Scene: You are answering a behavioural interview question and you feel yourself digging a hole – you can tell by the look on the interviewer’s face that your answer is not going over well…the problem is the more you say the deeper you dig. Sound familiar? WHAT can you do? Is there any way to get out of this and be successful with your answer?
First, you need to remember this is the reason why employers ask behavioural type questions – people tend to overshare – give more information by telling the “story” of how they handled a situation. Employers know that we typically repeat past behavior so it is a good indicator of how we will behave in the future.
So…what to do if you are digging a hole? The only possible solution I have come up with is to STOP talking for a moment, pause and take a breath.
Then say something like:
”As you can tell I did not make the wisest decision in this situation (own it). What I did do was go home and reflect upon it – I thought about possible solutions that would have had a better outcome – what else could I have done? I came up with a few ways to handle it such as (provide examples). I went to work the next day and apologized for my part in not handling the situation well (owned it and took responsibility) and asked if we could work together in coming up with a solution. My co-worker agreed, I shared my possible solutions and she shared some of hers as well. We came up with a solution that we both agreed upon. We ended up working well together in the future and did not repeat the previous behaviour (owned problem, took responsibility and changed future behaviour).”
This is the type of person employer’s want – they know that no one is perfect.
The important thing about answering behavioural type questions is to be prepared through practice. Remember: It is not just about sharing a story/situation to answer the interview question; be strategic – how can I answer the question that will best showcase my skills.
Best of luck on your next interview!
By Michelle O’Donohoe Resident Blogger for Agilec
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