These types of interviews tend to focus almost entirely on questions relating to what you have done in the past. The assumption is that your past behavior in response to complex challenges will provide an example of how you might behave in the future. Instead of general questions about goals or strengths, you might be asked about how you met specific challenges in past jobs or classes.
Typically, a behavioral-based question might ask you to give an account of a, “time you faced and overcame adversity,” or to “describe a time you used your communication skills to resolve a problem.” You might even be faced with a more challenging question like, “Tell me about how you’ve coped with a failure in your life.”
Success Keys: Remember that the purpose of these kinds of interviews is to provide insights into your past behavior. Such insight provides the employer with details to use in determining how your past actions might mirror your future behavior. It is therefore a good idea to answer the questions in a way that is both specific to your past and makes a direct connection to the company’s future. For instance, you might open your answer by acknowledging that you know the company values a team approach to solving problems and then proceed by indicating how a similar approach was successful in a previous company.
You will mostly encounter this interview format in most governmental engineering jobs. The most common type of questions include the how-you-would-act-in-situation-x-type of questions. While there is almost no way to determine which questions will be asked, it a good idea to do some research see if someone has posted example questions on the internet. This forum is a good source on this exact topic. It is not rare that in most companies using this format, they would be using the same set of questions over and over again.
Companies use this type of interviewing format to assess how a candidate reacts to actual or hypothetical situations to mainly determine whether or not they are the proper fit for the position. For entry-level engineering jobs, this type of interviewing strategy may include questions such as, “you are involved with a project that requires you to undermine the competition, what do you do?”
Success Keys: The only way to be successful at this type of interview is to find out ahead of time what traits the company values and gauge your responses to reflect those traits.Following the questions, you may need more information from the interviewers in order to respond appropriately. If possible, prepare yourself by asking questions in to make sure you have enough information. Also, remember that even though the approach of using hypothetical questions or role-playing scenarios may appear silly, you must respond in a serious, mature, professional manner. The interviewer is undoubtedly serious and may even assess your physical reactions to the questions.
This interview approach typically takes place at a site visit where you interview with employees at several levels in the company. You may interview with administrative staff, individuals that you might work with directly and senior managers. This interview style is a great way for a company to test how well you would work with (and get along with) people from a broad range of levels within the company. This approach is mostly applied at smaller engineering firms.
Success Keys: It is critical to remember that a poor interview with any of the people you meet with can disqualify you. Give each interview your best effort, showing just as much respect for all the employees regardless of their level in the company. Administrative support staff members are typically concerned with how you approach working with people under you, and they will likely have a different perspective on company operations than the management.
The people you will be working with will typically want to discuss job specifics-they may outline day-to-day duties and expectations. They will attempt to discover if you’re likely to accept staff input and see your coworkers as valuable partners. Senior managers will analyze your ability to fit into the big picture at the company.
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