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Behavioral Interviews Defined Job interviews occur in a variety of formats and styles.

In behavior based interviews, employers ask questions that force applicants to describe specific situations where they have utilized skills required in the position for which they are applying. The questions typically begin with phrases such as “Tell me about a time when…” or “Describe a situation in which you…” Behavioral questions are extremely popular because employers believe past behavior is the best predictor of future performance. If a candidate can successfully describe how they utilized a particular skill in the past, chances are that s/he will do so in the future. Answering Behavioral Questions Effectively answering behavior-based interview questions requires a structured procedure and a lot of practice. It is critical to use a specific example when answering these questions. Examples will ideally come from current or previous employment, internships, research projects, volunteer activities, class projects, organization involvement, or leisure activities. Successful answers require two components: 1. Articulating specific examples that best illustrate what you can do for an employer. 2. A comprehensive answer including four components known as the “S.T.A.R.” technique: Situation: What was the setting or situation of this example? Task: What specific task or problem had to be addressed? Action..: What specific skills/tools did you use to address the above task? Result: What was the result of your behavior? .. Action is where most of your time should be spent in your answer because it is the area where you are able to showcase your skills. Use skill words in your answer! Sample Question/Answer Question: Tell me about a time you were in conflict with another person and how you handled this situation.

. I coordinated a meeting with our director to request feedback on our dilemma. I tactfully explained the reasons for my venue selection including information on pricing and location. Sample Behavior Based Questions The following are examples of Behavior Based Interview questions that focus on a wide range of performance attributes that employers frequently try to assess during an interview. my colleague and I had very different views on where the event should be held. With her input and guidance we were able to compromise on a venue location that we all felt comfortable with. then though to change the design in such a way based on quickly availability of 8” line size with two headers. Then. Anticipating questions as well as preparing & practicing responses is critical!! . In every response you should answer the following questions even if it is not asked directly by the employer: What was the Situation or setting? What specific Task or problem had to be addressed? What specific Actions did you take? What was the Result or outcome? Tell me about a time you used creativity to solve a problem. Behavioral Interviews The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. I politely asked her to explain her choice.Answer: In my recent Event Coordinating Internship. (Situation) When it came time to select a venue. When we were still unable to come to an agreement. OVER . Task/Problem: which could result into delay on project by 6 months? Action: First though to install temporary lines of LLRTP. Result: Problem solved and avoided delay on project Explain the most difficult decision you have made in the last six months and your process for deciding. and listened carefully to her reasoning. This material is available in alternative formats upon request. Situation: During the HAZOP it was recommended by operations and C&A engineer to install radar type level transmitter for safeguarding the existing tanks . Situation: Non-availability of CS PE lined 10” and 12” line pipes in market on required time... (Task) When I became aware of this conflict I quickly scheduled a time for us to sit down and discuss the issue. (Actions) As a result of our thoughtful professional approach we maintained an excellent working relationship despite our different views and the event location was a huge success. (Result) . another intern and I were in charge of co-planning a fund raising event for a local nonprofit organization.

