Behavioral interview questions will be more pointed, more probing and more specific than traditional interview questions:
Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty? If so, how?
What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it.
Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren't thrilled about? How did you do it?
Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How?
Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
Behavioral Interview Dialogue Interviewer: “In your present job as a Molecular Biologist in a core cloning group, give me an example of your most difficult end user situation and what did you do to make it better?” Candidate: “First of all, let me tell you that I am very adept with customers. I deal with difficult situations every day. Interviewer: “That’s good. Tell me about your most recent difficult customer situation.” Candidate: “Well, let me put it this way, my customers are always complimenting me on my ability to resolve cases quickly.” Interviewer: “Okay, here’s what I want you to do. Describe a specific customer event. Tell me what the situation was. Then tell me the actions you took and then tell me about the results .” Candidate: “Hmm, let me see. . .Last week a scientist asked if I could generate some new polymerase mutants. I do this all the time. In this case, however, it turned out they needed 20 variants and they needed them in 2 weeks for a report that was being submitted to the FDA at the end of the month. Given our workload it was impossible to accommodate this request in its entirety. So I asked the scientist if it were possible to prioritize the mutants…”
Dress for Success – First Impressions are Lasting
Wear a solid color conservative suit with a coordinated shirt or blouse
Wear moderate shoes
Make sure your hair is well groomed and neat
Don't overdo the perfume, makeup, cologne or after shave
Limit your jewelry
Make sure to try on your outfit BEFORE the day of the interview
Your clothes are your image, check the mirror and see what others see
Better to be overdressed than underdressed
Projecting a confident and professional image is essential
Research the culture and where appropriate clothing – always erring on the side of conservative
The Smile: gesture once in a while, show some energy and breathe life into the interview experience .
The Handshake: It's your first encounter with the interviewer. She holds out her hand and receives a limp, damp hand in return -- not a very good beginning. Your handshake should be firm -- not bone-crushing -- and your hand should be dry and warm. Try running cold water on your hands when you first arrive at the interview site. Run warm water if your hands tend to be cold. The insides of your wrists are especially sensitive to temperature control.
Your Posture: Stand and sit erect. We're not talking ramrod posture, but show some energy and enthusiasm. A slouching posture looks tired and uncaring. Check yourself out in a mirror or on videotape.
Eye Contact: Look the interviewer in the eye. You don't want to stare at her like you're trying to look into her soul, but be sure to make sure your eyes meet frequently. Avoid constantly looking around the room while you are talking, because that can convey nervousness or a lack of confidence with what is being discussed.
Your Hands: Gesturing or talking with your hands is very natural, but keep it in moderation. Getting carried away with hand gestures can be distracting. Also, avoid touching your mouth while talking. Watch yourself in a mirror while talking on the phone. Chances are you are probably using some of the same gestures in an interview.
Don't Fidget: There is nothing worse than people playing with their hair, clicking pen tops, tapping feet or unconsciously touching parts of the body.
Preparing what you have to say is important, but practicing how you will say it is imperative. The nonverbal message can speak louder than the verbal message you're sending.
Mr. Archie Weatherby California Investments, Inc. 25 Sacramento Street San Francisco, CA 94102
Dear Mr. Weatherby,
Thank you for taking the time to discuss the insurance broker position at California Investments, Inc., with me. After meeting with you and observing the company's operations, I am further convinced that my background and skills coincide well with your needs.
I really appreciate that you took so much time to acquaint me with the company. It is no wonder that California Investments retains its employees for so long. I feel I could learn a great deal from you and would certainly enjoy working with you.
In addition to my qualifications and experience, I will bring excellent work habits and judgment to this position. With the countless demands on your time, I am sure that you require people who can be trusted to carry out their responsibilities with minimal supervision.
I look forward, Mr. Weatherby, to hearing from you concerning your hiring decision. Again, thank you for your time and consideration.
Sample Thank You Letter to Networking Connection
Ms. Barnett Jones UPP Business Systems, Inc. 1000 SW 4th Avenue Portland, OR 97204
Thank you again for agreeing to be a member of my personal "network." This is an important time in my life as I take the plunge to change careers, and I truly value the advice of professionals like you who know the consulting field so well.
I especially appreciate your offer to introduce me to other professionals and consults in your network, which I know will be extremely helpful to me in establishing myself.
Barnett, I can't thank you enough for your willingness to help me launch this next phase of my career. I will be sure to keep you informed of my progress. And please do not hesitate to contact me if you think of any additional suggestions for expanding my network and establishing myself as a consultant.
The first rule of salary negotiation is, "Don't ask, don't get." Leave the script at home
Sounding rehearsed can be a turn-off
Think long-term: the savviest candidates will focus on opportunities, not just money
Know your value – do your research - Be Your Own Advocate: - Know your accomplishments & bring them to the interviewers attention & know what you should be paid
Wait until the right time, the conversation is always initiated by the potential employer
When calculating your salary, remember to include the value of benefits, such as bonuses, commissions, health insurance, flexible spending accounts, profit sharing, paid vacation and stock offerings. Here are some other benefits that you need to evaluate when considering a job offer:
Choose your words carefully- Basically, you should use verbiage that matches the interviewer’s personality. If the interviewer repeatedly insists on providing a dollar amount, try to provide a range as opposed to an exact number.
Avoid sounding greedy or rude- Even if salary discussions don’t go as intended, avoid sounding rude or greedy at all costs. Remember, employment is all about long term relationships.
Consider the big picture- Sometimes the base pay may not be negotiable, but do give a thought to benefits, flex time, perks, tuition reimbursement, etc. The overall value of the package may turn out to be more than you expected. Long term growth opportunities and potential career benefits are also factors that must be weighed.