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  • Ina Rose

Passion 4 People Getting Hired: Interviewing Tips, Part II

We’re back this month with a follow-up post on interviewing tips. We mentioned behavioral interviewing, which is a popular approach that recruiters and HR professionals use to evaluate candidates. I have found the STAR technique to be a good way to frame these types of answers and give the interviewer a directly relevant response.

Behavioral interviewing questions sound like “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example of when...”

One of the best ways to answer these types of questions is with a STAR: Situation/Task, Action and Result. This way, you showcase your positive actions and explain the value you brought to the situation.

Situation: Describe the situation/background. For example, you were working on a group project, or you had a conflict with a coworker. This situation can be drawn from a work experience, a volunteer position, or any other relevant event. Be as specific as possible.

Task: Next, describe your responsibility in that situation. For example, you were managing a team and they weren’t getting along, or you were a member of the team assigned to hit an unrealistic sales target, or you were volunteering and the leader quit so you had to step up.

Action: Describe what you did to save the day. Focus on what you did, rather than what your team, boss, or coworkers did.

Result: Finally, explain the result generated by your actions. Emphasize what you accomplished, or what you learned. Remember to choose a situation that led to a positive result. Don’t get to the end and say, “We failed miserably” or “I got my co-worker fired.”


Tell me about a time you had to work with a tight deadline.

Example Answer: Like anyone in SEC reporting, I am familiar with tight deadIines and the pressure to get the 10K or 10Q filed. Typically, I have the calendar planned out and we work as a team to complete it piece by piece. But recently, a team member quit one month before the 10K was due. So, I re-organized the team and reshuffled the work he was assigned to do as well as picked up some of the work myself. We all worked a bit more but filed the 10K with a day to spare. In fact, I believe that is what I enjoy the most, the team working together to reach the goal.

From my recruiter’s chair, here are 10 common behavioral Interviewing questions that I like to ask:

1. Tell me about how you work effectively under pressure.

2. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. How did you correct it?

3. Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone whose style was very different from yours.

4. Tell me about a time when you had to discuss a difficult issue with your boss.

5. Tell me about the proudest moment in your professional career and why it was meaningful to you.

6. Give me an example of how you set goals.

7. Tell me about a time you felt you went above and beyond.

8. Tell me about a goal you failed to achieve.

9. Tell me about a time when you had to be creative to solve a problem.

10. Give me an example of a time when you had to handle multiple responsibilities at once. How did you prioritize your time?

Preparing some of these scenarios in advance will help you stay calm and be able to answer the interviewer’s questions more confidently. As we said in the last post, preparation is the key. You can do it!

We’ve had fun these past few months, helping you all with your job search. We hope you’ve found our advice helpful and you have landed a new job. Stay tuned as we shift gears next month and launch a new blog series: Passion 4 People Being Happy @ Work.

And please help spread the word about this blog by sharing it with your networks and your friends!

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