Hiring influencers do ask questions from your resume, such as your skills, education, and experience, but they also ask behavioural questions. These are questions about previous situations, the choices you made, and what you learned from the results. You can plan ahead for behavioural interview questions by reviewing a variety, planning which examples to use, and practicing the answers. While there are no hard and fast wrong answers for these questions, interviewers are looking for a willingness to learn from mistakes, take successes from one situation and apply the knowledge to another situation, and to learn how you interact with others and how you handle both disaster and success.
Do choose both a significant mistake and a success. Review how you handled both the situations and the people involved. Think about what you learned from the results of your choices and the results of your interactions with others. Would you change anything?
Do choose both a positive and negative situation/interaction with a supervisor or colleague. Review the same as above, focusing on what you learned and what you would change.
Don’t stick with examples where you performed perfectly. Interviewers want to know that you can learn from mistakes, too, and that you can see (and admit) when you make poor choices. Do focus on what you’d do next time, or how you would avoid the issue in the first place, but be prepared to talk about a failure. Learning to “fail forward” or learn and grow from your mistakes is a sign of maturity, flexibility, and perseverance, all valuable traits.
Do choose negative examples that are recoverable. There’s no need to talk about the time you were arrested as a teenager, or other serious red flag. Be honest about those events if you’re asked directly, but no need to volunteer your very worst mistakes.
Do practice with a spouse or friend. It not only increases your comfort with the subjects, but it provides a second viewpoint on your choice of examples.
Don’t assume all the questions will be about the past. A great behavioural interview question is “Assume you get this job and you’re talking to a potential client. How would you introduce yourself and your role to this person, and how would you pitch our services?” Hiring influencers are interested in how prepared you are for the job, so there’s no better way to judge that then how well you prepared for this job, as interviewee! Bone up on the position you desire and the company itself.