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How To Ace A Behavioral Interview

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Analyze Your Learning Style

How to ace the behavioral interview and get hired today!

Before you can start experimenting with different studying methods, you need to understand what type of learner you are:

Is your memory associated to sound?

Maybe you can remember what you were reading when a particular song was playing? If this is your case, then you fall into the category of auditory learners.

If you want to start studying more efficiently, then it would be wise to record the lectures and listen to them instead of reading textbooks.

Do you relate information to visual content?

If you are a visual learner, you should implement images, graphs, charts, infographics, colorful lists, flashcards, and other types of visual content when you study.

Are you a physical learner?

If your learning style is not auditory or visual, then you might be a physical learner. Some students have too much energy they tap their feet or play with a pen during lectures.

A walk before a lecture will calm your nerves down. You can try studying or listening to audio lectures during a walk. That will help you remember the information more quickly.

How To Pick The Right Success Stories

Instead of slogging through trying to come up with a success story for every possible behavioral questions there are 2 things you can do instead.

  • Only prepare success stories for the most common categories of behavioral questions.
  • Do some cutting edge company research in order to find out what specific qualities your company is looking for and then craft a few success stories that highlight those specific qualities.
  • Time Saving Tactic 1

    First I want to give you the 5 categories of common behavioral questions.

    The fact is, there are certain types of behavioral questions that are asked more often than others. By knowing these common types, you can prepare a success story to address each category.

    Lets take a look at the common behavior based question categories:

  • Teamwork Oriented
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Challenge/Stress/Pressure
  • If you prepare a success story to cover each these 5 categories then you will be covering your bases pretty well and be saving yourself a lot of time in preparation.

    You just need to be able tweak your success story to whatever question comes down the pipe.

    For example, heres another example of a good success story that can be used when answering a problem solving type behavior based question. In this case, I was working for a pro sports team as a Season Ticket Sales Representative:

    Your task is to come up with one good success story for each of the common behavioral categories. You can look to the problem solving example above for inspiration.

    Learn About The Company

    It can be helpful to research the company. As with the job listing, this research will give you a sense of the qualities and abilities that interviewers will prioritize.

    If time permits, conduct informational interviews with professional contacts in the field to get input regarding the preferred skills, knowledge bases, and personal qualities of successful employees in that type of job.

    Read Also: How To Ask For A Job Interview

    How Do You Answer A Behavioral Interview Question

    You should answer a behavioral interview question with the STAR method. The star method stands for: Situation, Action, Task Result. The STAR method allows yout fully provide context on the situation you are in to be able to show how well you handled a certain situation at work. This will also allow an employer to understand if the way youve handled past situations will determine future situations.

    Situation State the situation you were in

    Task What tasks did the situation require? What tasks did you have to do to solve the problem mentioned?

    Action Share the action you took in that situation to resolve it

    Result What was the result?

    Lets look at an example with the interview question, Tell me about a time you failed. .

    Non STAR Interview Answer:

    I failed at work when I messed up on a previous project, I input the wrong numbers in a spreadsheet and the entire system went down for 2 days.

    STAR Interview Answer:

    S- In my previous job, I was responsible for collaborating with over six different teams to input their quarterly sales quotas into our system. It required an immense amount of attention to detail. I also created the system myself proactively to solve challenges the company was running into every quarter.

    A- That being said, to avoid this from happening again, we created a series of checks and balances in this process. In future processes, we were also more careful to look at what could have widespread impact in the company as a result of human error.

    Facebook Behavioral Questions: Leadership

    How to Use Stories to Ace Your Behavioral Interview ...

    In addition to employees with a collaborative nature, Facebook is looking for employees who are able to motivate their team, resolve conflicts, drive alignment, and build relationships. This is because most roles will involve not only working in teams, but also leading them when appropriate.

    This would be a good time to show that youve got drive and empathy, particularly if you’re interviewing for a manager role. Some of the leadership skills that Facebook is looking for in these questions include how you earn trust and take ownership, process and grow from past experiences, support the people around you, and overcome difficult situations.

    Example behavioral questions asked at Facebook: Leadership

    • Tell me about a time you lead a team
    • Tell me about a time you had to step up and take responsibility for others
    • Tell me about your worst boss and why they were bad
    • How would you advocate for a commitment to a priority, when that priority is not high on someone else’s list?
    • How would you manage timelines in a highly matrixed environment, where there is no top down authority?

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    You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    We all make mistakes during work.

    However, its important to show that you can learn from those mistakes and improve. In the end, nobody wants to hire someone who makes the same mistakes over and over again.

    This can come in the form of the following questions:

    • Tell me about a time when you failed at something. How did you handle the situation?
    • What is your weakness?

