How to respond to “tell me about a time when…” interview questions when you don’t have good examples by Alison Green

“Tell me about a time when…” questions — known as behavioral interview questions — are supposed to be a way to explore real-life occasions when you’re used skills that are important to the job. The idea is to get away from hypotheticals (like “how would you handle it if X happened?”), which are easy to BS your way through, and instead probe into how you’ve really operated.

As an interviewer, there’s some value in hearing someone talk about what they think they’d do in the future or how they’d approach a hypothetical situation. But there’s a lot more value in exploring how they actually have operated in the past, in real situations with real complexities and challenges. Sometimes people can bluff their way through a hypothetical just by using common sense — without it lining up with what they do in real life.

That said, good interviewers are thoughtful about choosing which “tell me about a time when…” questions they ask. These questions should be framed around the biggest must-have’s for the role, and if they’re overly narrow, even strong candidates will struggle to answer them.

Read the full article @ Ask A Manager

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