From the archives - common questions worth re-addressing. Q: I don’t do well in interviews because my mind always seems to start racing the minute I get asked a question. I recently received feedback that I seemed unprepared. Any advice?
A: Many clients that I work with are caught off guard by the kinds of questions they are asked in a interview. More specifically, they feel prepared and confident going into the interview, and then get thrown for a loop when they are asked questions they weren't expecting.
Many employers use a behavioral interview style. It’s an approach that requires you to answer each question with a “real world” example. So, for example, you might be asked about a time that you had a significant success in the workplace. Rather than speaking vaguely about your history of successes at work, you would need to provide a specific example. Start by providing a snippet of background information before explaining what you did and the result of your action.
To be successful in a behavioral interview, you need to come prepared with a range of examples that you can speak to. It’s easier than you may think, and it actually makes it quite simple to keep your thoughts organized. Instead of trying to wrap your mind around all sorts of pre-interview thoughts, you can spend your time briefly reviewing the handful of examples that you may speak to, depending on the specifics of what you are asked.
As is the case with resumes, claims without proof are frowned upon. Bolster your success as an interviewee by becoming comfortable with interviews where you have the opportunity to shine by backing up your words with specific past experiences.