    Yes, you can use this point to construct a great answer for What is your weakness? For example, you can find a mistake or shortcoming you have, acknowledge it, and show the interviewer how you are trying to improve it. I believe this answer will sound a whole lot better than: Im a perfectionist.

    Study The Role Youre Applying For

    Given Amazon’s notoriously high standards for their hiring process, you should also do as much research as you can about the role you’re applying for along with the work that the role’s department/team actually does. Your interviewer is bound to ask questions aimed at evaluating if you’re a culture fit, and your prior research will only help to make the best impression possible.

    Not only that but your research regarding the role you’re applying for can give you a good impression on the behavioral skills necessary for the job. And by extension, it can give you a good idea of the behavioral questions they may ask regarding those skills.

    Recommended Reading: How To Ask Good Interview Questions

    Understanding Behavioral Interview Questions

    The goal of behavioral interview questions is to get you to talk about past experiences where you used the specific skills needed for a particular job or displayed the values that are important to the hiring company. Your answers help interviewers determine if you have the right skills and predict how youll perform if youre hired.

    Depending on the position and the company, the skills and values covered in the questions can include things like ethics, leadership, communication, business acumen, problem solving, conflict resolution, teamwork and time management. Here are a few examples:

    • Ethics:Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work. How did you deal with this situation and what was the outcome?
    • Leadership:Tell me about a time when an employee approached you with concerns. How did you handle the situation?
    • Communication:Describe a time when you had to use discretion in communicating sensitive information. How did you handle the situation?

    What Are Some Examples Of Behavioral Interview Questions

    Behavioral Interviews – 8 Tips to Ace Your Interview

    You know if you are encountering a behavioral interview question if it starts with, Tell me about a time. Or, if the question asks about your pasts . Some of the most popular behavioral interview questions are:

    • Tell me about a time you failed
    • When is the last time you had a conflict with someone in your office? How did you resolve it?
    • Tell me about a time a teammate made a decision you disagreed with. What did you do?

    Were going to dive into how to answer a behavioral interview question in the next section, but I want to reiterate something very important. You cannot simply answer the question you are being asked. If someone says, tell me about a time and you just say what you did to help, you wont be answering the question to the best of your ability. Thats why you have to answer with the STAR method!

    RELATED READS: 7 Things To Do For Your Career During Quarantine

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    Take A Look At The Job Listing

    You’ll also want to review the job listing before going into the interview. This will help you identify the qualities of the ideal candidate for that position.

    Look through the job listing for a list of qualifications and scan for any keywords that give you a hint as to what the employer wants in a job candidate. Then, match your qualifications to the job, so you’re prepared with examples related to the experience and qualifications the employer is seeking.

    Tips To Impress Your Interviewer

    Finally, before we move on to some interview preparation resources, we’d like to give you five helpful tips to keep in mind.

    Tip #1: Get used to setting up the situation in 30 seconds or less

    Use a timer while you practice to ensure you provide only necessary information. Spending too much time on the Situation step is one of the most common mistakes candidates make.

    Tip #2: Stay focused on essential details

    Interviewers hear a lot of behavioral stories a day. If you go into unnecessary details you are likely to lose their attention. Share your stories with a few different people before your interview and ask them what details they would suggest cutting.

    Tip #3: Be proud and talk about YOU

    This is not the time to be shy about your accomplishments. Concentrate on your impact, not what the team did. Not talking about YOU enough is another common mistake we see with a lot of candidates.

    Tip #4: Adapt to follow up questions

    Dont be alarmed if your interviewer asks follow up questions this is perfectly normal. Listen carefully to the way your interviewer is asking these questions, as there will often be a subtle clue about the specific skills theyre looking to assess from the next part of your answer.

    Tip #5: Explain how failure made you better

    When talking about failure, dont try to hide your mistakes or frame a weakness as a strength. Instead, show what you learned and how you grew from the failure.

    Read Also: How To Prepare For Google Interview In 6 Months

    Questions For The Interviewer

    Towards the end of the interview, its common for the interviewer to ask if you have questions for them. The worst answer you can give to this question is no or youve answered all of my questions. Not having questions for them signals disinterest. This is a chance to leave a final impression, finish strong, and establish yourself as a top candidate.

    Avoid questions you could find through basic research. If the answer can be found by looking at the organizations website, including general questions on their programs, products, or mission, then its too basic. Also avoid questions on salary, benefits, and schedule flexibility. Asking about these during an interview, before theyve determined you as the best candidate, can be seen as presumptuous.

    Prepare at least a few questions you can ask on topics that matter to you:

    Responding To Questions On Salary Expectations

    Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers: How to Prepare ...

    Occasionally employers will bring up salary in an interview. If they have a limited hiring budget, they may want to determine if you would consider the salary before moving forward. If theres a mismatch between your needs and expectations and what theyre able to pay, they may not want to waste your time or theirs.

