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Common Questions and Answers
Have you ever experienced brain freeze during a job interview? You are asked a question and your mind goes blank-it’s horrifying. You lose composure as well as confidence. Your interview goes down hill from there. Brain freeze most often happens as a result of behavioral or situational interview questions that are not anticipated before hand. As a career coach, this is the most common interview problem I hear about from my clients. With the right preparation you can avoid the nightmare of brain freeze and improve your interview performance greatly.
First of all, it’s important to understand what a behavioral or situational interview question is. It is any question that start with:
Tell me a time when …
Give an example of …
Describe a situation when …
Employers ask these types of questions with the assumption that past behavior indicates future performance. These questions reveal a lot about a candidate, including a candidates ability to think fast on their feet. Given that interviews are inherently stressful, many job seekers find it extremely difficult to think fast during interviews.
What processes have I improved?
How have I made work easier for others?
What did I do to save my company money?
When did I find a solution to a departmental problem. How did I save time?
When did I go beyond the call of duty to solve a customer problem?
Write out your answers to these questions. Remember to include the quantitative details when appropriate. Include dollars saved, hours cut, percentage increased etc.
Tell me a time when you …
Have you ever had to …
Your list will look something like:
Tell me a time when you had to cut costs out of your annual budget.
Describe a situation when you had to fire a friend.
How would you go about repairing a relationship with a disgruntled client?
With interview performance more important than ever before it pays to prepare, prepare, prepare. There is no such thing as over preparation when it comes to interviews. Use this 1,2,3,4 approach to interview prep and you’ll be surprised at how much more confident you’ll feel in your next interview. The better you interview the faster you’ll be at your new job.
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