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Behavioral Interview coming up

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05-25-2012, 09:53 PM
  #1
awfulwaffle
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Behavioral Interview coming up

Well, I have a job interview, and it will be behavioral based. This is a job I want, and would be happy with the rest of my life if I wasn't promoted(which I wouldn't mind at all). Everyone keeps telling me to answer in SCAR format(Situation, Challenge, Action, Result). I've googled behavioral interview questions, and have copied those down, and going through and applying the SCAR format to them. I plan on just going through those and each day writing down a sample answer to the question, and hopefully they just stick to my mind and I can think of them and explain them clearly in the interview.

If any of you have any suggestions or tips, it would be greatly appreciated.

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05-25-2012, 09:57 PM
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RemoAZ
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I've never heard of that test before but best of luck to you man!!

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05-25-2012, 10:14 PM
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I just got done with this type of interview. Every way I answered was SBO Situation, Behavior, Outcome. What company are you interviewing with?

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05-25-2012, 10:25 PM
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awfulwaffle
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Originally Posted by Me007gold View Post
I just got done with this type of interview. Every way I answered was SBO Situation, Behavior, Outcome. What company are you interviewing with?
Altria Group Distribution Company

How did you prepare for the interview? I don't want scripted responses, but I want to have situations in mind ahead of time, so I can easily think of them and answer.

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05-25-2012, 10:33 PM
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Colt45Blast
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I heard of the STAR interview.

Situtation or Task, Action, Result.

Its a test that is hard to prepare for since the questions have more to do with what you are doing on past jobs and your body language as you respond to each question. You won't know what questions are being asked since they often change so others don't cheat it.

Pretty much anyone who gets an interview now can do the job but for safety reasons in the company, they use such a test to see how well-rounded you are no matter what you face. Some people can fake who they are, some can't.


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05-25-2012, 11:16 PM
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ScottsdaleYote
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I've taken and given many of these interviews before. Here are some recommendations:

1) It's often less what you say, but how you say it. Stay confident, smile, be a human being/not a robot.
2) Make VERY good eye contact with each of the interviewers (especially on panels). People who don't look at you are either hiding something or not confident.
3) For these star interviews, I find it better to prepare a list of good examples where you can clearly explain the issue, what you did, and what the end result was...but don't try to tie each to a specific question because they will always ask a question you didn't prepare for. So instead, I have a list of 8-10 and will fit one of those into each question that is asked. You have to think on your feet a little, but it's my preferred method.
4) You have to clearly explain each answer, but remember to be concise. Don't take 5 minutes to answer a question, because your interviewers' minds will start to wander. Explain the situation, make your points, and move on. If someone can't get to the point in an interview, it's a sign of the type of employee they will be.
5) Don't be afraid to admit mistakes you've made and/or things you've learned from some of your examples. Nobody is perfect, and while you need to sell yourself, you need to have credibility.

Whether you get this job or not, going through this type of interview will be a good experience. So make sure you learn something from this so the next time you'll be even more comfortable. Of the jobs I've interviewed for in my career, I've probably only gotten about half of the them. Each time I haven't gotten the job, I've used it as a lesson to improve for the next time.

Best of luck! Relax and have fun with it - it will show you in a positive light.

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05-25-2012, 11:22 PM
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awfulwaffle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsdaleYote View Post
I've taken and given many of these interviews before. Here are some recommendations:

1) It's often less what you say, but how you say it. Stay confident, smile, be a human being/not a robot.
2) Make VERY good eye contact with each of the interviewers (especially on panels). People who don't look at you are either hiding something or not confident.
3) For these star interviews, I find it better to prepare a list of good examples where you can clearly explain the issue, what you did, and what the end result was...but don't try to tie each to a specific question because they will always ask a question you didn't prepare for. So instead, I have a list of 8-10 and will fit one of those into each question that is asked. You have to think on your feet a little, but it's my preferred method.
4) You have to clearly explain each answer, but remember to be concise. Don't take 5 minutes to answer a question, because your interviewers' minds will start to wander. Explain the situation, make your points, and move on. If someone can't get to the point in an interview, it's a sign of the type of employee they will be.
5) Don't be afraid to admit mistakes you've made and/or things you've learned from some of your examples. Nobody is perfect, and while you need to sell yourself, you need to have credibility.

