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Dealing With Behavior Questions Like a Pro

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interviewHow To Leverage Resume Writing Skills & Abilities For Behavioral Tests

When it comes time for your job interview, you may think that much of the emphasis will be placed on your resume writing skills and abilities. Although there’s no doubt that a well-written resume is key to getting that all-important interview, you’ll need to give some thought as to how you’ll present yourself during the interview itself.

One of the most common ways for an hiring manager to get to know you is to ask what are called “behavioral questions.” Behavioral tests for employment are very common and are usually given orally as part of the interview, although written tests are sometimes used as well. Why are behavioral tests so important? Because the company wants to see a more complete picture of who you are than simply your skills and abilities writing a resume.

A behavioral question deals with how you dealt with a past situation. The thinking is that understanding how you dealt with difficulties in the past will shed light on how you’ll respond to problems in the future. The types of questions you could be asked are endless. Here are some examples:

  • Explain how you’ve worked on a team in the past.
  • Describe a time you had a supervisor who seemed unreasonable. How did you handle that situation?
  • What do you do when you do not meet personal goals? What do you do when you don’t meet your employer’s goals?
  • How do you handle situations where there is little time to complete a task? Name a situation where this happened.
  • Can you think of a time where you exceeded a customer’s expectations? How did you do it?
  • What do you do if you have a disagreement with a co-worker about an issue?

As you can see, your resume writing skills and abilities will only get you so far in the hiring process. Don’t worry! There’s a few things you can do to make sure that you can answer these types of questions truthfully and naturally.

1. Be an interview “STAR”

When taking behavioral tests for potential employment, you’ll need to focus on giving strong, direct answers. Rambling on for several minutes about topics unrelated to the question will not show the strength and confidence you want the hiring manager to see. A simple outline, called “STAR” or the “STAR technique” can help give you a mental outline to better answer behavioral questions. The four points of the outline create the acronym of “STAR,” making it easy to remember in a pinch.

  • (S) Situation: Describe what happened on the occasion you are being questioned about. Include pertinent facts, and do not dwell long on issues that are not key to the situation.
  • (T) Task: What was the task that you were trying to complete that caused the issue in the first place? Give the main points of the task and what functions of the task you were asked to perform.
  • (A) Action: Explain what steps you took to remedy the situation. Be detailed, as this step will help a potential employer understand your grasp of problem-solving skills.
  • (R) Results: Show what the end-result of your action was. Make sure you highlight how your actions benefited either your customers, the company, or both.

As you can see, your abilities and skills as a resume writer are important, but they cannot substitute for strong, confidence-inspiring answers on behavioral tests for employment.

2. Accentuate the positive

It’s possible that you are currently interviewing for jobs because your previous job did not end well. It could be that your company downsized and your position was on the chopping block. Maybe your work environment became so toxic that you felt the need for a change. Whatever the reason, it’s likely you have some hard feeling from past workplace experiences.

It’s very easy to let negativity bleed into your answers of behavioral questions. Although it’s imperative that you answer all questions truthfully, make sure that you accentuate the positive of the situations you’ve gone through. Most situations, even ones that end poorly, have lessons that you can learn from. Talk about those lessons and how you personally grew through hardships.

Again, it’s important that you’re upfront and honest in your answers. Just make sure that you show you are optimistic about your future. Your abilities and skills as a resume writer will help you tremendously, but a positive outlook on your future career will also bode well for you during the interview process.

3. Practice makes perfect

Although it’s impossible for you to prepare for every behavioral test for employment, you can make sure that you sharpen your skills in this area. Your resume writing skills and abilities should not be the only strength they see on interview day.

Doing some research ahead of time on potential behavioral questions will help prepare you when the questions actually come. You can find many sample questions (like the ones above) online. Take some time and jot down specific issues that you’ve encountered in the past. This will help keep them fresh in your mind and make them easier to recall during the interview.

One of the best ways to prepare for behavioral questions is to work with a company that has resume writing skills, but that can also give you guidance with these types of tests. At Resume Pundits, we have a team of experts that give personalized resume services for professionals across a number of industries. This means that you’ll not only find help crafting a professional resume, but also career advice from a dedicated industry insider. Our customer service team is made up of HR professionals and former recruiters, so we’re confident we can help you.

Don’t go it alone! Contact us today to see how we can help you with your resume development needs.

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