Interview Techniques: What Job Seekers Should Know

Updated: November 02, 2010

As a job seeker, it is imperative that you are prepared to answer interview questions that allow you to stand out and be noticed, while displaying your skills and experiences in a credible way. Employers have become more savvy in their interviewing techniques and are moving away from the old, traditional interviewing styles and towards more progressive situational and behavioral styles. What is the difference?

Traditional interviews often do not cover enough ground - especially under the condition where the prospective employer has very little data to use to evaluate you. When asked questions such as, "Tell me a little bit about what you've done in the past," you have an open road to go down and can do so in any way you'd like. You can paint a picture with canned responses that put you in the best light possible.

Situational interviews are slightly better because the prospective employer will ask you to describe how you might handle a certain situation. Fortunately, this approach allows you to speak in the hypothetical world. You can talk about what you might do in a given situation, rather than what you did in the past.

Behavioral interviews are believed to be more effective because the prospective employer asks you to describe how you reacted under certain conditions. This technique allows you to talk about not only what you've accomplished, but how you went about reaching a particular goal.

Because behavioral questions are asking about past experience, it is easier for the prospective employer to distinguish what you "have done" as opposed to "might do" at work. This is a huge benefit over other interviewing techniques. Rule of thumb for employers: If you want to know how well an individual will do in the future, find out how well they've done in the past. Traditional and situational questions do not provide this.

Featured Research
  • Business Meeting Showdown

    It is no secret that communication and collaboration are at the heart of success and longevity for any business. However, as businesses become more global and more employees work remotely, video conferencing is being increasingly used as an alternative to face-to-face interactions. There are pros to both business travel and video conferencing such as personal connection and ease of use. However, there are cons as well ranging from travel delays to being technologically reliant. more

  • Mobile Communication Showdown

    It's no secret that businesses are becoming agiler and employees are spending more time away from their desks. The question isn't should we get rid of our landlines, but how quickly can we replace them?However, staying connected with your colleagues, clients, and customers is absolutely essential for cultivating long-term, lucrative relationships that will help your company achieve success. more

  • Signs you are Ready for Mobile BI

    With workforces moving more and more mobile on a daily basis, it is essential to ensure that your company is able to arm your employees with the analytics that they need to succeed. 89% of business leaders believe that Big Data will revolutionize business operations in the same way that the internet did. These numbers show the trend towards investing in a BI system. more

  • 15 Ways to Optimize Your Contact Center

    We live in a time where customer experience is seen as an important competitive differentiator. Given this, wouldn't you like to make sure that your contact center is fully optimized to meet your business needs? Deciding to upgrade and optimize your contact center is a big step, and one that shouldn't be done without due diligence and plenty of research. more

  • Stress-Free Video Conferencing

    It should shock no one that video conferencing technology is an amazing tool to connect and engage with business contacts in a more personal and effective way. In fact, only 7% of how we communicate is through words, whereas a whopping 93% is through tone of voice and body language. To further the strength of video conferencing, 99% of professionals feel that by improving communication and collaboration, productivity will be positively impacted. more