    Conduct preliminary salary research prior to an interview so that you are prepared in case this comes up .

    If asked about salary expectations, you can respond by indicating that your salary requirements are negotiable and that as you learn more about the position you would be happy to discuss a fair salary. If pushed for a number, you can ask the interviewer if they have a salary in mind, or you can give a broad range consistent with the going market rate based on your research. Qualify your answer by restating that as you learn more about the position, youd be happy to discuss salary further.

    In most cases, the time to negotiate is when you have an offer. Check out our resources on Job Offers & Salary Negotiation.

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    Ways To Prepare For Situational Interview Questions

    Interview questions are tricky. While there a number of ways to stumble during a review of general facts and work history, it’s the situational questions that often pose the greatest risks. These open-ended questions are the business world’s equivalent to an essay question on a college exam it’s a chance to show off what you know in a format of your choosing, with just as many chances to choke if you’re not ready.

    But just like an exam, even if you don’t know specifically what you’re going to be asked, you can still prepare for likely questions. And part of that is preparing responses, including stories that showcase your talents or learning experiences worth noting.

    So what should you say? What kinds of details do you need to share, and in what order? Below, members of Forbes Coaches Council offer their advice on the best ways to prepare for situational questions:

    From top left to right: Jennifer Oleniczak Brown, Anne Marie Segal, Lianne Lyne, Lucie Yeomans, Sunil Harrypersad, Lindsay Guthrie, Meridith Elliott-Powell, Laura DeCarlo, Jill Hauwiller, Adrienne Tom, Lisa Barrington.

    All photos courtesy of the individual member.

    1. Take An Improv Class

    2. Fit Your Answer To The Role

    3. To Prepare, You Need To Breathe And Visualize

    4. Research The Company To Tailor Your Answers

    5. Have In Mind 10 Responses That Address Leadership

    6. Use The STAR Format

    Do I qualify?

    7. Tell Non-Work Stories About Successes

    9. Aim For A 2-3 Minute Story

    You Took The Time To Prepare

    As the interviewer, they want to see the candidate actually took the time to prepare.

    Youd be surprised at how many people go to an interview unprepared to answer the most basic questions like: What do you know about our company?

    I had one interview where the manager asked me, How did I prepare for the interview? He later told me that the reason why I received an offer was that I answered this question a lot better than other candidates.

    Try to show that you made an effort to prepare. This can be done by researching the products of companies you are interviewing for or Googling if they have a tech blog. They can become your selling points.

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    Tips To Ace A Behavioral Interview

    By Peer Career Ambassadors | February 21, 2019

    This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Shreya Shah 20.

    Interview Season is here! As you start preparing, I want to provide you with some guidance on how to ace behavioral interviews that has helped me in the past. These are some tips and tricks on behavioral interviews for most industries.

    1) Research the companyIf you applied to a specific company and have been selected to interview for them, more likely than not, you have some familiarity with what the company does. However, this is not enough for understanding a company in time for a behavioral interview. You need to conduct additional research by looking around the company website, watching YouTube videos or checking out social media posts made by the company, searching for updates on any current news regarding the company, and check reviews on Glassdoor to read about the culture from current employees. Some companies specialize in a niche product or service. In this case, understanding the value proposition, usage, and types of product/services offered is important. You will most likely be asked a question regarding what you know about the companys products .

    I hope these tips and tricks will be useful for your interview process preparation. Good luck and keep practicing!

    Tips For Mastering Consulting Behavioral Interviews


    As with case study interviews, youll need to practice answering behavioral interview questions. First, come up with the content for your stories and get feedback from your case study partners. Improve your stories with their feedback and rehearse them.

    When practicing, focus on:

    Delivery Make sure you speak at a normal pace. Pause to let the interviewer absorb what youre saying. Show emotion excitement, enthusiasm, sadness or disappointment.

    Make sure your body language and eye contact connect you to your interviewer.

    Dont Sound Like a Robot Dont memorize your story. Just remember the key points and deliver them naturally.

    Use Loom to Record Yourself You can also use the camera on your phone. Yes, its cringe-worthy to watch yourself practice stories for interviews, but youll pick up on what youre doing well, and whats not working.

    The George Clooney Mindset When George Clooney began his Hollywood career, he faced tons of rejections. He realized he was too nervous when he was going into auditions and decided he needed to change things. He started going into auditions with the mindset that producers wanted him to succeedafter all, they needed to find a great actor to make their show a successand that made all the difference.

    Dont go into your interviews thinking about the low chances of passing. Go in knowing that your interviewer wants to find new consultants to work at his or her firm. You can be one of those new consultants.

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