Interview Questions. Critical thinking Being a self-starter Willingness to learn Willingness to travel Self-confidence Teamwork Professionalism

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1 Interview Questions The behavioral interview technique is used to evaluate a candidate s experiences and behaviors, so the employer can determine the applicant s potential for success. The interviewer identifies job-related experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that the company has decided are desirable in a particular position. For example, some of the characteristics that companies look for include: Critical thinking Being a self-starter Willingness to learn Willingness to travel Self-confidence Teamwork Professionalism Sample Behavioral Interview Questions Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way. Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills. Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem. Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it. Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone's opinion. Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done. Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example. Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). Tell me about a difficult decision you've made in the last year. Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish failed and how you handled it. Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead. Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or coworker. Give me an example of a time when you motivated others. Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively. Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem. Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures. Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision. Aspects to look for in an applicant s responses: Examples from the applicant s past experience in which the applicant demonstrated top behaviors and skills that the employer typically seeks. Half of the examples should be totally positive, such as accomplishments or meeting goals. The other half should be situations that started out negatively, but either ended positively or the applicant made the best of the outcome. The applicant should vary the examples; the examples should not come from just one area of the applicant s life. The applicant should use fairly recent examples. If the applicant is a college student, examples from high school may be too long ago. Some companies, in fact, specify that candidates give examples of behaviors demonstrated within the last year.

2 BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING Skill Definitions and Sample Questions 1. COPING: Able to maintain a mature, problem-solving attitude while dealing with interpersonal conflict, personal rejection, and hostility or time demands. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with strict deadlines or time demands. Tell me about a high stress situation when it was desirable for you to keep a positive attitude. 2. TOLERANCE OF AMBIGUITY: Able to withhold action or speech in the absence of important information; deal with unresolved situations, frequent change, delays or unexpected events. Give me an example of a time when you had to deal with frequent changes or unexpected events on the job (or at school). Sometimes it is necessary to work in unsettled or rapidly changing circumstances. When have you found yourself in this position? Tell me exactly what you did. 3. DECISIVENESS: Able to make decisions on available information and take action; make commitments and not change decisions when challenged; deal with emergencies as necessary. Describe a situation in which you had to draw a conclusion quickly and take speedy action. Tell me about a situation when you had to stand up for a decision you made even though it made you unpopular. 4. SPOKEN COMMUNICATION: Able to clearly present information through the spoken word; influence or persuade others through oral presentation in positive or negative circumstances; listen well. Tell me about a specific experience that illustrates your ability to influence another person verbally. Tell me about a time when your ability to listen helped you communicate better. 5. ASSERTIVENESS: Able to maturely express one s opinions and feelings in spite of disagreement; accurately communicate to others regardless of their status or position. Give me an example of a time when you had to be assertive in giving directions to others.

3 Describe a time when you communicated something unpleasant or difficult to say to your manager (or professor). 6. ENERGIZING: Able to create positive energy (motivation) in both individuals and groups. Tell me about a time when you did something which helped build enthusiasm in others. Pick any event from the last three years of your life in which you were an example of high motivation for other people to follow. 7. POLICY AND PROCEDURES: Able to relate to routine operations in a manner that is consistent with existing solutions to problems; to conform to established policies and procedures; log work activities. Tell me about your experiences in documenting your work activities in a written form. Describe a time when you had to adopt a well-defined work routine. 8. ALERTNESS: Able to be attentive to all aspects of the environment while working, to monitor environment during routine activity. Identify a time when you were able to avoid a problem by using your ability to pay close attention. Give me an example of any time in your past when you were especially attentive to your environment while working. 9. ANALYTICAL PROBLEM SOLVING: Able to use a systematic approach in solving problems through analyses of problem and evaluation of alternate solutions; use logic, mathematics or other problem solving tools in data analysis or in generating solutions. Tell me about a time when you were systematic in identifying potential solutions to a problem. Describe a time when you were proud of your ability to solve a particularly challenging problem. 10. GOAL SETTING: Able to define realistic, specific goals and objectives, to prioritize objectives. Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to set goals and objectives, even though you were not prompted or directed by others to do so. What have been your experiences in defining long-range goals? Give me a specific example.

4 11. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: Able to write clearly and effectively present ideas and to document activities, to read and interpret written information. Give me an example that illustrates the extent of your written communication skills. Tell me about the most complex information you have had to read perhaps involving research you had to complete. 12. COMMMITMENT TO TASK: Able to start and persist with specific courses of action while exhibiting high motivation and a sense of urgency; willing to commit to long hours of work and make personal sacrifice in order to reach goals. Give me an example of a specific time in which you found it necessary to give long hours to the job. Tell me about a time when you were a driving, highly motivated worker. 13. INTERACTION: Able to communicate with others in a warm and helpful manner while simultaneously building credibility and rapport. Tell me about a time when you were able to build rapport with someone, even when the situation was a difficult one and the odds were against you. Give me an example of a time when you made a special effort to treat another person in a way that showed your respect for the other s feelings. 14. PERCEPTIVITY: Able to interpret verbal and non-verbal behavior; to develop accurate perception and understanding of others feelings, needs, values and opinions; to be sensitive to and aware of personality differences. Tell me about a time when you were able to step into another person s shoes in order to discover their unique perspectives. Tell me about a time that shows your savvy in reading another person. 15. ORGANIZION AND PLANNING: Able to organize or schedule people or tasks; to develop realistic action plans which being sensitive to time constraints. Give me an example of a time management skill you have learned and applied at work (or school). Give me an example from your working history (or college experiences) that demonstrates your ability to organize tasks. 16. CREATIVITY: Able to develop unique and novel solutions to problems; use intuition and a new way of thinking to give birth to new ideas; to present information in an attention-getting and interesting manner.

5 Tell me about an idea that you produced through combined hard work and intuition. Give me an example of a time when one of your insights or innovations was particularly well received by others. 17. VERSATILITY: Able to modify one s own behavioral style to respond to the needs of others while maintaining one s own objectives and sense of dignity. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult person at work. Describe a time when you adapted to different types of people. 18. READING THE SYSTEM: Able to recognize and use information about organizational climate and key individuals to accomplish legitimate organizations goals; be aware of the importance of timing, politics and group processes in managing change. Tell me about a time when you were successful in discovering a person s hot button and using that knowledge to bring about an important change. Describe a time when your understanding of political dynamics at work was put to good use. 19. TEAM BUILDING: Able to work with people in such a manner as to build high moral and group commitments to goals and objectives. Tell me about a time when you were a member of a high performing team. Give me an example of a time when you confronted a negative attitude successfully with the result of building teamwork and moral. 20. DECISION MAKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING: Able to take action in solving problems while exhibiting judgment and a realistic understanding of issues; able to use reason, even when dealing with emotional topics. Describe a situation in which you used good judgment in solving a problem. Tell me about a time when you were able to remain objective even though you were emotional about a particular problem. 21. LEADERSHIP: Able to influence the actions and opinions of others in a desired direction, to exhibit judgment in leading others to worthwhile objectives. Give me an example of a time when you used either power or persuasion to guide another person to a worthwhile objective. Give me an example of a time when you used facts and reason to persuade another person to take action.

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