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Behavioral Interviewing

By Jennifer C. Zamecki
Posted: June 22, 2007, from the July 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 6


10. Decision-Making: Utilizing effective processes to make decisions.

  • Show an ability to make timely decisions under difficult circumstances.
  • Sample question: “Give me an example of when you had to make a quick decision when the risk of making an error was high.”


        Be sure to answer with as many details and specifics as possible, such as names, dates and other verifiable information. Skilled interviewers will also ask candidates for thoughts or feelings about a particular situation in order to gain further insight.

Reversing roles
        Behavioral interviewing is an effective method from an interviewer’s standpoint, and is especially so if the skills and competencies required for the job have been evaluated before the interviewing process begins. A few things to think about in order to prepare for an interview involving behavioral techniques include what would entail success at the particular job and how a person’s own skills would fit into the skill set the job requires.
        First, if the job itself could talk, what would it say it needed? Areas to focus on should be the behaviors of the person doing the job: Will she always be able to deliver superior performance?; the attitudes of the person doing the job: Is it appropriate for the position and the company?; and the attributes or personal skills of the person doing the job: Are they what is needed for superior performance?
        Next, job benchmarking reveals why, how and what an individual can contribute to a job. It identifies a complete hierarchy of competencies or personal skills for the job and allows clarification of any issues regarding the position. It prioritizes and validates the competencies required for the position, so the person doing the job knows what to expect.
        By knowing what the job needs and how a person’s competencies and skills will fit in with into that dynamic, it helps ensure the right traits and qualities are being looked for, as well as aiding in streamlining the application and interviewing process. When the focus of the interview is in the proper place—on the applicants and the job itself—personal biases are less likely to interfere with this important decision.