Behavior Based Interviewing Skills – SCPD CBA CSULB
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Behavior Based Interviewing Skills – SCPD CBA CSULB

[AJ] …see the room this full. And as Howard
said I’d like this to be interactive. I didn’t become a professor for a reason. I don’t lecture
really well. I like things to be interactive. So I have quizzes and questioned as we go
along. So you can shout out the answers. I don’t have prizes so I won’t be looking for
hands. But I do want you all to interact. And I do have a little bit during my presentation
on resumes. And I know some of you may have taken a section on this before. How many of
you have taken a session on resume writing? Oh good. I’m glad I’m going to review that.
Because oftentimes you need to have you know a good solid resume that’s targeted to a company
to get an interview. So this session is mostly going to focus on the interviewing but we’ll
touch upon the resumes and I like to do that anyway because there are no black and whites
with resumes or interviews. Every recruiter you ask, you’ll get a different perspective
and every company has a different process. So I have worked for many different companies.
Boeing hopefully will be my last but who knows? So I not only have the perspective from working
at Boeing, but I worked at many different companies before. I also have trained hundreds
of hiring managers on behavioral based interviewing. So we’re interviewing today we’ll focus mostly
on that, behavioral based interviewing. But I’ll answer questions about any kind of interviews,
any kind of structure. We want to make this about you so it’s different every single time
I give it because of what you want to know about. I’d like to give you an agenda. First
of all if this is not what you like you can run from the room now. But basically I want
to talk you about increasing your chances of getting the interview and talk about resume
and give you tips, talk about what behavioral based interviewing is, or sometimes it’s called
the structured interview, how to prepare, a little about follow up, and then we’ll take
a little bit of a break. We’ll divide up and we’ll actually do mock interviews. So we’ll
have you interview one another. We had a really low key, no pressure kind of environment so
you can get some feedback before you actually need to go out and do it for real. So increasing
your chances to get an interview start with that resume and when you do target your companies
you have a list together of those companies that you want to go after, already in their
website and their job postings they will give you hints as to how to tailor your resume.
So you want to look at their focuses, what they look for in their employees, what their
values are. Those are things that you want to incorporate in. And then in the job postings
they will give you hints about the knowledge, skills, and abilities, basically KSA is one
of the many acronyms that we use at Boeing, and they will tell you in the job posting
things like competencies. In our job posting it actually says the job description and below
it says competencies. And we’ll list out words that we want to see. It would be best for
you to integrate those words into your resume. And the reason why, we receive hundreds and
hundreds of resumes. There was one internship position a couple years ago that receive sixteen
hundred applicants. So there isn’t a recruiter like me who’ll look at every resume. It will
go through a filter first. So the website and those job postings will give you hints
of the words that we may use, and we tend to call them key word filters, that we’re
going to use on your resume. And you may be a great candidate, but if you don’t get to
that keyword filter then you may not get to the next step which is the interview. Those
keywords can include both hard skilled and soft skills. So it may be as specific as saying
that they would like CAD or computer aided design. So if it says they want that, it would
be best for you to incorporate that into the resume. That’s really basic. There can be
soft skills. So we may be looking for presentation skills, leadership skills, all types of communication,
written and verbal communication. And if there’s a way if we’re asking for that in the job,
there’s a way to convey that on your resume. You want to include that as well. So this
is where we have a couple quizzes so I want y’all to help me out here. So a good resume
can land you a great position with a great company, true or false? And why is that?
[Student] A good resume may get you an interview. [AJ] Right. Right. Exactly. So right, it may
get you noticed. It may get you a conversation, but you do need to go through additional steps,
typically several stops in order to get a job of course. The typical resume is reviewed
by an employer thirty second or less, true or false? And with me it’s a lot less, just
so you know. I’ve been doing this for a lot of years so I can look over very quickly and
find out if it’s a fit, find out if it’s a strong student as a whole. Even if I’m not
looking for a particular job, it can go very, very quickly and we’ll talk about some of
those things that we really zone in on. And that’s why it takes such a short period of
time. Human beings don’t look for keywords, test machines do, true or false? So that’s
part of how we hone in on some of those different topics as we’re looking for key words. We’re
looking for leadership. We’re looking for the communication skills, the involvement,
those types of things. Your resume should be only one page, true or false? You both
are right. It’s true and false. As a student where you all are in your career it should
be one page. So unless… The only exceptions I see on campuses are PhD students who have
a lot of publications and they want to tell me those and those typically go onto a second
page. But if you’re undergrad or even in your master’s program, it should be one page. So
you know I have many years of experience, mine only goes on to the second page, not
even halfway. So you’re looking for highlights, getting to that information very quickly and
definitely in your case it should stick to one page. Now there are exceptions to online
especially with processes like ours and this is one reason why we’re revamping. It’s text
only when you put your information online with our program and your profile is not formatted
and there really isn’t a way for us to tell if it eeks onto a second page or not. So in
cases like that, it may be to your advantage if you’re trying to hit the key words and
you’re trying to expand on projects to take advantage of that if it’s not formatted and
get the information that you want into that resume even if it does go onto a second page.
