Quite often interviews are split between technical and behavioural questions. Behavioural Questions focus on your behaviours, skills and abilities. You can use your Career Journal in a number ways to help you prepare for these types of questions. I am going to share two of these today.
1. Identify potential Behavioural Questions by reviewing the job description
Before you attend an interview go back to the job description and identify what skills and qualities are listed. For example this sentence was included in a job description I recently looked at “To succeed you will need to thrive in a challenging and pressurised environment.” This might lead to a question like “Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation and how you overcame the situation”.
Action Point: identify potential questions you might be asked.
Once identified you should then prepare how you would answer the questions if they came up.
2. Prepare Structured Answers
If you have ever received any career advice you should be aware of the STAR method for answering behavioural questions. Just in case you need a reminder I have set this out below:
- Situation: The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenge and situation in which you found yourself. Tell a story.
- Task: What did you have to achieve? The interviewer will be looking to see what you were trying to achieve from the situation.
- Action: What did you do? The interviewer will be looking for information on what you did, why you did it and what the alternatives were. Make it personal: ‘I’ not ‘we’.
- Results: What were the outcomes of your actions? What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?
Action Point: Write a few structured answers using the STAR method for the questions identified.
Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.