Answering Behavioural Interview Questions

admin  -  Feb 28, 2013  -  No Comments


How you answer those tricky behavioral interview questions is pivotal to your ultimate interviewing success.

You know the type of question:-

“Tell me about yourself”

“What is your biggest weakness?”

“Give me an example of when you last demonstrated leadership at work”

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”

The list is endless; though this type of question at face value looks quite easy, how hard can it be to talk about yourself for a couple of minutes? But hold on; this type of interview questioning technique, which can also be known as competency based, or situational interview questioning, is the savvy interviewer’s number one tool for selecting candidates.

These techniques rank higher for recruiters than psychometric testing, and other forms of candidate assessment. So what’s so special about this form of questioning?

Well the saying goes that humans are creatures of habit, and that what we’ve done before, we are most likely to do again in the future. And these questions are designed to show the interviewer how you have handled specific situations in the past, and therefore how you may handle them in the future.

Even the most innocent of these questions offers a real insight into your personality, and will be closely observed by the canny interviewer. If interviewers are asking these questions to get job seekers to open up and tell them what they have done previously. This is exactly what you should give them with your answers.

This is where your interview preparation will come into play, because rather than answering these questions on the fly, it is critical that you have done your homework, and have a strategy for answering. A strategy that ensures you provide the right information, framed within the best style for your interviewers enjoyment.

There is a recognised interview answering technique that does this for you, ensuring you turn your experience, and relevant personality traits, into compelling, commercially aware, stories specifically designed for your interviewer.

Just imagine the power you would have if you were told before the interview; what your interviewer most wanted, and how they wanted to hear it. If this were the case do you think you could win more job offers, or promotions? Would this be a valuable life skill worth learning? How much money would this be worth to you, across your whole career?

As a pro recruiter, I can assure you with no exaggeration that the skill I refer to has the potential to be truly life changing. The good news; the question answering framework is simple to learn, and could be compared to a highly tuned sports car. Your interview research is the fuel for your sports car, done properly and your car flies like the wind, done badly and your car splutters and miss-fires.

The answering framework I recommend using is the STAR method; an acronym with the ‘S’ standing for specific situation, ‘T’ for task or target, ‘A’ for the actions you took, and the ‘R’ the results from your actions.

If you ensure your answers follow the STAR method, and you deliver your answers in what I call STAR stories, you will be well on your way to conquering the modern interview process.

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