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Behavioral Interview

Behavioral Interview

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Published by tombrumaht
Behavioral interview training seminars, Behavioral interview, Behavioral interviews
Behavioral interview training seminars, Behavioral interview, Behavioral interviews

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Published by: tombrumaht on Aug 24, 2010
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06/08/2013

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Behavioral interview
So you're a college student who has landed your first interview for a collegeinternship or full time job. Now if you've given it much thought, you've probablyasked yourself "Self, What exactly are those recruiters looking for as an ideal answer to their questions?"The first thing you should have probably asked is "Self, What are they going to asme in that interview?" For that, please refer to my article Questions recruiters arelikely to ask in an interview. After you've read through that, read on in this article! Now that you know recruiters are very likely to ask you behavioral questions, the nextthing to do is to figure out what they are looking for in an ideal response. And thewonderful thing is that there is a systematic response you can give to every singlequestion they can throw at you! You just have to know how to formulate it. That'swhere I come in.In my very first interview freshman year (with General Electric), I thought I was providing great answers, had some great experiences to share, etc. I look at it now,and it's no surprise I didn't hear back from them. I even wonder how fast it took therecruiter to throw away my resume.Here's an example of mine of what not to do... The interviewer asked me "Tell meabout a time you demonstrated leadership." To which I responded fairly plainly"Well...I was Senior Patrol Leader in Boy Scouts for several years, that's probably my best example of leadership."The interviewer was nice and tried to help me through the rest of the interview, buthonestly, it was a train-wreck. I hope you can see why. Now I know you won't ever do anything quite that bad, and I wrote this article to make sure of it.Recruiters who use behavioral questions are looking for responses in what's called theSTAR format. That breaks down into:SituationTask Actions TakenResultsAs long as you answer behavioral questions in that format, you cannot go wrong! Andthe cool part about it is that it flows in a logical order that keeps you on track. By practicing this format, you are guaranteed to answer questions fully and concisely.So let's get down to the details of the Situation component. The Situation is basicallysetting the stage for your response with the relevant background information. This
 
includes where and when you were working (company, how old/what year in school),and maybe a bit of info on the problem you faced.The Task blends slightly with the Situation, and is just as simple. This is somethingalong the lines of "I was assigned to do x." Plain and simple, it may be the moststraight forward part of your response. Keep in mind that it also sets up the measuringstick for your results, so be sure that it is actually what you were assigned to do!The Actions portion of your response should be where the meat of your answer is.You need to take this opportunity to say "I performed xyz analysis and used abc toolsto do so." or "I led the group by doing abc." You also need to consider howtechnically savvy your interviewer is. If she/he is an engineer, then you can feel freeto go into a few (but not too many!) details about what you did. If you get an HR  person doing the interview, don't even try to go into details, it probably won't help!The Results should also be very easy, but is without question the most important partof your response. As interviewers and companies are looking for candidates who have been extremely effective in their past jobs and experiences, this is where they look todetermine if you are someone they want to hire. Use this opportunity to highlight your results, and their impact on the company: awards, cost savings, sales made, production improvement, etc. Don't short change yourself on this section, its criticalthat you highlight every positive impact that you made!I also must warn you not to exaggerate or lie about your accomplishments! Thisdoesn't ever help anyone in the process, especially if a company does their homework  by calling your provided references to ask about you!Finally, your response should take approximately 3-5 minutes total. Any longer, andyou've lost the attention of your interviewer. Any shorter, and you probably haven'tgotten your message across either.A good interviewer will also probe you with questions like "Tell me more about that"or will guide you along with "So what was the result of that?" All I can say is don'trely on them to help you along. Ace it the first time through!Here is an example of one of my responses all put together. See if you can pick outeach section. I used this response typically for a question along the lines of "Tell meabout a time you faced a difficult technical challenge.""While working at NASA, Kennedy Space Center, I was in an organization that wasdoing preliminary design work for the Launch Pad systems of new rockets we areusing to go to the Moon and Mars. We received Flight Vehicle Commodity Loadingrequirements from Johnson Space Center and Marshall Space Center, and thendesigned the Launch Pad accordingly.""My boss had originally given an assignment to a Contractor and was not happy withtheir progress. I was assigned to take over the project, lead the contractor, and comeup with multiple conceptual solutions for providing a specified amount of liquidhelium to the vehicle on the launch pad and cost estimates for each method within 2weeks."

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