It seems like every day there’s something more you need to know to conduct a successful job search. From resume errors you want to avoid to ways to beat applicant tracking systems, it’s a lot to take in! And once you land the interview, there’s even more. Even if you and your resume seem a perfect match to the job, hiring managers often use behavioral job interview questions designed to make sure. They’re questions that ask how you reacted in a previous work experience so companies can predict what your future decision making and actions might be like.
The most important thing to remember about your answers to behavioral job interview questions is that they need to be honest. A good interviewer isn’t going to settle for your quick story of how you satisfied a dissatisfied customer. They’re going to ask you exactly what you did, why you did it, and what you were thinking at the time.
How will you know if you’re in a behavioral job interview? If you hear questions that start with phrases like “describe a time when” or “tell me a situation that,” you’re in one! Will you be prepared?
Since behavioral job interview questions are designed to see if you possess the skills to match the job, you need to know what skills the employer is looking for. You also need to know about the company and what they might consider the “right” answer.
If a job posting for a medical assistant asks for a candidate with great interpersonal skills and compassion, think of examples from your work and personal life where you demonstrated both. If that position in business administration calls for fine attention to detail and excellent follow through, offer up long term projects on which you found success. It doesn’t have to be from work. Maybe you led a project for your church or received a black belt in karate. And if they’re looking for someone who knows how to work well on a team, think about teams you’ve been on and contributed to.
You know what they’re looking for and the stories you’re going to use as examples of your worthiness for the job. But how will you tell those stories? Short is better. Break down your examples to three parts: problem, action, outcome. What was the challenge you encountered? What did you do to solve the problem? What was the result? Be quick, concise, and ready to answer any questions that fill in the details.
If you want to pass a behavioral job interview with flying colors, be prepared and follow through. This is what you’ll need to know:
· As much as you can about company and the position
· Whether you’re in a behavioral job interview
· What experiences from your past could positively predict your future actions
· How to tell a problem—action—outcome story
At Charter College we know that there’s sooooo much to think about when you prepare for a job search. That’s why our Career Services staff is dedicated to helping you overcome any obstacle you encounter. You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Contact us today.