Whether you get this job or not, going through this type of interview will be a good experience. So make sure you learn something from this so the next time you'll be even more comfortable. Of the jobs I've interviewed for in my career, I've probably only gotten about half of the them. Each time I haven't gotten the job, I've used it as a lesson to improve for the next time.

Best of luck! Relax and have fun with it - it will show you in a positive light.
Given these interviews? Would you be willing to do a mock interview with me?

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05-26-2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by awfulwaffle View Post
Given these interviews? Would you be willing to do a mock interview with me?
In the Air Force, to select our award winners we would have panels set up to ask questions of the candidates. It was easy to see which people had had some practice and which didn't. Just practicing answering questions while maintaining eye contact and distributing the eye contact to all the members of the panel can help. Start with the person who asked the question, look to the people on the right and then to the left. You should try and end your response looking at the person who asked the question. A lot depends on how much time you need for your answer.


I've sat on both sides of the panels in the Air Force. The interviewers could be a bit nervous as well.

One question that I remember from an interview 4 years ago was along the line of "Tell me about a difficult decision you made" or something along those lines.

Good luck.

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05-26-2012, 05:58 PM
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awfulwaffle
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Just had a meeting today with the area manager, I'm fortunate enough to know some people that want me to get this job. The area manager will actually be one of the interviewers. I still have to know my stuff and convince the other 2 or 3 in the interview that I'm a guy that would be good for their company.

She helped me better pass on a message being short and to the point. Some of my answers I started rambling, and steering off course. I guess I just need to practice over and over how to answer behavioral questions.

Luckily this interview won't take place until the 3rd week of June most likely, so I have plenty of time to practice.

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05-26-2012, 08:42 PM
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Me007gold
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Originally Posted by awfulwaffle View Post
Altria Group Distribution Company

How did you prepare for the interview? I don't want scripted responses, but I want to have situations in mind ahead of time, so I can easily think of them and answer.
A couple of ways. One, I used a website called Glassdoor that helped out tremendously. That web site is put together by people who interview, they post up the questions that get asked and the experience in the interview room . Another way I practiced interview for at least a few hours per day. I had my wife ask me questions that I had found on there, so I had answers ready for the interview. No matter how you answer be confident be confident be confident, and make good eye contact. If you have to take a minute to think about your answer do it. Lastly make sure you listen to the question. The biggest mistake people make is to not answer the question asked. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. Just a certine type of response that they are looking for.

http://www.glassdoor.com/Job/altria-...RCH_KE0,12.htm

I interviewed with the company that I recently got hired with 2 years ago, and I messed up that interview so bad. I was in and out in 15 minutes. This time I was closer to 45 minutes, and it got me the job.


Last edited by Me007gold: 05-26-2012 at 08:52 PM.
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05-26-2012, 11:58 PM
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awfulwaffle
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Originally Posted by Me007gold View Post
A couple of ways. One, I used a website called Glassdoor that helped out tremendously. That web site is put together by people who interview, they post up the questions that get asked and the experience in the interview room . Another way I practiced interview for at least a few hours per day. I had my wife ask me questions that I had found on there, so I had answers ready for the interview. No matter how you answer be confident be confident be confident, and make good eye contact. If you have to take a minute to think about your answer do it. Lastly make sure you listen to the question. The biggest mistake people make is to not answer the question asked. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. Just a certine type of response that they are looking for.

http://www.glassdoor.com/Job/altria-...RCH_KE0,12.htm

I interviewed with the company that I recently got hired with 2 years ago, and I messed up that interview so bad. I was in and out in 15 minutes. This time I was closer to 45 minutes, and it got me the job.
Yeah, I've seen glassdoor, and I've actually gone through the Altria list you linked and did SCAR for the questions that required it(not all require it).

Apparently the interview is only 7 questions, but you also do a paper essay on 3 questions before the face to face interview. I'm guessing the questions inside the actual interview will be based on your responses in some way that you gave before hand.

I have a month to prepare, so I'm planning on going over them every day. No reason not to.

Did you have a different situation for each questions? Should I plan about 10 different scenarios ahead of time? Also, did you take notes, to glance at to refresh your memory real quick during the interview?

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05-27-2012, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by awfulwaffle View Post
Yeah, I've seen glassdoor, and I've actually gone through the Altria list you linked and did SCAR for the questions that required it(not all require it).

