This page was last updated on 18th of April 2014
The Situational Interview
Hello. and welcome! My name is Dave. If you’ve come here seeking information on how to ‘bone up’ on Situational Interview Questions, you’re in the right place.
Stick with me for a couple of minutes and I’ll give you a couple important nuggets I’ve learned over the years and show you where I’ve turned to for some important insight and knowledge about modern situational, behavioral and competency based interviewing methods.
Where You Are Now
At long last, you succeeded in submitting a resume cover letter that made the cut -resulting in you receiving that coveted phone call, inviting you to come in for a personal job interview.
As you probably know, this is where the rubber meets the road. The agonizing that went into the resume and cover letter is history now.
Everything is riding on the performance you turn in at the interview. That is the Reality.
Interview Questions Tip
They are sometimes called ‘behavioural’ or, behavioral interview questions, situational interview questions, or just plain competency based interview questions –depending on where you are. The terms are sometimes thought to be pretty much interchangeable.
Closely related, though they are, there are some important subtleties.
Situational interview questions are designed to get a feel for how you might deal with something in the future. You might be given a fictitious scenario, like your computer ‘smokes’ while putting the final revisions to a report that is too near the deadline for such set-backs. How would you handle that? Can you articulate that on the fly?
A Behavioral question is concerned with how you may have handled a certain situation in the past; how you may have handled yourself under pressure to meet an unrealistic deadline.
How You Acted in Certain Scenarios is Examined
Are you a no-nonsense, gruff, authoritarian type? Maybe that’s exactly what they are looking for. Perhaps not.
Competency based interview questions is what it is referred to in the UK and Ireland, where the interviewing technique is becoming more common. It is much the same thing as those techniques described above.
Hiring managers are seeking candidates that display certain core competencies. There are about ten of them that you will likely be screened for; confidence being the one nearest the top of most lists. Problem solving, planning ability, organization skills and how you handle pressure are some other examples.
The interviewer wants to know whether you have the qualifications, of course, based upon education and past experience. They also want to know if you possess some skills required of the position.
You could be placed in a fictitious scenario and asked to demonstrate how you might use your persuasive skills when faced with a problem involving a co-worker, for example.
Where the Interviewers Are Now
This topic is important to know about because it is where we are in today’s world. Gone are the days of questions like, “Can you tell me a little bit about your background?”
Unfortunately, (to my way of thinking) the questions now posed at job interviews carry with them the gravity of questions I can picture ‘Neutron Jack’ Welch asking to a candidate to run the GE Energy Division. The questions tend to be a little ‘over the top’ –if you ask me.
Ah, but that is neither here nor there. The Genie is out of the bottle and he’s not about to go back in.
If you are out of work, you would now do well to consider it ‘your job’ -to learn to be adept at answering behavioral, competency or situational based questions.
The Best Place to Obtain Expertise in Situational and Behavioral Based Interview Questions
When I first began my attempt to familiarize myself with the concept of situational interview questions, I was hoping I’d be able download some questions and answers and commit them to memory and be done with it.
What I found was a bit disappointing. I found a degree of difficulty I hadn’t anticipated. I did find many websites that offered competency based questions. But it seemed like the information was scattered far and wide and in many variations.
I Eventually Found What I was Looking For
I finally found a site that offered comprehensive guidance on interviewing and, in particular, how best to prepare oneself for the barrage of behavioral based competency questions that I knew were coming my way.
Here is one of the most in-demand websites -at which you can download everything you need to know about improving your interviewing skills Today.
Situational Interview Questions Tip
The ‘For Example’ Path
When you respond to a situational interview question it will be followed up with a ‘For Example’ segue that will take you down a path to illustrate what, in your experience, will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are competent.
You will organize your thoughts in accordance with the S.T.A.R. interview method. That is:
Find Out More …
Hopefully you’ve found the tips and suggestions I’ve provided on this page to be useful. They will not be enough to get you through the competency based interview, however.
The final suggestion I will offer is to go and review The Ultimate Guide to Interview Answers to find out what it can do for you, how much it costs (not much, considering what’s riding on the interview), and exactly what it includes (bonus items -like Advanced Memory Techniques and more). You can learn more about getting all the information here:
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