There's one type of interview question that can trip up even the most polished of candidates. It's called a behavioral based question, and it starts with the phrase, "Tell me about a time when . . ."
Some examples of behavioral based questions include:
Tell me about a time when . . .
. . . you went above and beyond the call of duty to get a job done.
. . . you had to work on a project under a tight deadline.
. . . you had to act with very little planning.
. . . you tried to accomplish something but failed.
. . . you delegated a project effectively.
Suddenly your mind is blank, your palms are sweaty, and you might even experience a fight-or-flight response as you nervously assess your exit options. In this situation, take a deep breath and recall one word: STAR. At an event hosted by New York Women in Communications, panelist Laura Burkart of Superfly advised attendees to review behavioral based questions before an interview and prepare some answers using this acronym:
S = Situation
Describe the relevant circumstances of the situation.
T = Task
Define the challenge that was presented to you.
A = Action
Give specific examples of your role in the situation and what actions you took.
R = Result
Explain the outcome of the situation (if possible, use quantities) and specify what you learned or achieved.
This is a great opportunity to make your past work for you. If you have some well-worded (and well-practiced) stories ready to go, you'll rock the interview and turn into their star candidate.