Tuesday, March 8, 2011

3 Critical Steps to Prepare for the Behavioral Interview

Whether every question or just a few questions are behavior-based, this interviewing method is becoming more popular with employers to screen candidates. It is believed that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past behavior. Behavioral interviewing is based solely on providing examples of your past experience or performance. To be successful, use these steps to prepare yourself.

Do Your Research in Advance
The first step to preparing for an interview is to know what is important to the company. What are they looking for in an employee? What problems are they experiencing? Why are they hiring? Conduct a search on www.google.com for articles that will provide insight into the company. Read the job posting thoroughly to identify the key qualifications they are seeking. Research the company’s interview practices on www.glassdoor.com.

Evaluate Your Skills
Much like you should research the company, you must also get to know what you have to offer as a candidate. Until you know how you can be of benefit to an organization, you can’t effectively market your skills. Compare what the company is looking for and what problems they may be having with skills that you feel will be of assistance to their organization.

The behavioral interviewer will ask questions that begin with phrases such as “tell me about a time when,” “what would you do if,” “give me an example of,” and “describe a situation where.” Knowing your areas of specialization and the benefits you can offer an employer will help you with the next step.

Prepare Your Responses
When answering behavioral questions there are a few key points. You must be detailed and specific, you must provide examples, and you must stay focused on the question. In order to do this, before the interview identify the five most important skills you possess that are valuable to your potential employer. Next, prepare a story that demonstrates each skill using the PAR formula.

The P stands for a problem, situation, or task that you took on. The A stands for the action you took. The R stands for the final result. Use this formula when preparing your behavioral answers and you should be well on your way to success.

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