be with our company in the next three years?”

Tip: You want to learn everything there is to know about the position. You are looking to become a bottom-line contributor to the company and become known as a corporate asset as soon as possible.

Q5 Interviewer: “Why should I hire you? Why do you feel you are more qualified for this position than your competitor? What are you bringing to this position?”

Tip: Draw a “T” on a blank page. On the left side, write out job requirements. On the right side, write out and script work-related experiences or transferrable skills using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Tip: Practice interview questions into a mirror, into a voice or video recorder, or practice with a friend or family member. Practice until you can respond in a conversational tone, with passion and motivation. Pretend you are in show business.

Q6 Interviewer: “What questions do you have for me?”

Tip: Respond in the following manner. Yes, I have a few questions for you, but before I get to those, “Do you have any hesitation about my qualifications for this position?”

Then follow up with 3-7 questions about the job itself.

Q7 Interviewer: “What is one thing your former manager asked you to improve upon?”

Tip: State the weakness and the recovery.

Q8 Interviewer: “What would your co-workers say about you?”

Tip: Organized, problem solver, and friendly.

Q9 Interviewer: “Have you gotten angry at work?”

Tip: Use STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result, and respond that you are a good listener, you compromise when necessary, you seek suggestions, and if this fails, you bring the problem to management.

Q10 Interviewer: “What are your salary expectations?”

Tip: Can you share with me what is budgeted for this position? If pushed, have a range in mind.

On Fridays, from 9-11 AM EST, join Les Segarnick for a free workshop on Interviewing Techniques, currently run via Zoom. Register at http://bit.ly/WayneFri9a and also on the meetup of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group at https://www.meetup.com/Philadelphia-Area-Great-Careers-Group/. You must be a meetup member before you can RSVP. 

  

Author BIO

Les Segarnick (The Interview Doctor) is an accomplished recruitment expert, volunteer, and instructor. He has established himself as a well-respected advisor to professionals seeking new job opportunities. Since retiring as President and Owner of Action Employment Services, a national recruiting firm that he owned and led for more than three decades, Les has focused his efforts on sharing his knowledge and expertise in the areas of interview techniques and job search strategies through a wide array of volunteer activities. He is currently serving as a facilitator of multiple career development and job search workshops in Montgomery County, PA, and regularly spends time conducting one-on-one practice interviews with people in job transition, at no charge. 

Les has also lectured in a variety of classroom settings on such topics as elevator pitch, resume critique, interview techniques, job search strategies, networking, and the importance of using keywords . He has spoken to Juniors and Seniors at the Fox School of Business at Temple University on job and internships searches.

Through his experience as a hands-on owner of a national recruiting firm, Les was personally involved in more than 3,500 job placements and over 1000 practice interviews. His company specialized in engineering, sales, and marketing, and successfully placed professionals throughout Western New York and around the country. Known as the “The Interview Doctor,” his motto is “Ask Me How I Make a Difference.”