Never in my life have I completed more interviews in such a short amount of time. Since last week, I have interviewed with five different companies in the quest for an internship. I was beginning to feel like I was wearing a suit more often than not! It was strenuous, but the practice effect seemed to be doing its job. Through most of the interviews, the recruiters usually (somewhat) apologized for using behavioral-based questions during the interview, and in keeping with a concern for people, assured me not to be nervous and encouraged me to take my time in responding to such questions. I appreciated the goodwill, but although recruiters may feel that behavioral-based interviewing techniques are a new trend, in my years in the job market, these have certainly been the norm, including my experiences interviewing to be a CSR. And rarely did the questions throw me off. I did slightly stumble over one that went something like “tell me about a time that you were working in a group and had to convince others to see things your way or make a change and what was the result?” Well, that can certainly be hard to articulate. But I can see from the perspective of a manager that it’s important to search out people who have leadership skills and an ability to influence others and make real outcomes. And after a few interviews, I was well prepared to field similar questions.
Overall, I think a great strategy to prepare for any interview is to know what you might say in relation to your previous experience based upon common behavioral questions. And don’t fret if you don’t have much work experience — group projects and club involvement are great ways to sell yourself as a conflict-resolution guru and natural born leader. And remember, it never hurts to remind yourself that you’re awesome and any company would be lucky to have you. And truly believe it!