Interview Skills

Behavioral Interview Questions

The premise behind behavioral interviewing is that past behavior is one of the most accurate indicator of future performance. Behavioral interview questions often begin with:
  • "Tell me about ..."
  • "Describe a time when ..."
  • "What happened when you ... "

Prepare Behavioral Examples

Behavioral interview questions ask you to describe experiences you have had that demonstrate your abilities. Offer specific examples, describing the situation you faced and the actions you took. Feel free to use any examples from work, school, groups or activities in which you participate. Think about strong examples ahead of time. It may be helpful to write them down and bring them with you as reminders during the interview. It will help if you reflect on the specific competencies or key selection criteria stated for the position.

Focus on Questions

When asked a question, pause to think about the main point of the question. Then think about what the main point of your response will be. This will help you to give a focused answer and reduce the potential for an unfocused, rambling response.

Tell your Story

When asked to provide a specific example from your past, it may be helpful to consider the "SHARE" acronym:


Situation: Select a specific situation/circumstance/example to share.
Hindrance: If you faced any barriers or hindrances, what were they?
Actions: What steps did you take to resolve the situation or solve a problem?
Results: What was the final outcome?
Evaluation: What would you do the same or differently? What did you learn from this?

Prepare for the Interview


  • Bring a copy of your resume to the interview.
  • Think about your career goals.
  • Research the employer.
  • Analyze the position description.
  • Relate your strengths and weaknesses to the requirements.

Show your Professionalism


  • Dress professionally; avoid perfume/cologne.
  • Be punctual, but not too early.
  • Practice a firm handshake.
  • Be alert, sit up straight and don’t fidget.
  • Use appropriate eye contact.
  • Save your questions to the end, and respect the schedule.
  • Send a thank-you note the same day.

Demonstrate your Qualifications


  • Smile.
  • Relax and be yourself.
  • Speak distinctly.
  • Be complete, but avoid rambling by focusing on the point of the question.
  • Use specific examples.
  • Emphasize the positives.
  • Express your enthusiasm and interest.

Things to Avoid


  • Never speak poorly of a former professor, supervisor, company or colleague.
  • Never pass blame. Share lessons you’ve learned.
  • Answer a question about a weakness with an “opportunity for improvement” and tell how you are improving.
  • Reserve questions about salary and benefits until the final step in the selection process.


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 Last Modified: 10/29/2009 11:23:35 AM