Behavior-Based InterviewsTo prepare for behavior-based interviews:
- Identify the skills you have that relate to the position for which you've applied.
- Think of examples that show how you demonstrated those skills. Concentrate on developing complete answers that, like a story, have a beginning, middle and end.
- Quantify results with numbers or percentages whenever possible. They strengthen your story and add credibility.
- Be prepared to provide examples of when results didn't turn out as you planned. After all, we don't live in an ideal world. How did you cope with failure or disappointment?
Before starting the interview, identify two or three of your top selling points and determine how you will convey these points using stories during the interview.
Some people have trouble describing their accomplishments; maybe that includes you. Meet the "STAR" method; an easy way to describe your skills and accomplishments. Each part of a STAR answer is important to help you explain the skills you possess. Your job is to tell the interviewer a specific story that illustrates how you used the skills they want to learn about.
The STAR approach proves you get results. Each STAR story includes:
|S = Situation||Describe the situation.|
|T = Task||Describe the task you needed to accomplish.|
|A = Action||Describe the action/behavior you took and why.|
|R = Results||Describe the results/outcomes of your actions.
This is critical!
Here's an example of a STAR answer:
Question: Describe a time when you had to exert leadership in a crisis situation.
Answer: "Right before Thanksgiving, most of the guys in my fraternity had left for the weekend break. Our fraternity president had already left for home when we got a call that Josh, one of our fraternity members had been involved in a serious car accident. I called his parents in Rockford then called the Dean of Students so the college was aware of the accident. I volunteered to go to the hospital to be with Josh until his parents arrived. While I waited, I made arrangements for them to stay at the Relaxed Inn near the hospital when they got to Rock Island. When his parents arrived, they were so grateful I had taken time to help them and make arrangements for them so they could focus on their son. Our chapter advisor and the Dean congratulated me for keeping a cool head and handling the situation."
Still have a question? Email the Career Center.