Benefits of Working
with Access Staff International
  How to Gain
the most value from
Access Staff International
  Some Helpful Hints
(For Employers)
  Tips for Success
and Frequently Asked Questions for Employers
Interview   (Commonly
Why are you willing to leave your current employer?

What do you know about this position and the company? Why are you interested?

What are your short-term and long-term goals?
How do you feel about your current supervisor?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What are you currently looking for in salary? Why?
What information is important to you in making a decision about this job change?
What questions do you plan to ask the employer either about the job, company or other things?
Who have you learned the most from? What was it? Why was it important?
What could be improved in your boss?
What do you like about your current boss?
When are you available to start?
What would you change here?
How to sell yourself in an interview:
Sell yourself! Learn as much as possible about the position, the company and the interviewers themselves. The more detailed information you have about the company and the position, the better prepared and more interested you look. Go to the library and visit the companyís web site.

Employers want people who are interested to work for them. Demonstrate this by:

1. Preparing Questions. No matter how thorough the employer is in the interview, you must ask questions. This demonstrates interest and thinking ability.
2. Asking, "What is the next step?" Tell the employer you were intrigued prior to the interview and are now even more.
3. Emphasizing areas of your background. Think of specific samples that demonstrate this. Sell yourself and your abilities through play back.
Back to... Why Choose
Access Staff International
Behavior-based interviewing first gained favor when the labor market was an employerís paradise. When there were always more than enough candidates to choose from, employers could afford to be choosy.

Now that the job market has improved for candidates, itís less common for interviewers to rely solely on behavior-based questions. However, most interviewers routinely include several behavioral questions along with more standard general questions. Their goal is to make sure they donít hire a candidate who can talk a good game but canít deliver a great performance.

Built on the belief that past performance is the best predictor of future success, this interviewing style relies less on general questions and more on specifics. Questions usually begin with such phrases as "Tell me about a time whenÖ" or "Give me an example ofÖ"

Interviewers who favor this format usually develop their line of questioning around the traits and skills deemed important for success in the position or organization. For example, if a job involves a lot of customer service, an interviewer might ask you, "tell me about a time when you had to handle an irate customer." For a position that requires extensive teamwork, you might be asked to "Give an example of a situation where you demonstrated your skill as a team player."

Similar Preparation
Knowing how interviewers structure their questions makes it easier for you to prepare good responses. If an interviewer prepares by reviewing the job description to determine a jobís required skills and traits and asks for specific examples that demonstrate those characteristics, you need to go through a similar preparation process.

With the job descriptions for a specific position or function for behavioral interviews, clients can determine the skills and traits interviewers are most likely to ask about.

If an employer wants someone whoís a "team player," you can expect to be asked some of the following:-

"Tell me about a time when you had to rely
on a team to get things done."
  • Candidates who understand the technique and
    are prepared to
    handle these types of interview questions have
    an edge over those who are unaware of this
    trend and must be coached by interviewers to respond appropriately.
"Provide an example of a time when you had to persuade people to do something that they didnít want to do."
"Give me an example of your leadership style."

Start With Your Resume

An easy way to start preparing for behavioral questions involves resume review. By going through your resume line-by-line (in search of relevant examples), youíll become comfortable with how you plan to answer likely questions.  

"The idea behind behavioral interviewing is that you can tell much more about a personís attitudes, work habits and skills by hearing them describe real actions taken in real circumstances than by letting them speak in the abstract about themselves."

The less confident you feel about a specific circumstance or qualification, the more you need to prepare and rehearse your response. For example, an Educator interviewed for a position as a Director of Distance Learning Technology. Although she had an extensive background in continuing education, she didnít feel qualified to handle the technical aspects of the position.


Expect interviewers to ask negatively phrased questions that reveal your weaknesses and flaws as well as your strengths. Donít fall into the trap of demeaning yourself just because youíre anxious to comply. If the stories you tell donít reflect positively on you, thereís no reason to tell them.

By brainstorming, she realized that she had coordinated teleconferencing sessions for an audio tape series and worked on a planning program for developing Internet-based programming. When she had finished reviewing her resume and accomplishments, she realized she could do the work.

A Three-Step Approach
Some candidates find the format of behavioral questions is unsettling. In the pressure of the moment, they canít think of a single example. To overcome that obstacle, develop a list of experiences that cover the skills and characteristics required for the position you seek.
1. Determine your chief skills or strengths and actual experiences which exemplify each one.
Remember dates, names, quantities or measurements of success and other details that will
convey the situation to the interviewer.
2. Understand the jobís description and be prepared to recall specific actions and behaviors that
address the required skills.
3. Donít make vague proclamations of your skills. Small but telling actions and behaviors are more
important than grandiose but unsubstantiated claims of job success.
  Structuring Your Stories:
  It helps to use a P-A-R (Problem-Action-Result) formula to structure your stories. Review your resume and decide which stories to tell. Next, you should write, edit and rehearse your stories. This is time consuming but worth the effort. Since most people arenít natural storytellers, itís good to know what you plan to say and how you plant to say it. That way you minimize the risk of drawing a blank, telling the wrong story or rambling.

Hereís an example:


Sally was a sales representative for a publisher. She was hired to replace a disreputable former rep who had tarnished the companyís image with existing and potential customers. Sallyís challenge was to rebuild the companyís reputation and restore customerís faith.

  Action: Sally reviewed the files of existing customers to determine where problems had occurred in the past. Then, she met with each current and former customer in her territory to introduce herself and assure them that past problems had been remedied. She guaranteed that she would oversee personally their accounts to make sure problems didnít recur. With her managerís permission, she offered price incentives that would encourage them to try again. When orders arrived, she maintained a hands-on approach to ensure that customers received the best possible service.  
Of lapsed clients, 75% became active again. More than half of existing customers increased sales.
Net result: over $500,000.00 in new business the first year.
  Disconcerting as behavior-based interview questions can be, theyíre really nothing
more than request for examples to accompany standard responses. To prepare, make sure your answers to typical questions include such illustrations.
  To put a unique spin to the P-A-R format, try a R-A-P format. Start with the result, because accomplishments capture an interviewerís attention. Then describe the actions you took and finally the problem that was solved. In that way, your accomplishments stand out boldly.  

If youíre really savvy, you can vary your approach by using both strategies within the same interview. For example, if youíre describing a tough problem, you might want to use the P-A-R approach to emphasize the very real challenge you faced. If you achieved a particularly spectacular end result, you might want to use the R-A-P format, which emphasizes your results.

  Hereís an example:
  Result: Sally could choose to start her story by saying: "I increased sales by more than half-million dollars in my first year with XYZ company."  
  Action: "When I first took over the new territory, I knew it was important to develop strong relationships with customers. I wanted them to know that they could trust me to deliver what they needed. I made it clear that this was a new beginning, that whatever problems they had in the past were in the past, and that I would personally supervise their accounts and guarantee the results.  
  "Because I was dealing with people who had some difficulties with our company in the past, I was able to offer financial incentives to bring back lapsed customers and encourage existing customers to expand their orders."  
  Problem: "What I needed to address openly was the fact that many customers had problems with our company in the past but that those days were over. Fortunately, I was able to win their trust and equally important, I was able to deliver what I promised ~~ which is why I achieved such good financial results."  
Tricky Questions Reign in Behavioral Interviews