How to prep for tough interview questions

Follow a simple formula to master behavioral interview questions

In any interview, chances are you'll be hit with an open-ended question, such as: "Tell me about a time when…" or "What would you do if…"

Gayle Laakmann McDowell, author and CEO of CareerCup, says interviewers ask these in order to rate your communication skills.

To best showcase your abilities, McDowell advises candidates use one of the following strategies:

1. Lead with the premise, or "nugget."

"If you’re asked about a challenging interaction with a coworker, you might say something like: 'Let me tell you about the time a teammate objected to the product’s new direction. So what happened was….' This structure helps focus your interviewer – and you – on what you’re about to say," McDowell says.

2. Candidates can also use a situation/action/result framework, in which they state each in that order to deliver a clear answer.

McDowell emphasizes one should focus on being as concise as possible when using the latter: "Be careful not to give too many extraneous details. Your interviewer probably only needs to know the details of the situation that actually relate to the action and result."

The above two methods are just the basics when it comes to behavioral question prep. If you'd like a more advanced method that helps you anticipate and prepare examples specific to your experience, read more via the link below.


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