Step 1: Understand what is really being asked. Most questions are designed to find out about your self-management skills and personality, but interviewers are rarely this blunt. The employer’s real question is often one or more of the following:
- Can I depend on you?
- Are you easy to get along with?
- Are you a good worker?
- Do you have the experience and training to do the job if hired?
- Are you likely to stay on the job for a reasonable period of time and be productive?
Ultimately, if you don’t convince the employer that you will stay and be a good worker, it won’t matter if you have the best credentials, they won’t hire you.
Step 2: Answer the question briefly. Present the facts of your particular work experience and present them as advantages.
Step 3: Answer the real concern by presenting your related skills. Base your answer on the key skills you have that support the job, and give examples to support these skills.
Follow Michael Farr’s three-step process and use the S.T.A.R. Method when answering behavioral questions and you’ll rarely be at a loss for answering questions at an interview.
The S.T.A.R. Method to answer behavioral interview questions such as:
- Tell me about a time when…
- What do you do when…
- Have you ever…
- Give me an example of…
- Describe a…
Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
And three more things…prepare, prepare, prepare.