I don’t know about the rest of you, but whenever I’m in a non-major, core curriculum class, I tend to do what I need to in order to get an A, while completely discounting the content as unimportant to me.  When I was forced to take a class that taught students to interview well, for some reason I maintained this attitude, despite the obvious relevance.  The instructor (wisely) told us that we needed to be prepared to answer Behavioral Event Interview (BEI) questions and that we should come up with our answers now.  She said that if we were unable to answer, we essentially lost the job.  I decided I could just wing it.

Today I lost a job.  The interviewer didn’t tell me that and won’t even be making her decision until the middle of next week, but I’m 110% sure that I will not be in the second round of interviews.  I’ll give you one guess why…  That’s right, the interview was entirely BEI.  I fumbled around trying to think of answers, filling the interview with so much silence that the interviewer probably regretted neglecting to bring a magazine.  Learn from my painful-in-its-awkwardness mistake and prepare yourself thoroughly.  Tonight I will be dedicating myself to creating a document with potential questions and well-thought-out answers to be studied prior to interviews.  I suggest you do the same.

Potential questions include:

Describe a time when you…

…had to persuade someone to do something.  How did you do it?

…had a lot of tasks to juggle at once.  How did you handle it?

…found yourself truly challenged.  How did you overcome those obstacles?

…were forced to deal with an upset customer.  What did you do to fix the situation?

…set a difficult goal for yourself.  How did you go about reaching it?

For more info on BEI, there’s a good article here.

P.S.  I also failed at following my own advice, as I found it difficult to pick an eye – it’s not as easy as it sounds.