Saturday, January 12, 2013

Behavioral Interview Tips You Should Know

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It's likely you're going to find yourself in a behavioral job interview sometime in your job search. Do you know how to handle it?

Behavioral interviews, also known as behavioral event interviews, or BEIs, focus on past job behavior and performance (what did you do in a given situation) with the idea that this information will predict your future behavior and performance. Behavioral interviews are really much more informative for employers than a "what do you know how to do?" interview, and more and more hiring managers are using some version of it. Behavioral interviews are still very much focused on your skills and competencies, but just dig deeper by using specific examples of when you used those skills and how successful you were. However, these stories are also an opportunity for you to illustrate your intangible qualities of creativity, enthusiasm, drive, and common sense that are so important in a hiring decision.
What do you need to know?

Have stories or examples ready that explain your skills/performance in many different situations. What were your critical successes? What happened when you had an unhappy customer? How have you increased sales? How did you deal with _____________? Hint: If you have constructed a brag book, you can use it in your interview to provide concrete evidence of your success--a letter from a happy customer, sales number increases, etc. Use the STAR technique (Situation or Task, Action you took, and Results you achieved) to help you construct your answers. Be sure to emphasize the positive outcome that was a result of your actions in each situation.

Quantify your examples whenever possible. You increased sales by how much? You were responsible for bringing in _______ dollars in revenue. You saved the company _______ dollars by doing/changing/introducing _________________. Salespeople (in all areas of sales or medical sales) are good at having these numbers at hand, but people in marketing, tech support or service areas will need to work harder.
You'll tailor these stories and numbers to the skills needed for the position just like you tailored your resume. If you've created a 30/60/90-day sales plan, you know what the objectives are for the company and how they will use this job position to get there. It then becomes a little easier to know which stories best fit and will create the biggest impression.
Behavioral interviews can be a little intimidating for the job seeker, but with the right preparation you can turn them into a fantastic opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates and demonstrate why you're the best candidate for the job.


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