So an objective statement I’m gonna do a little bit of what not to do and then what to do.
And we’re looking for specifics with your objective statement. Recruiters will vary
on whether they like objective statements or not. And some will say they don’t like
them. Well it tends to be because they aren’t specific. So things that just ramble on you
know, “locate an internship with a challenging responsibility in which critical thinking
or problem solving blah blah.” You lost me already. So if it’s specific and you tell
me that you want an electrical engineering internship using RF design, integrated digital
design, can you tell I work for an engineering company, you know, DSP. I know exactly what
you want and when you want to do that. So you know I will see that you’re a student
but I don’t know do you want part time? Do you want an internship? Are you looking for
full time work? And then in what area? You know is it only Southern California? So those
kind of specifics are really gonna help us when you make an objective statement. So those
are things that you want to keep in mind because that’s the first thing I look for when I’m
going through is your objective statement and then education and then your work experience
from there. So your education should appear at the top of your resume. If you go online
and you look at formats for resumes, most of them are intended for people well into
their career and they have work experience and then education is at the bottom. For you,
your education should be at the top. So high school should be dropped about second semester
sophomore year. You take that off. We’re assuming you did graduate if you are in college now,
and yes we all like to brag about things like valedictorian, salutatorian but it’s time
to start building those things in college and drop the high school.
[Student] My question when you say put your education at the top, I’m not a position student.
So I have like five years of experience already under my belt. So I struggle because my experiences
right now with the education I have because I’m not a senior, I’m a junior, is more relevant.
It’s highlights are there. So how should I
[AJ] It’s a great question If you’re kind of a hybrid. And it depends on how you want
to sell yourself right? So if I am a campus recruiter, I am somebody at a company looking
for a person to come in at an entry level, maybe a little bit more than entry level with
a little bit experience right out of school, we’re targeting college students, then you’re
gonna put that education at the top. Do you see what I mean? And you’ll market yourself
as the college student with more experience. Otherwise, and it all depends on how looks,
and that’s why this is very personally and I can go through if you have a resume and
talk to you afterwards, if I am a recruiter and I see you know two years here, one year
here, six months here I start already getting an impression of you as a worker and then
I think, “Oh, she’s in school.” So it all depends on how you want to market yourself
and what foot you want to put forward. Most people in school do want a place and put their
foot forward that they’re the student, they’re looking for the internship, or they’re coming
out of school and they’re graduating and the the bonus is the work experience. So it all
depends on how you want to market yourself. And again this goes back to not a lot of black
and white answers. It’s a lot of gray depending on the situation but I’ve seen a lot of the
combinations so don’t hesitate to ask. So what we look for here is tell us your GPA
and that there’s a big if here. Tell us your GPA if it makes you look good. Your resume
is a marketing tool to get an interview, get your conversation whatever it is. So if you
know from your research with companies that they’re looking for at least a 3.0 and you
have a 2.9, you might consider leaving that off. If you have a 3.7, there’s absolutely
no reason not to put it on that resume. Believe it or not I run across students all the time
who I think they should brag about but they don’t have on there. So it’s just one factor
for us. I don’t want to put a lot of emphasis on that because we look for a lot of different
things. We look for involvement. We look for where you are in your education. So you a
sophomore? Are you a senior? Are you graduating? Your GPA? A lot of different things. But when
we talk about that less than thirty seconds as we go through the resume, that’s one thing
we’re going hone in on very quickly. Question? [Student] Will an employer assume that you
have a bad GPA if you don’t include it? [AJ] Sometimes. Yes. So you have to take that
into consideration. Sometimes I get kind of sucked in to everything else going on in the
resume and I see, “You had two previous internships and you were a treasurer of this
club and you’re a junior” and I’m already thinking you’re great fit for an internship
and so you kinda have me going. And then I ask you, “So I see there’s something missing.”
