A Guide to Your Mock Interview by mifei


									                           Sample Mock Interview Guide
            Traditional Interviewing versus Behavior Based Interviewing:

Traditional Interviewing:
Traditional interviewing is less prevalent as behavioral-based interviewing is the status norm
along with situational and competency-based interviewing. However, traditional interview
questions are often interwoven with behavioral-based questions. This form of interviewing is a
less rigorous form of interviewing and requires less analysis on the part of the interviewer.
Some interviewers who work under time constraints opt to use traditional interviewing

The methodology of traditional interviewing is inclined to focus on your beliefs, professional or
hypothetical situations. In a traditional interviewing scenario, you can usually escape with
telling the interviewer what he or she desires to hear. When situational questions are framed
"How would you handle XYZ situation?" you still have nominal accountability. An interviewer
will generally pose a standard statement like, “Tell me about yourself.”

One of the primary benefits of traditional interviewing is that it enables the interviewer and the
interviewee to establish a rapport and to acclimate to each other in a less intense manner than
the behavioral-based interviewing.

Behavior-Based Interviewing:
Behavioral-based interviewing is believed to be the most accurate predictor of future
performance as it focuses on past behavior in a similar situation. It provides a more objective
set of facts to make selection decisions than other interviewing methods. Interviewers use the
behavioral interview technique to evaluate interviewees’ experiences and behaviors to help
determine potential for success. The interviewer identifies job-related experiences, behaviors,
knowledge, skills, and abilities that are desirable in a particular position to generally include the

      Critical thinking
      Self-confidence
      Self-starter
      Thirst to learn
      Professionalism

Behavioral-Based Interviewing uses the STAR approach:

      S ……….. Situation……… provide an example of a situation
      T ………. Task …… describe the tasks involved
      A ………Action……. explain how you responded
      R………..Results ………… describe the (positive) outcome as a result
                                                                              Human Resources Staffing
                                                 1                                       March 2010
Key Reminders: Behavior Based Interviewing:
 In the interview, your response needs to be specific and detailed, yet precise. Tell about a
   particular situation that relates to the question, not a general one. Tell briefly about the
   situation and what you did specifically, and the positive result or outcome.

   An interviewee tells a story for a few minutes; typically the interviewer will pick apart the
    story to try to get at the specific behavior(s). The interviewer can probe further for more
    depth or detail such as “What were you thinking at the point?” or “Tell me more about your
    meeting with that person,” or “Guide me through your decision process.”

   Listen carefully to the questions, ask for clarification if necessary, and make sure you
    understand the question in its entirety prior to responding.

   Your interview preparation should include identifying examples of situations where you
    have the demonstrated relevant behaviors and experience. Reflect on achievements that
    reflect your knowledge, skills, and abilities, qualities, and key characteristics.

                                                                             Human Resources Staffing
                                                2                                       March 2010
                      Behavior-Based Mock Interview Questions:

Mock Interview Participants: Use questions below to practice for mock interview.

   1. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince a
      colleague, peer, and/or leader to support your opinion or concept to accomplish a
      project or move an agenda forward.

   2. Describe a scenario where you had to display a high level of diplomatic skills and remove
      yourself from a problematic scenario.

   3. Cite a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a
      problem for an internal or external client.

   4. Provide examples, convince the Interviewer that you can adapt to a wide variety of
      people, situations, and environments.

   5. Describe a time on any job that you held in which you were faced with problems or
      stress that tested your diplomatic skills.

   6. Provide an example of a time in which you had to make a critical decision which
      impacted your department or overall organization.

   7. Describe a specific scenario in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not

   8. Share an example of an important professional goal which you had set in the past and
      highlight key strategies which helped you achieve the goal.

   9. Describe a significant or creative verbal/written presentation which you have had to

   10. Describe a situation when you had to go step outside of your normal role and/or
       collaborate with staff members outside of your department in order to get an
       assignment or project completed.

   11. Cite an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade a team member,
       management, or vendor when you initially did not share the same worldview. (or vice

   12. Describe 3 of your best professional attributes which make you a competitive candidate.

   13. Provide a brief example of when you had a tight deadline and you knew you would not be able
       to complete the assignment. How did you manage?
                                                                              Human Resources Staffing
                                                3                                        March 2010
                    Behavior-Based Mock Interview Questions:
14. Provide me with a brief example of a time when you had to communicate negative news to a
    critical client.

15. Cite an example of when you went out of your way to complete a project even though the
    project belonged to a colleague.

16. Describe a scenario when you effectively dealt with a difficult customer/client to resolve his/her

17. Identify a skill set area that you would like to improve in to make yourself more competitive.

18. Tell me about a time when you worked on a team project and the project was failing. What did
    you do to move it forward?

19. Describe an accomplishment, procedure, or process which you implemented even though you
    faced a series of challenges.

20. Cite three of your most transferable skills, which would transfer into any potential career
    opportunity. Share briefly why you think so.

21. What is the most important element of teamwork?

22. Describe a brief scenario when you had to provide undesirable work results to your leader.

23. What steps have you taken to position yourself for your next internal career opportunity?

24. Describe a time when you presented an innovative concept to management and it was not
    received well. How did you handle the feedback?

