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1. Short Article: Top 5 Interviewing Success Strategies
3. Free Chapter: 401 Interview Questions To Help You Prepare
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Behavior-based interviewing is rapidly becoming the interviewing method of choice for organizations of all sizes. Your preparation and understanding of this method will mean the difference between your going to the next step in the hiring process or not.

In a behavior-based interview, you will be asked questions that begin with "Tell me about a time when…", or "Give me an example…" or "Describe a situation when…." Interviewers want proof and real-life examples that you have predetermined skills to do the job – not your opinions or your thoughts on how you would go about doing a job.

These predetermined skills are beyond just technical knowledge, and questions are designed to evaluate leadership, planning and organizing, and relationship building, for example.

Sample Behavior-Based Questions:

Leadership question:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to lead many people to achieve a goal.

Planning and organizing question:

  • Give me an example of an event or project that you planned on very short notice.

Relationship building question:

  • Describe a situation when you built rapport with a difficult customer.

The following five strategies can help you prepare for behavior-based interviews and successfully sell yourself to prospective employers.

1. Prepare SAR Stories Supporting Your Strengths
Behavior-based interviewers have been trained to solicit your real-life examples and responses in a "SAR format":

S = the situation you faced
A = the action you took to address the situation
R = the results of your action
Prepare detailed and specific SAR stories that support your core strengths and that are your greatest accomplishments from each of your past positions. Practice your responses so that you will be able to recall your past accomplishments with confidence. Remember to share stories that are factual and that support your candidacy.

2. Prepare SAR Stories Related to the Job
Ask for a detailed job description and job advertisement. Pull out key performance skills from the essential duties and responsibilities and draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On the left, make a list of the key skills the employer is looking for. On the right, list at least two SAR stories for each skill and then practice your responses. If you are unable to get a job description, look for similar descriptions and ads at competing firms.

3. Use SAR Stories for Traditional Interview Questions
If an interview is more conversational and not behavior-based, chances are the interviewer will be confused about your candidacy because he wasn’t able to gather supporting data of your skill sets. In this case, you may hear more traditional interview questions such as "What are your strengths?" or "Tell me about yourself." Find every opportunity to drop a SAR statement into an interview response. A documented example of what you’ve done in the past is more compelling than a nonspecific statement and will help the interviewer discover your strengths.

4. Prepare SAR Stories with Negative Consequences
Prepare stories with negative consequences just in case you are asked. A sample question might be "Tell me a time when you were unable to close a sale." Position your responses positively so that you portray yourself as effective and someone who takes responsibility.

5. Don’t Forget Your Results!
Many candidates gloss over their results. Interviewers are expected to probe for this information so do the due diligence necessary to retrieve detailed results regarding the actions you took. Results may include revenue produced, cost savings, customer satisfaction scores, and process improvements, for example.

You’ll never know exactly what questions and what follow up questions you will be asked during a behavior-based interview, so don’t try to memorize responses. Don’t let this throw you off guard – the key to your success is preparation that forces you to delve into your memory bank to spark old memories so you can articulate job-related stories quickly and eloquently.

Some additional behavioral interviewing questions to consider:

  • Tell me about a time when you were a part of a great team. What was your part in making the team effective?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult co-worker. How did you handle the situation?
  • Can you tell me about a time during your previous employment when you suggested a better way to perform a process?
  • Give an example of a time when you were trying to meet a deadline, you were interrupted, and did not make the deadline. How did you respond?
  • What do you do when you know you are right and your boss disagrees with you? Give me an example of when this has happened in your career.


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Click here for a free chapter review: 401 Interview Questions to help you prepare, from my book “How to Choose the Right Person for the Right Job Every Time” (The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.)

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In-Person (Atlanta, GA) or remote Interview Coaching and Video/Audio Mock Training – Don’t wait until the last minute and be ill prepared for your big interview.  I have a step-by-step process that includes the absolute, most effective way for you to prepare – video /audio mock interviewing.  Ace that big interview by becoming skilled and confident and increase the number of job offers you receive.   Two, one-hour sessions (session one is preparation and session two includes in-person (Atlanta, GA) or remote video/or audio mock interview preparation)


  • How to stand out from the competition and effectively sell your unique competitive advantages.
  • How to interview with confidence and prepare for behavior-based interviews, the interview method of choice by hiring managers and human resource professionals.
  • How to prepare for the toughest interview questions and telephone screens through a mock interview and feedback on your answers.
  • Strategies for interview follow-up and getting and acing that second interview.
  • Success story examples:
    • A client came in 2nd in his interviews 15 times before working with me and within 3 weeks of going through my process, he received 2 job offers.
    • A woman executive was told by a recruiter that she was the long shot for a job opening.  After going through my process, she got the job along with another offer at the same time.

COST:   Special discount if booked in November $299 (regularly $425)

HOW TO TAKE ACTION: Click Here to get booked or Send email to to learn more


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