Task/Problem: Accepting a decision was difficult during HAZOP since it has to be installed during coming shutdown. Action: I took initiative to talk to Process discipline head and convince him how important this project for PDO to complete on time and requested him to priorities his Process Engineer work and nominate him as a chairman for this project. Describe a situation in which you believe you were effective in achieving an aggressive goal. valves. Team agreed. and other assets to get those Radar transmitters and finally we succeeded to get on time and could install during shutdown.from HH level at Qaharir. Situation: Thuleilat Tank fabrication was to be completed by contractor on time. It was forced by team that this needs to be done in this project only as there is no other opportunity. Tell me about the most significant project you have worked on in which it was crucial to keep track of details while still managing the “big picture. Luckily all heat Nos. After award of contract to GSI Dubai. He has reviewed the situation and came back with positive answer. and time available was very short. but he could not do it because he does not have chairman to chair the session. are suppose to be tested. Task/Problem: If we don’t organize a design review session on time then it will delay the FED/DD of the project. there was 22 heat Nos. To speed up the testing I requested lab to work extra hours with premium. was passed. Plates were procured from different manufacturers and had different heat Nos. Later on. Describe your best example of taking the initiative to do something that needed to be done. Later on discuss with PDO approved laboratory and TPI agency Velosi to do the HIC testing in a sequence which are already started for cutting and rolling. Now situation was that contractor had started cutting and rolling pf plates with his own risk without doing HIC testing from PDO approved lab. Action: My goal was to complete the tank installation on time hence I discuss with PE to find out how many heat Nos. scrubbers to be replaced and . Result: Finally HAZOP team and operation were happy. we search in market. It is important from safety point of view to safeguard the tanks. Action: First of all convince to the team that my project team will make an attempt to install during coming shut down. may fail the testing and consequences are that they have to procure the new plates. Result: DR conducted on time. piping.” Situation: Zauliyah Station Expansion project was to refurbish and upgrade the complete IR reciprocating compressor package. the compressor skid was transported to Dubai to open for an inspection which will identify parts/components. stocks. even though it wasn’t your responsibility. which will delay the tank construction. if not possible then we will install in next available shutdown. If we have do it outside the plant shutdown then it will cause deferment. Task/Problem: It could be case that some of the heat Nos. Situation: It was a Contractor’s responsibility to organize a design review session for Qaharir Water Treatment project. Result: Manage to obtain all HIC test results before start of the fabrication.

elec. ensure that design package is feasible for construction. but based on progress achieved I was having concern to complete balance work in available time. Result: By doing above action. quality assurance.. Action: Mobilize resident engineer at GSI Dubai and also mobilized TPI agency to ensure the quality. Tell me a time when you voiced a concern or disagreement to a co-worker. less interest Action: I have made presentation to the team about project objective. modification to the FCS/IPS. Task/Problem: Big commercial impact may come due to unexpected scope change. My thought was that we should have picture/sketch which defines the each SOW and battery limits. headers. PDO construction and . supervisor. All these work needs to be done by various specialist contractors and interfaces between them to be managed by us. CS pipelines. Result: I believe that I could communicate my thoughts clearly to the team. Objective of the review was to identify the new ideas. Task/Problem: It could be case that various contractors will not be clear about overall project scope and their own scope. or professor. Later on formed the small groups discipline (civil. Situation: We had situation in Qata/Rahab Expansion project scope consist of onplot. GSI performance. Describe a time when you had success communicating your thoughts clearly to another person or group. each group will have engineers from design. By raising a concern PDO higher management spoken to contractor’s higher management. Task/Problem: Loss of focus. They were reporting me to manage the overall project. Since he is already behind schedule and he is still keep promising me that he will cope up. pipeline) wise. Task/Problem: Project could delay as schedule came to an landing of P50/50. Situation: During Constructability review session I have to lead a team of 18 to 20 people from site. Tell me about a situation in which you had to lead several other people to achieve a goal. Action: We had sat down in a group of engineers from design consultant who is going to write SOW for contractors and PDO. It was crucial from contractual and commercial point of view to keep a track of all the details and still to manage the big picture. mech. and contractor. I also use to visit GSI fortnightly to see the progress and understand the details.modified. Situation: My contractor was giving me an assurance that he will complete the construction by agreed contractual time. GRE Pipelines. They promised that they will put additional resources on balance job to complete the work on schedule time. C&A. design. strategy. Result: By raising a concern and due to management support we could bring the project on schedule. tie-in strategy. Action: During management review meeting I have raised a concern that I am confident that my contractor will not be able to complete the balance work in schedule time. etc. I could manage to keep track on details and also overall picture. scope. Which was accepted by group and we had developed a sketch which defines the complete scope of the project with various interfaces between contractors.

