- Think of your responses as stories. Your response should provide an example in story form of the behavior the interviewer is asking about. As you can probably guess from the nature of the questions asked, you must provide specific examples.
- Become a great storyteller in your interviews, but be careful not to ramble. Briefly describe the situation, what specific action you took to have an effect on the situation, and the positive result or outcome. Frame it in a multi-step process using one of several acronym-based formulas that experts have established structuring responses as examples/stories. These formulas are covered in greater detail later in this chapter, but the most basic of them are referred to as S-A-R, P-A-R, C-A-R, or S-T-A-R: 1. situation (or situation + task, challenge, problem), 2. action, 3. result/outcome.
- Your examples/stories should be relatively recent. Ideally, they will be from your current or most recent job. Employers what to know what you’ve done lately that could benefit their organization. If you are a college student, they will be from a job, internship, class project, extracurricular activity, sport, or other aspect of your life in college “ not from your high-school days. The interviewer may even specify a recent example “ say, from the last year.
- Compose stories that come from a variety of aspects of your life and career; don’t focus on just one job or activity, for example. If you are a college student, don’t limit your examples to, for instance, only those that come out of your experience as an officer in your fraternity. Use examples from jobs, volunteer work, sports, schoolwork, team participation, community service, hobbies, and other aspects of you life as well. In addition, you may use examples of special accomplishments, whether personal or professional, such as scoring the winning touchdown, being elected president of your Greek organization, winning a prize for your artwork, surfing a big wave, or raising money for charity. Established candidates can take most of their examples from their jobs but add occasional stories from other areas of their lives.