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Behavioral job interviews inquire about past experiences to see how you’ve handled work situations. The interviewers want to know details about your skills, personality and abilities in hopes they can predict things about your future behaviors. They might inquire about how you work under pressure, how you manage stress, how you dealt with mistakes and failures, how you handle conflict and how your work on a team.

To prepare for the interview, have several anecdotes ready to showcase your skills and abilities. Here are some common behavioral questions and strategies to answer them.

STAR technique

The STAR technique is a good way to answer questions about your past experiences.  First, describe the Situation. Next, explain that Task you were asked to complete or issue you were trying to solve. Then, describe the Action you took. And finally, tell the interviewer about the Results of your action. Focus on how your actions benefited the company.

Conflict

Hiring managers want to be sure you won’t be the cause of workplace turmoil, so choose an example when someone else was the instigator. Be specific about your actions and explain how you had the maturity and communication skills to capably resolve the conflict in a way that was successful. A story about a mended relationship that resulted in more effective teamwork and greater productivity would be perfect!

Stress

You want to show you can handle pressure situations and don’t get overwhelmed to the point you can no longer function. Think of a time you successfully met a tight deadline or gave a presentation to a prestigious client. How was your company better because of your diligence and calm composure.

Failure

Employers want to see you can take responsibility for your mistakes and learn from them. Perhaps you unknowingly gave an inaccurate price to a customer. Did you own up to it? Were you able to resolve the discrepancy to everyone’s satisfaction? What have you learned from that mistake?

Problem solving

Prove you’re creative and have critical-thinking skills necessary to handle any challenge that pops up.

Teamwork

You want to demonstrate you work well with others. Tell a story that shows you can collaborate with others, communicate effectively and are willing to share team tasks, credit and blame.

As you prepare for your interview, review the job requirements and target the skills you possess that match those requirements with stories that support them. If you have one story that demonstrates each of the above qualities, you should be well prepared! And make sure all your stories are true! They’ll be relatively easy for a hiring manager to verify as he calls your references. For more tips on how to really shine in a job interview, contact us today.


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