Situational Interview Techniques
Preparing for the Interview
- This interviewing process incorporates the candidate's history as a basis for their future actions and behaviors. By asking the candidate specific questions and determining what parameters the answers must fit, the interviewer can select the individual who will most closely fit a company's needs. As the interviewee, you can do a few key items that will help you prepare for the interview.
•Identify 15 or more stories from your career experience that showcase your assets. Your stories should take about two to three minutes to tell. You will want to be clear and concise while telling your stories.
•If you have received comments from your supervisors or customers, share them with the interviewer. This will give you focus during the planning process.
•Choose more "dire" stories--situations that illustrate your success at overcoming a difficult obstacle. These stories should demonstrate your ability to remain composed and focused--ultimately coming through--despite great challenges. You will be the bright and shining ending of the story.
•You can do some combining in this process. Add some work and non-work experiences as well as past and recent experiences.
- The type of questions you could be asked will vary, as each interviewer and company has different needs. The questions below are only broad examples of the styles of questions. That is why you should have at least 15 stories in your arsenal.
•In our company you will need to work closely with other people. Describe two situations that showcased your ability to work well with other people.
•This position requires leadership qualities. Tell us about a time in which your leadership qualities were utilized.
•Tell me about a time when you experienced a failure to meet personal or professional goals.
•Describe a time when you felt a tremendous amount of stress. Tell me how you responded to that pressure.
•Talk to me about a situation in which you demonstrated your creative side.
As you can tell, the questions can cover many different aspects of your career history. If you are a recent graduate, they will want to know your experiences in school that closely relate to the questions asked. Be prepared with examples, and be as specific as possible. Avoid phrases such as, "That happens all the time," or "I usually," as interviewers want to hear about real-life situations rather than hypotheticals or general statements.