Preparing for a job interview is a key factor of success in any job search. To prepare for a job interview, however, candidates must understand how to respond to behavioral interviewing. One of the most common mistakes people make in interviews is failing to answer these clearly, concisely and with confidence.
Behavioral interviewing is a technique used to probe into the candidate’s inner-self, motivation, adaptability, etc. These questions help interviewers better understand how a candidate developed and applied a skill, ability, or character trait in their pursuit of a successful outcome of a project or task in a previous role. Specific, open-ended questions can be asked that requires candidates to give detailed answers, and thus, will provide insights as to how a potential candidate might approach and overcome a particular challenge. Please also see my article, Predicting Candidates’ Success.
“Tell me about a time when you were given a challenging project or task with an unreasonable timeline.
What did you do?”
“Tell me about a time when you were given an assignment that was beyond your comfort-level, skills, and/or experience? What did you do? Were you successful? Did you grow professionally as a result? How?”
A candidate’s answers to these questions will help an interviewer understand whether this person has the personality, attitude, aptitude, and experience to succeed in their company and culture. Each company, however, has developed its own culture over time (Please see Company Culture). Thus, in crafting their responses, candidates should take into account a company’s culture whenever possible.
Your answers will also allow the interviewer to gauge your ability and comfort in constructing a concise, intelligible and credible story. At some point in your career, you may need to speak in front of senior managers, peers, clients, etc. To be seen as articulate and professional, will be critical to your progressive career in future roles within this company.
Preparation is Key to Acing a Job Interview
Jim Lynch PhD