Apparently the interview is only 7 questions, but you also do a paper essay on 3 questions before the face to face interview. I'm guessing the questions inside the actual interview will be based on your responses in some way that you gave before hand.

I have a month to prepare, so I'm planning on going over them every day. No reason not to.

Did you have a different situation for each questions? Should I plan about 10 different scenarios ahead of time? Also, did you take notes, to glance at to refresh your memory real quick during the interview?
My job has done similar interviews in the past. The main purpose is to find how well you follow the idea of going from situation to solving the problem. In most cases, the company will ask something along the lines of - name a situation where you had a failure, how did you rectify the situation?

The questions are sometimes vague enough that you could answer all questions with the same "situation," but imagine referencing the same thing 3 questions straight. The interviewers will lose interest, and it would appear that you have little to no "life experience."

Speak slowly and clearly, and follow the order. Dont mention something and then be unable to close the door in a reasonable amount of time...

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05-27-2012, 11:47 AM
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ScottsdaleYote
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Since you have someone in your corner and have some time, if it's a possibility, it's generally a good idea to talk to the interview panel ahead of time and ask what they are looking for in a candidate. I've done this for internal interviews (diff position within the same company). It's harder to do when you are an external candidate, but something to think about.

Also, someone else on this thread gave really good advice about not feeling the impulse to immediately respond to every question. Take a few seconds to think about the question and get your response ready. You don't want to take 30 seconds to do this, as the "dead air" can be uncomfortable, but one time I got kudos for actually thinking about the question and pondering a response before answering - it showed I was a good listener.

I'd be happy to help you out if you need it. I would just need to know a little background on the position so I can tailor the questions a bit. It would probably only take 2 or 3 questions and 15 minutes or so.

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05-27-2012, 03:28 PM
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awfulwaffle
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Originally Posted by ScottsdaleYote View Post
Since you have someone in your corner and have some time, if it's a possibility, it's generally a good idea to talk to the interview panel ahead of time and ask what they are looking for in a candidate. I've done this for internal interviews (diff position within the same company). It's harder to do when you are an external candidate, but something to think about.

Also, someone else on this thread gave really good advice about not feeling the impulse to immediately respond to every question. Take a few seconds to think about the question and get your response ready. You don't want to take 30 seconds to do this, as the "dead air" can be uncomfortable, but one time I got kudos for actually thinking about the question and pondering a response before answering - it showed I was a good listener.

I'd be happy to help you out if you need it. I would just need to know a little background on the position so I can tailor the questions a bit. It would probably only take 2 or 3 questions and 15 minutes or so.
The position is a sales manager position. What I would be doing is going into a store, and making sure their product is on display correctly, and talking to them about how they might be able to increase sales, or what promotions they might be interested in coming up(2 packs for a discounted price per pack), etc.

Per their website:

In general, our hiring managers want to know how well candidates have…

worked with other people,
handled tough problems and challenges and
performed in leadership roles.


http://cantbeattheexperience.com/en/...n/default.aspx

They really provide everything the interview candidate needs to know. I just want to be prepared, and knock this interview out of the park, so that my future is set with this company.

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05-27-2012, 05:17 PM
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In addition to the above, I'd also add "Never answer a question unless you know why they are asking you the question". Take your time, and make sure you understand the "why" behind the inquiry, and ask clarifying questions if need be.


Also, as an interviewer - the real selling point is the quality of the question that the candidates has for me. Cheesy "canned" questions are easy to spot, and are real deal breakers for many.

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05-27-2012, 05:45 PM
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awfulwaffle
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In addition to the above, I'd also add "Never answer a question unless you know why they are asking you the question". Take your time, and make sure you understand the "why" behind the inquiry, and ask clarifying questions if need be.


Also, as an interviewer - the real selling point is the quality of the question that the candidates has for me. Cheesy "canned" questions are easy to spot, and are real deal breakers for many.
My contact said to use 2, max of 3 questions to ask.

I wanted to base one of my questions about the recent restructuring. The question I was thinking:

"I know recently you restructured your company, and cut back the amount of TSM's you had. How are you effectively able to do more with less?"

Questions in themselves are hard to come up with, in addition to not wanting to plan a question ahead of time that they might bring up in the interview process before I get a chance to ask questions.

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05-27-2012, 07:06 PM
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My contact said to use 2, max of 3 questions to ask.

