A job interviewing technique whereby the applicant is asked to describe past behavior in order to determine whether she is suitable for a position. For example, an interviewer may ask "Tell me about a time when you dealt with a disruptive customer". Responses are expected to give an indication of an applicant's professional conduct.
☛ Match your answers to the question completely in order to score numerical full points.
☛ Rambling is a no-no and canned responses are out! Stay focused and exceed the interviewer's expectations.
☛ Remember, ABC interviews are carried out in a consistent and systematic fashion for all the candidates.
☛ Prove that you are capable of meeting and possibly exceeding their expectations.
☛ Expect the interviewer's questions to be short and non-leading. Be accomplishment oriented in your responses.
☛ Remember, Gov. has been shown to distinguish an outstanding from average performer.
☛ Ask yourself if the core competencies they are seeking are the ones that you want to use in your next job.
☛ Ask open-end questions that prompt more than a yes/no answer when it's appropriate.
☛ Set up a video-taped Mock Interview with a trained Career Counselor to enhance your Gov. skills.
☛ Remember, it is hard to fake the "right" answers so Practice, Practice, Practice!
☛ Remember, follow-up questions can include: "So what did you do?" and "What happened next?"
☛ Act as if you were digging a well at key interactions or decision points to provide evidence of competencies.
☛ Be prepared to discuss failures and what you learned from them.
☛ Be sure the result reflects positively on you even if the result itself was not positive.
☛ Be honest. Your stories have to be true and authentic. Skilled interviewers can see through a weak foundation.
☛ Master the art of storytelling and make your impression to the recruiter is a positive, clear and a memorable one.
☛ Absorb yourself in telling the story, don't just relate the facts. Put some enthusiasm in it.
☛ Go beyond merely describing the situation/task and talk about the outcomes.
☛ Demonstrate that you are thorough and you understand how your role fits into the goals of the larger organization.
☛ Expect that the interviewer will be listening intently and taking notes during the process.
☛ Remember, the four probes: "What did you think?" "What did you feel?" "What did you say?" and "What did you do?"
☛ Answer how you did behave instead of how you would or should behave (traditional interview approach) in a situation.
☛ Avoid saying, "What we did" and instead tell them, "What I did" The interviewer wants you to say "I" a lot.
☛ Steer clear of saying, "What I would do..", but recall "What I did"
☛ Expect to talk about 80 percent of the time during the interview and persuade them why they should hire you.
☛ Remember that ABC reduces the risk that the interviewer will talk too much and dominate the conversation.
☛ Remember, these are situational questions that are open-ended, non-directional and concrete.
☛ Share a clear memory of the situation so interviewer feels as if they were present at the time the event actually happened.
☛ Use of examples will make you confident in your responses because you will feel like you are reliving it from direct experience.
☛ Anticipate the interviewer probing further after the initial question to gain more in-depth information.
☛ Focus on the key competencies that are important to the interviewer, not what you feel is important.
☛ Pause for a nanosecond and think carefully and choose wisely the story you will use to make your point.
☛ Answer using the S.T.A.R. Technique (Situation/Task, Action, Result).
☛ Give them a brief overview of the specific situation/task, what action you took specifically and the end result.
☛ Describe in detail the actions you took to deal with the situation or to complete the task.
☛ Be sure the story has a beginning middle and a clear end. Tell your story chronologically.
☛ Provide practical examples, events and challenges from your recent past.
☛ Say stories that are important to you.
☛ Avoid being too general.
☛ State stories that have a degree of drama where you had to overcome an obstacle or temporary setback.
☛ Ask in advance what the format and length of the interview will be as well as with whom you will be interviewing.
☛ Research the key competencies that the job and employer requires prior to the actual interview.
☛ Review your resume and develop a list of specific examples that demonstrate you have the core competencies they seek.
☛ Prepare short descriptions of each situation/task.
☛ Assume the interview will be a highly structured and formal process. This is a Competency-Based Model.
☛ Listen carefully to the interviewer explain and then let him/her guide you through the process.
☛ Remember the interview is decided in the first two minutes; the rest of the time they gather support for their conclusions.
☛ Expect to spend several minutes devoted to a particular situation and to proceed from general to more specific questions.
☛ Remember, CBI is designed to minimize the subjective component in favor of and concrete examples of competencies.
☛ Listen to the question carefully and ask for clarification if necessary. Be sure you answer the question completely.
☛ How do you prepare your week?
☛ Tell us about how your organization has helped your career?
