Hypothetical questions are OUT —- “What would you do if?” Dumb questions anyway. How do you know how you would react if you haven’t experienced the situation?
Behavioral questions are IN.
So, what’s “behavioral” question?
A behavioral question asks about your past experiences and behavior. How did you handle the problem in the past? The interviewer wants to know about your behavior and your ability to think through a problem or situation. If you did it before – you can most likely do it again – good or bad.
Example of a behavioral question –
“Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a coworker?” Often asked question.
What is the best answer? There is no right or wrong answer.
This is about you telling the interviewer about how you handle yourself in difficult or awkward communication situations.
They want to know how you deal with people that you don’t like; people who are bullies; people who are out of control.
The only way to answer this type of question is with an example – “a story.” Your story!
This is where preparation separates the “successes” from the “failures.”
You have to have your stories prepared ahead of time.
What stories should you prepare?
That will depend on the “job posting/description.” There are clues in those postings, letting you know what will be expected of you. It’s your job to pick out what is important to this job. These are the key factors of the job. These are the questions that will most likely be asked.
BOOK RECOMMENDATION TO LEARN ABOUT BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Boost Your Interview IQ – Second Edition (white cover – published last year – 2012) – for a quick brush up on Behavioral Interviewing as well as other questions. It’s a quiz and you determine which is the strongest answer.
The book is available at many bookstores.
FROM A CLIENT
“Boost Your Interview IQ” by Carole Martin provides you with the essential skills and techniques you need to apply in any real life interviewing scenario. If you are truly interested in exploring the fundamentals and learning the essentials of job interviewing, then this book will be an important guide.
Before I read Carole Martin’s book, I must admit that I was lost when it came to interviews. As a young lawyer with three years of experience in my field, I truly thought that I knew everything it took to effectively express myself and market my skills to a potential employer. I had conducted countless client interviews myself, and so I thought I had most question and answer techniques down to a science. But when I flunked my first major interview for a dream job with a prestigious employer, I realized that I needed help from an expert. In hindsight, I wish I had sought out this information earlier. Perhaps because I was too accustomed to being sought out by others as an expert in my own field of law that I did not realize I needed an expert’s advice on basic interview techniques.
I am thankful that I contacted Carole Martin and found her book “Boost Your Interview IQ.” I feel that I have begun the journey towards interview success. In my opinion, learning real life interview techniques should not be about “gimmicks” or “tricks”. Instead, Carole Martin provides a wide-range of examples that point you in the right direction. You will learn through a question and answer technique designed by Carole that will give you a thorough understanding of the basics. Reading this book is the beginning of a journey that will equip you with the essentials of interviewing. So if you are curious about how to interview, then I recommend you read this book first. The rest is up to you!”