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Interviewing Behavior-Based Interviews


Despite the type of job, candidates can expect to be asked behavior-based questions in most of their job interviews. The theory behind behavioral interviewing assumes that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. Employers use the behavioral interview technique to evaluate a candidate’s experiences and behaviors so they can determine the applicant’s potential for success. To answer these questions well, applicants should give detailed descriptions of actual situations and how they handled those situations. Some of the characteristics employers try to assess through behavioral interviewing include:


 Critical Thinking Skills  Organizational Skills  Work Ethic  Problem-Solving Skills  Self-Confidence  Tactfulness  Analytical Skills  Motivation/Initiative  Conflict Resolution  Communication Skills


 Honesty/Integrity  Maturity  Flexibility  Teamwork  Decision Making  Achievement  Attention to Detail  Stress Management  Technical Expertise  Leadership


Questions are typically not structured as questions, but are intended to elicit a specific example. Questions typically start out:


a situation…”or “Give me an example of…” “Tell me about a time…” or “Describe


To demonstrate the desired behavior, be ready with examples that include past internships or work experiences, related classes or projects, extra-curricular activities, leadership, team involvement, athletics, and community service.


Behavior-Based Questions *Tell me about the most satisfying and least satisfying jobs you ever held and why. (Maturity)


*Tell me about a time you were part of a group and the role you played. (Teamwork)


*Describe a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done. (Initiative)


*Describe a major problem you have encountered and how you dealt with it. (Problem-Solving)


*Tell me about a time when you spoke in front of a group of people. (Communication)


*Tell me about the most rewarding accomplishment you’ve had since starting college. (Motivation)


*Describe a time when a team member came to you for help. How did you respond? (Teamwork)


*Tell me about a leadership role you had and describe what makes a good leader. (Leadership)


*Tell me about a time you had to work under pressure to meet a deadline or complete a project. (Work Ethic)


Reasons Potential Employees are Rejected in the Interview


 Failure to research the company  An “all about ME” attitude  Asks no questions about the job  Poor personal appearance/dress/hygiene  No leadership potential  Excessive interest in salary/benefits  Unrealistic salary demands  Arriving late to the interview  Inability to express self clearly  Lack of interest and enthusiasm  Lack of preparation & practice  Unwilling to relocate  Lack of maturity  Failure to keep eye contact  Lack of poise or self-confidence


“I had an interview with Yahoo in Colorado and their recruiter asked me every single question my Career Coach and I practiced! I got a call back for a second interview in California. I highly recommend a visit to Career Services—they really helped me obtain my first career position.”


Inga Maslova PhD, Statistics


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