I wanted to base one of my questions about the recent restructuring. The question I was thinking:

"I know recently you restructured your company, and cut back the amount of TSM's you had. How are you effectively able to do more with less?"

Questions in themselves are hard to come up with, in addition to not wanting to plan a question ahead of time that they might bring up in the interview process before I get a chance to ask questions.
If you have a question that they answered let them know. Say something like, "I had a question about xxxx but you all ready addressed that"

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05-30-2012, 12:27 AM
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I have had to do the "STAR " interviews , both in applying for my job and in hiring others for my team ..

Always remember to never say " we " say what you did personally .

Another person posted mentioned this :

3) For these star interviews, I find it better to prepare a list of good examples where you can clearly explain the issue, what you did, and what the end result was...but don't try to tie each to a specific question because they will always ask a question you didn't prepare for. So instead, I have a list of 8-10 and will fit one of those into each question that is asked. You have to think on your feet a little, but it's my preferred method.

This is very good advice .

http://www.ehow.com/how_4770536_pass...interview.html

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05-30-2012, 11:39 PM
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I have had to do the "STAR " interviews , both in applying for my job and in hiring others for my team ..

Always remember to never say " we " say what you did personally .

Another person posted mentioned this :

3) For these star interviews, I find it better to prepare a list of good examples where you can clearly explain the issue, what you did, and what the end result was...but don't try to tie each to a specific question because they will always ask a question you didn't prepare for. So instead, I have a list of 8-10 and will fit one of those into each question that is asked. You have to think on your feet a little, but it's my preferred method.

This is very good advice .

http://www.ehow.com/how_4770536_pass...interview.html
Ah, I have been googling these things, and that page is great!

I know I'm allowed a pad of paper to take notes down on, what would you suggest for possible hints as to how to answer? I can practice the stories over and over before I do the interview(not till later in June), so I can have a good memorization of them in my head, so I can think about them easily by just looking at the one line note I make of each story on the pad. Or would it be ok to have the STAR written down briefly for each?

I wish I performed better in school and tried to be a leader, this would be so much easier ha.

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05-31-2012, 12:40 AM
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My favorite question to ask is "tell me about your worst ****-up". That usually tells me a lot about the interviewee's self-confidence.

Seriously though, in my opinion all that behavioral stuff ends up being a silly popularity contest. Be yourself. If you're the self-deprecating kind, be so. If you're super confident, go for it. And if you're sweating, nervous and paralyzed, make a joke of it and tell yourself you've got nothing to lose. The worst thing you can do is try and look like someone you're not. Either those people like you and want to interact with you every day, or not. Don't waste their time.

And as far as yourself asking questions, what irritates me most are candidates who don't have a ****ing clue what the business does. Never looked at our web site, didn't do any research, never bothered looking up my LinkedIn profile. So be sure you look all of that up, and ask a couple relevant questions.

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05-31-2012, 12:44 AM
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Well for me personally , knowing your past situations are key . I really memorized 3 or 4 key situations that would work for multiple questions .

Look at some of those questions and try to add your situations to them .

I also found that for me personally lots of detail was good . I took my 4 situations from past expierence or jobs and practised talking about them , and I practised the detail .

For example if I had a previous job in a wharehouse ,say offloading merchandice . i would explain in detail what the job entailed , and what my responsibilities were , before I even got to the situation .If you practise this , this gives you time to think of the situation and task and result while going through the details . Also doing this brings alot of it back to memory .

If the question was something like : name a time when you were under pressure to complete a task or job . What was the situation , how did you handle it , and what was the result ?

Or they couldl ask you :name a time when you had to deal with a particular co-worker . What was the situation , what happened , what was the result etc..

I would go into detail of what my job entailed , then I would talk about the certain situation on this particular day etc.. Doing this I gave the impression of being a good communicator . I didn't have alot of "dead air " or saying " um " .this is what worked for me .

Like others have said you will find that the one situation might work for multiple questions .

Where I work they are concerned with communication , organization , planning , ethics .


name a time where you had to deal with a difficult customer

describe a time where you noticed a co worker doing un-ethical behavior

What would you say is your greatest strengths ? Weakness ?

Name a time where you were under pressure to complete a taks and failed

Is there a time when you improved a process

Name a time where you had your hands full but an other co worker needed help

Did your Boss ever get you to do work that you knew was unethical or didn't agree with

Most of these would be followed with something like , what did you do, what did you learn , what was the result etc..

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