How do you prepare for behavioral interviews?
The best way to prepare is to take the initiative and have several personal stories that you can tell, taking maybe 30 to 90 seconds each.You may want to start by developing your stories around these areas:
• A crisis in your life or job and how you responded or recovered from it.
• A time where you functioned as part of a team and what your contribution was.
• A time in your career or job where you had to overcome stress.
• A time in your job where you provided successful leadership or a sense of direction.
• A failure that occurred in your job and how you overcame it. Preparation is important for every interview, but it is essential in order to succeed in the behavioral interview.
A word of warning: You must have stories to back up anything you claimed on your resume. All stories have three parts and yours should be no different. They should include:
• A beginning (set the stage- describe the situation, the time)
• A middle or process (this is the process you took or the action that you took to solve theproblem)
• A resolution (How was the problem solved, overcome or resolved) A good story should be interesting and full of action. Give them something to remember about you, something that makes you stand out. Since they’re your stories, that shouldn’t be hard. Let your personality and your core character shine through. Make sure you let them hear the steps you took to solve the problem. The more details and skills you can add, the better.
Bottom line: Spend some time well before your first interview to craft and polish several “short stories” about your past using some of the above examples. Take the best example you can and hone them to a fine edge. Practice them out loud, practice them in front of a mirror, and practice them often. These are your successes. Done right, they’ll give your interviewer a clear picture of who you are and let them easily determine whether you’re the right person for the job.