Each week, TopResume’s career advice expert Amanda Augustine — a certified professional career coach (CPCC) and resume writer (CPRW) with more than 10 years of experience helping professionals improve their careers and find the right job sooner — answers user questions like the one below on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Amanda, submit it here.
Q: How do I pass a behavioral interview?
A: Before I go into the specifics on how to pass a behavioral interview, let me start by explaining what a behavioral-based interview question is and how you can spot on during your next job interview.
Behavioral interview questions typically start out with the recruiter or hiring manager saying, “Tell me about a time…”
Whenever you’re faced with this type of question, the interviewer is looking for concrete examples of how you’ve used your skills and abilities to solve problems or achieve results for an employer. In other words, they want an example.
My advice is to use the STAR approach to structure your response to any behavioral interview question:
- Describe a Situation or Task you handled in the past.
- Explain what Actions you took to resolve the issue or tackle the challenge
- Then, summarize the Results of your actions - how did this benefit your employer? Did you cut costs, increase revenue, reduce employee turnover, improve customer satisfaction, etc.
In order to prepare some of these succinct STAR stories for your next interview, take a second look at the job description for the role, paying close attention to the core skills and experience required to do the job. Then, use these core requirements as fodder to brainstorm relevant stories from your work history to demonstrate your abilities.