25. Give me an example of how you approach finding a solution to a work problem.

26. Tell me about a time when you transformed a process or procedure to enhance your

27. Describe a work scenario when you went out of your way to work on a project outside of the
    normal scope of your role.

28. Cite two of your greatest work accomplishments while working with a team.

29. Provide an example of when a project that you worked on turned out to be successful, but you
    did not receive acknowledgement. How did you handle the scenario?

30. What is your method of staying on track to deliver a project or execute your daily task?

                                                                              Human Resources Staffing
                                               4                                         March 2010
                    Behavior-Based Mock Interview Questions:
31. Tell me about a time when you turned a problem into an opportunity to showcase your skill set.

32. What are 3 essential ingredients to building professional business relationships in the
    workplace? It could be with a peer, manager, or a colleague in a different department.

33. If given the opportunity to compete for your ideal career opportunity, what would you want the
    hiring authority to know about your past work performance?

                                                                            Human Resources Staffing
                                              5                                        March 2010
                            General Interview Pointers: Part I
                            A Successful Professional Interview

   Make a sincere effort to thoroughly analyze the job description and know the requirements.
   Investigate the department, and hiring authority, if possible to prepare your overall
    strategies to move through all phases of the interview.
   Reevaluate whether the career opportunity is truly a viable match. If it is a viable match,
    you must be prepared to build upon this match and sell the Interviewer….connect the dots.
   Leverage your professional network to help you learn more about the career opportunities
    which you are interviewing.
   Leverage your support network to walk you through a mock interview prior to an actual
   Adhere to all instructions provided to you by the Organizational Representative, Recruiter
    and/or the Hiring Manager throughout the interview process.
   Arrive for an actual interview at least 15 minutes early to collect yourself and perform a last
    minute check.
   Develop your key talking points to ensure the initial moments prior to the actual interview
    with the Organizational Representative, Recruiter and/or Hiring Manager go well.
   Recognize the fact that the internal and external market is extremely competitive and be
    prepared to market yourself at each opportune time during the interview.
   Sell your KSAs from all different angles, and make sure you convey directly and/or weave
    your KSAs in the dialogue by aligning them with the career opportunity and more
    importantly, the core requirements of the career opportunity.
   Project a relaxed confident image. Keep all of your answers as positive as possible and
    precise. Do no wander off course or disparage your previous employer, leader, or
   Be cognizant of your non-verbal expressions (i.e. eye contact, voice projection, posture,
    nervous habits).
   Be prepared to answer all-encompassing questions about your past work experience.
   Be prepared to share work accomplishments by incorporating them into your responses to
    the questions posed to you.
   Be prepared to communicate your greatest work challenges even when every other
    element about the opportunity/position was positive.
   Be prepared to demonstrate your ability as a team player and outcome of team projects.
   Be prepared to discuss your preferred and least preferred manager leadership style.
   Be prepared to discuss areas which you know you need to further develop. Cite the action
    steps you are taking to shore up these areas.
   Create a list of eight key adjectives that you use to describe yourself. Think of concrete
    examples that demonstrate these adjectives. When you are asked to tell the employer
    about yourself, use these adjectives and examples to distinguish yourself.
   Develop a list of precise examples that illustrate how you can deal or will deal with a
    changing work environment.

                                                                            Human Resources Staffing
                                                6                                      March 2010
                              General Interview Pointers: Part II
                            A Successful Professional Interview

   Be prepared with examples which demonstrate that you are a professional even when you
    encounter difficult situations in the workplace.
   Be equipped to provide examples when you could not meet stringent work deadlines.
   Paint a visual picture and amplify your brand for all of the interviewers who interview you.
   Gear up to deliver consistent responses to all of the interviewers throughout the interview
    process. Interviewers will look for disconnects in your story.
   Be prepared to demonstrate your ability to solve medium to complex problems by citing
    concrete examples and outcomes.
   Be prepared to articulate how you can add value to the department, organization or
    specifically impact an initiative within a relative short time frame of joining the organization.
   Take a pause if you get stuck on a question. It might be awkward, but often, you can simply
    say, “That’s a very good question; let me take a minute to think about that.” Although a
    short pause is okay, try to avoid a lengthy one. Generally, trained Interviewers can
    ascertain if you are just buying time to concoct a response.
   Develop probing yet essential questions about the career opportunity, department and
    organization to pose to the interviewer, so that when the opening emerges, you are
   Display the same level of respect and decorum with all employees you encounter during the
    interview process.
   Be prepared to differentiate yourself against other contenders, at all appropriate junctures.
   Be sure to find out the next steps in the interview process, if not outlined for you.
   End the interview on an encouraging note, either reiterate your interest in the position or
    tell the Recruiter or Hiring Manager you look forward to hearing from him/her soon.
   Thank the organizational representative for his/her time and interest. Write a succinct
    thank you note or send an email, which is an “extra” touch to help you stand out from your

                                                                              Human Resources Staffing
                                                7                                        March 2010

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