Situation: We had a network of 5 MSV’s connected to 8” production headers and 10” / 12” bulk headers from MSV’s to Qata manifold. It was ultimately a team work to get success. Vessel piping nozzles and instrument connections were closed with blind flanges. 8” bulk header and other 2 MSV’s with another 8” bulk header and then both 8” bulk headers will join to Qata manifold. Situation: During pre-commissioning of compressor package we opened manhole of scrubber and found that it has dirt and fine sand. Task/Problem: commissioning will be delayed and hence got stressed Action: First of all I made myself calm and cool since I know in stress it will make mistake and ultimately will spend more time and delay will happened. During this discussion they discover the points some of the things are feasible at site at this stage. Finally we had changed design to hook-up 3 MSV’s with one 1 No. . This was checked hydraulically to verify the back pressure on wells and found in acceptable limits of maximum 13 barg. WPAI design engineer was leading that small group and explaining what he did during design phase and what is put in the AFC package. Tell me about a time when someone was critical of your work and how you dealt with the criticism. Some of the tie-in’s can be done before shutdown. fitters. Construction engineers were challenging them from constructability point of view. Such details were presented by each group leader and had interactive session. Describe a recent group project you experienced when you peers were not pulling their weight. Result: Commissioning was delayed by two days Tell me about a time that you were effective in putting your technical expertise to use to solve a problem. The action points were recorded by me. I had called for an urgent meeting with commissioning team to find out what is the best option we can clean the scrubber and arranged manpower and technicians. Later on again it was cleaned manually to ensure that there are no solid particles. Result: Minor cost increase in project budget but could bring project on schedule by putting my technical expertise to solve this problem. Describe one of your most stressful experiences and how you coped with the situation. Mobile vacuum tanker was arranged to hook-up with scrubber and operations started. Result: By leading the above session I could get best out of the team. This is shocking news as we were planning to start commissioning of compressor next day. Action: I took initiative to review various options to change the design such as lay down of temporary LLRTP line pipe and replace it with CS line pipes on arrival at later date. Other option reviewed that to install 8” lines (since it was available). Scrubber was boxed back with piping and instruments.WPAI construction. Task/Problem: 10” / 12” line pipes was not available for bulk headers in market to meet project schedule.

The whole situation was discussed with operations and maintenance departments explaining why there is delay. Task/Problem: Change shut down date which is linked with maintenance. some of the materials barrowed from other projects. Due to non-availability of some of the materials we could not install the tie-in’s on schedule date. Result: By doing above actions we could built strong relationships with WPAI where none existed before. review meetings.Give me a time when you were responsible for a project that didn’t go they way you expected. but that will be too heavy and additional stiffeners may affect process separation. Situation: Two years back PDO awarded a contract to WPAI. Action: Arranged some of the materials by air fright. the same water get transfer to second chamber. Accordingly new date for shut down was arrived. I have given them assurance that we will not change this date now. Result: Could obtain approval for new shut down date and accordingly tie-in’s were completed. I had challenged that how much preventive maintenance activities can be delayed. Action: We had KOM. who does not have any relationship with South Oman. It was planned to install the tie-in’s (piping. new contract terms and condition. we made an attempt to execute the tie-in’s on schedule date but we were hit by few materials. Finally convince them that we had managed all materials and need shutdown on 15th June 2007. and business lunch. few workshops. We told them in first place itself schedule was tight looking in to market conditions. Another suggestion came . such as design of partition wall for static head. but again danger is that it may go to gas blow bye situation. Situation: We were in HAZOP review session of Qaharir Water Treatment project. Describe a time when you were working with a team that needed to make a group decision. yet there was not agreement in the group. First time in PDO such contract. Families get together. Based on availability of materials plan was revised and kept some contingency on schedule. electrical and C&A) during RTQ stations shut down planned on 15th Feb 2007. How did you handle it? Situation: There was a project to install tie-in’s for RTQ projects. This risk was identified well in advance. directors. social activities. There is a scenario that due process upset second chamber of the GFT may get empty via WI pumps and there is a danger for collapsing of partition wall due to differential pressure. Tell me about a time when you built strong relationships where none existed before. managers. Task/Problem: New area of working. New people. Major process separation of oil and solids takes place in first chamber. Keep trust on each other. The GFT has two chamber by partition wall. Installation of goose neck outside and inside the tank. PE’s workshop. Finally change proposal was agreed and signed by stakeholders. Action: Group has discussed various solutions on this. Task/Problem: Damage to the tank. some of the materials search in surplus yard. Team were discussing the issue about GFT partition wall.

