We’ve all been there, sitting in the waiting room, palms sweating trying to memorize the “right answers” while we are desperately scanning our resume, looking for the right thing to say (like we don’t know where we have worked and what we have done).
Interviews can be just as terrifying as public speaking, except you don’t know what’s coming! You want to be prepared, but so does the interviewer. They want to get to know you and figure out if you’re the right person for this role and their company. And in reality you want that too. The absolute worst is being in the wrong company, working for the wrong manager doing a job that is not a full self-expression of your talent and abilities.
This is why most companies have added behavioral interviewing to their hiring process. I recommend next time you are invited to a behavioral interview; to be excited about the opportunity to participate. As companies who make the shift to behavioral interviewing enable you to join them in a well thought out, through review of your skills, experience, work styles, behaviors and values. If they still hire you after that, then you most likely are the right person for the job.
So, now you are probably wondering how do you prepare for a behavioral interview?
In my opinion the best way to prepare for one of these interviews is to take the time to gain clarity on what you want to do, for whom you want to do it (type of company and type of manager) and for how long you want to do it.
Behavioral interviewing is a deep dive in to who you really are underneath the resume/digital identity, so for you to excel at it, it makes good sense to create an opportunity check list of what is important to you in a role, a company and in a boss and what you have to offer, what your accomplishments are and where you want to go.
In some circles they call this a Career Strategic Attraction Plan. Here is a sample from my life.
What I want and need in a job:
to work for a mission driven company
to work for a company that demonstrates good ethics
to work for a company that makes the world a better place
What I want and need in a boss:
to report to a boss who has decent people management skills
to report to a boss who takes time to learn about their employee’s goals and career ideals
to work for a person who is a good coach and mentor and takes time to bring out the best in his/her people
to work for a focused, driven ambitious boss who is clear about the path to success
What I want and need in my work:
to influence people
to create new solutions to old problems
to interaction with the public
to utilize my strategic thinking
to travel and step in to new situations and solve problems
earn solid and reliable payment for my contribution
What I bring to the table:
I am smart
I am charming
I am a hard worker
I am funny
I am creative
I am highly effective at attracting and retaining talent
I am highly effective at attracting and retaining customers
I have a wealth of experience in Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Organizational Development, Strategy, and Management.
Built a long term, highly successful career in Recruiting
Built and deployed a Behavioral interviewing software for over 100 companies
Invented, designed and effectively deployed Conscious Hiring, a Quality of Hire process for over 50 companies before choosing to automate it.
Supported a family of 5 for over 10 years
My Career Goals:
Work with Managers and Executives on taking themselves to the next level
Be in an Executive role with a fast growing, operationally sound company.
Work as an integral member of a team committed to making the world a better place.
What is required of me to land and succeed in this career?
Target like-minded companies
Ensure my resume / bio is a clear reflection of who I am, list my high impact accomplishments
Research the company, the Executive, the hiring manager before I apply
Apply directly to the Hiring Manager (make a phone call or Link In)
Bring my best self to work
Produce high quality work product
In this simple list I have identified several values and behaviors that I have, and that I am looking for in any company that I work with or for. You may also notice that I also list what I need to do to land that job, and who I need to be once I get it. It is important to be responsible for your cause in the matter of how you get that great job opportunity and how you keep it.
If you are honest with yourself about who you are, what you want and need, what you can give and where you want to go, and it all makes good logic sense, no matter what the hiring process you will pass it with flying colors. Any well-implemented behavioral interview ought to be a breeze as behavioral interviewing is intended not to hurt your chances but to help the company in selecting the right fit.
Lastly if this inventory list is difficult for you and you just aren’t sure what is what with your talents, traits, behaviors, values seek a career coach as soon as possible. There are also many excellent career assessments on the market that can help you identify your gifts and attributes and where they apply.