☛ Give an example of when you had to re-arrange your schedule completely?
☛ What is given top priority in your job and why?
☛ How have you helped your manager to inspire positive vibes in your team?
☛ Tell us about when you had to deal with conflict within your team and how you helped to resolve it?
☛ Tell us how you went about promoting both morale and work ethic in the teams you have been in?
☛ Give an example of when you have helped a team member that is was under-performing?
☛ Tell us about when you went above and beyond the call of duty and what the results were?
☛ Give an example of when you lifted the spirits of others and get them to accomplish more than expected?
☛ How do you keep going for a goal when others give up, give a specific example?
☛ Tell us about when you had to change your methods to reach a goal?
☛ Give an example of when you had to do something completely new and what approach you employed?
☛ How have you coped with changes in management?
☛ Tell us about a project that failed due to changed circumstances and what it has taught you?
☛ Tell us about the toughest group that you had to get cooperation from?
☛ Give us an example of when you had to improve the performance of a team. What were the problems and how did you deal with them?
☛ Did you ever experience difficulty in getting others to accept your ideas? What was your approach? How did this work?
☛ Tell us of a situation where you had to inspire a team. Did you meet any challenges and how did you reach your goals?
☛ Give an example of when you had to use different management styles for different people to achieve the same results?
☛ What was the most challenging business presentation you have ever delivered?
☛ Give an example of when you had to put your foot down to assert a point that meant a great deal to you?
☛ How are you able to communicate well with people that do not want to hear your message?
☛ Tell us about when you were able to effectively communicate a really bad piece of news to your co-workers?
☛ What steps have you taken to improve your communication skills?
☛ 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?
☛ Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to 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?
☛ Please tell me about a time you had to fire a friend?
☛ Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low)?
☛ 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 and failed?
☛ 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 co-worker?
☛ Give me an example of a time when you motivated other?
☛ 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?
☛ Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete?
☛ 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?
☛ Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision?
☛ Tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem with very little guidance or direction?
☛ Tell me about a time when you went overtime on a deadline?
☛ What is the biggest contribution you made in your current role?
☛ What are you most proud of in your working career?
☛ Discuss a setback you have overcome in the last 12 months?
☛ 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?
☛ Describe a major change or adjustment to your job and your reactions to the change?
☛ Tell me about a time when you encountered conflict in the workplace and how you handled the conflict?
☛ Provide an example of when you had to go above and beyond your normal duties in order to get the job done?
☛ Describe a time when you put the needs of your workmates before your own when completing a task?
☛ Provide an example of a problem you had with a co-worker or boss and how you resolved it?
☛ Provide an example of a time when you felt you were able to motivate?
☛ Describe a time when you did not put in 100% into your job or performance and what you did about it?
☛ Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation and how you overcame the situation?
☛ Provide an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead?
☛ Tell me about a situation where you have had to speak with an unhappy customer?
☛ Give me an example of a time when you motivated others and how this led to a positive outcome?
☛ Give an example of a goal you set and how you reached it?
☛ Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to make a split second decision?
☛ Describe a situation where you knew your boss was wrong - how did you handle it?
There is a possibility of skills test, proofreading tests, personality assessments, etc. Find out before the interview whether you'll be asked to take a test of some kind. If so, try to research the type of assessment it is and practice before you go.
Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview. Place them in a folder or briefcase. Be sure to take any information you've been asked to bring (resume, references list, transcripts, etc.). Take copies of your resume and references either way, and have your papers arranged for easy reference.
Write time and location of your interview, as well as the name of the person interviewing you. Get good directions. If possible, check out the location before your interview so you won't be late getting lost or finding parking.
First impressions are important! If you need tips about interview attire, see What to Wear to an Interview or stop by Globalguideline.com.
Prepare questions that reflect your knowledge of the position and company, and some that will help you form your own opinion about them. Your first goal is to impress the interviewer, but you also want to determine if the position/organization is a good fit for you and if you would be happy working there.
If they have a website, review it thoroughly. Make it clear to them in the interview that you've done your homework and know some basics about their organization. This will let them know you're serious about the position.
Think about what you want to emphasize during the interview, what you don't want to emphasize, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Write them down and memorize them. The more you practice, the less likely you are to forget or be nervous. Also check out Behavior-Based Interviewing for how to more successfully answer those tough questions.
☛ Practice answering questions you might be asked
☛ Research the position and the organization before the interview
☛ Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer about the position and company
☛ Dress appropriately