We requested to supply bushings and O rings which were damaged on urgent basis from current manufacturing slots. Tell me about a time when you faced an unexpected emergency at work. Action: Called local contractor and inform the scope verbally. . They were searching for spares and could not locate due to changeover of contractors from Galfar to EMC. Action: We had contacted Sulzer and explain the background and losses we are occurring due to deferment and how much pressure we have from management. Result: Good support from contractors could help us to repair this line immediately and start WI. Situation: Leakage on 24” WI header at MMPS. repair of this line on emergency basis. Situation: We had handed over Thuleilat WI Phase-2 project in March 2005 to the operations. Recently in Feb 2007 this pump has been seized due to dry run by operations mistake. and resources. stud bolts. Even though it was there responsibility of arrange the spares but they came back to Project to help them to expedite and put our influence (by looking for future business to Sulzer on current projects) on Sulzer. No body was confident for its operation. WI reduced. packing. Commissioning and 5 years operations spares were purchased and handed over to operations at the time of handover. Tell me about your best example of customer service. Task/Problem: WI stopped and hence production deferment. He arranged all and we went to the site to repair leak and completed the job in 4 hours. Agreed delivery (44 weeks from issue of PO) date is end of October 2007. who is our internal client. but that also never install on vertical direction plate. Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventative measures. Describe a time when you used persuasion (influence) convince someone to see things your way. etc. Result: Finally group could not take decision and left to discuss further with vendors and find a solution. production deferment. This was agreed by Sulzer and supplied the spares by air delivery. Generally they are install on roof. Result: I believe this is the best example for customer service.to install blow off hatch. Commission the line back in operation. Situation: We had placed a PO to Pibivi Valves Italy to supply 16” 300# ESD valve for installation on 16” Qata to Qaharir GRE pipeline. In this project we had installed Sulzer make P-8312 WI pump of 2MW (10.000m3/d x 110barg). I had requested him to arrange materials such as clamps. Task/Problem: Pump is down.

to locate this valve in PDO redundant facility . Another example can be quoted from Qata Expansion headers design changed from 10” and 12” to 8” size. Take some of the actions on my side. . if he does not do it what is the impact on project. Result: I had the problem.check any other project ahead than us can spare this valve Result: I had anticipated the potential problem and took preventive measures. Tell me about a time when you successfully worked with someone you didn’t particularly like. Action: We had made upfront arrangement with vendor to supply this valve by air instead of ship so we will save 3-4 weeks on delivery incase required. Requested him to be punctual for meetings with reasonable tolerances on late.Task/Problem: The delivery of this item is critical to commission the pipeline by Nov 2007. Inform to his higher management that he has to improve on his work. requirement id pneumatic type. which was resolved. Action: Since I did not had any other choice other than working with him as my counter part. Poor communication oral and written both. Situation: I had a situation with my design consultant PE (Gordon Arndt [garndt@elwatt.com]) at EE for Al-Burj ED WI project that I could not like him because of his unprofessionally style of working. This is contingency plan to avoid delay. ultimately that he left the company since all PE has same problems. Task/Problem: Clashes during the progress meeting. First of all I thought let me be calm and cool with this person rather than getting angry and try to explain the my requirements. No punctuality.check the PDO stores/stock (found valve by with hydraulic actuator. we had taken following preventive measures to avoid delay is: . hence need modification and refurbishment on ESD) . In parallel. Not fulfilling the commitments.

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