And you tell me it’s a 2.8 or a 2.9. Some people see the GPA, “Next.” You know I
personally don’t do that. I spend a little bit more time with the student but some would
not take the time to read what else is on your resume. So when you’re going to events
and you’re gonna see multiple employers, you should have multiple resumes. Maybe some that
have your GPA, some that don’t, some that are targeted for what that company is looking
for. This sounds really silly but I get really flattered if you take two extra seconds and
say you’re looking for an internship at the Boeing Company. And the other details: internship
in electrical engineering, whatever it may be. I know it only took you two seconds but
that’s great, that you targeted us enough to change your resume. Now I’ve also had people
hand me the one for our competitor and I just very politely say, “I hope you have one
with my company” and they trade it. But that’s one thing that you can do when you
go to events like that. I like to see relevant coursework. This is one of those things that
you may add to an online resume but you may not have space for it in a physical resume
you hand someone. And that is a place where oftentimes you can get through the key word
filters that you’re trying to hit is through your coursework. It also gives us an idea
of where you are in your courses because a sophomore at one school and one curriculum
may be farther along than some juniors just depending on the curriculum at the different
schools. So some schools have you take all of prereqs. Some, you know, I was just a Cal
Poly last week Cal Poly Saint Louis Obispo. They start doing project work their freshman
year. So engineering classes their freshman year right off the bat. So that relevant coursework
serves a couple different purposes. So a lot of people ask me, “Should I put retail type
of jobs on my resume?” You know, “I was a lifeguard. Or I did these other things.
It does have to do with the job that I’m looking for.” And in most cases I ask them you know,
“What are you trying to convey?” I know what a retail person may do or I know what
a lifeguard does but you want to market yourself differently than anyone else who had that
job. So we want to quantify. So here we have “handled two thousand dollars in cash daily”,
“how many customers did you speak to?” This conveys that you can work with other
people, you have communication skills, maybe work in a team of retail individuals. Maybe
you are training sales reps. All those things are attributes and show some of the soft skills
that many companies look for. So I encourage you to put that on there but try to stay to
the quantitative, the qualitative, what you did that set you apart. When you’re listing
responsibilities that anyone who had that job could put down, I really want you to challenge
yourself to get to those accomplishments that you put in place personally. So do you see
the difference between what a resume may look like in a boxed format versus the bullet points?
So this is part of reviewing the resume very quickly. I tend to glaze over as most people
do with paragraphs. So if you can separate that out in the bullet points, and here too
we have the quantifying, we see how many hours a week, how many students you worked with.
It says a lot more even just teaching assistant or tutor. So you can quantify those things.
That helps us out a lot. Again, bullet points, giving a little bit more description here.
I’d say depending on the job, you can have anywhere from, if you’re gonna have bullet
points at least two but most likely no more than five. That’s a general rule. Do give
us your contact information and I’ve seen some really interesting e-mails. And it is
really easy just to have, to create a gmail for your job hunting. So if you have a funny
one for your friends, that’s cool. You might just wanna come up with something generic
when you’re applying. And then we typically, we don’t have this problem much anymore, we
used to have many different phone numbers. Pretty much everyone just has a mobile now
and make sure that your outgoing voicemail messages is clear, says your name so I know,
we’re dialing, talking to a lot of people, “Did I get the right person?” If you have
an ongoing message that has your name on it and back obviously many years ago I called
up a student to set up an interview and I heard that song “Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend
Was Hot Like Me?” Remember that song? That was on and it made me laugh. I still set them
up for an interview but you know kind of give an impression. So if you know you’re gonna
get a lot of calls in, you might just want to have a more generic is all. Oh, pictures,
logos, graphics, unless you’re kind of graphic design or something very creative, I recommend
you keep those off. One of the funniest resumes, I still have, it was years ago, one of the
funniest resumes I ever had. You know some people put their picture on there and there’s
varying opinions about that right now. So there are consultants out there that say put
your picture on your resume because then they see the picture, they can associate with you,
they’ll remember you. I think it’s kinda cheesy. It kind of of reminds me of real estate, how
they give you those little pads to put on you know. I remember them but maybe not for
the right reasons. So somebody went one step further and put a caricature. You know like
the ones you get at the fair. It was like this little tiny caricature up in the corner
and you know what I did? I put that up on my clipboard on my wall and if I was having
a bad day and I needed a laugh, seriously I needed a laugh I’d look up there and I just
laugh. It’s probably not the right impression you want to make. No, we did not call him
and set him up for an interview. So, the standing apart there’s a lot of people that say, “Should
I put it on a different color paper?” Most of the time we are going to scan it in anyway.
We’re gonna scan it into their system. We’re gonna scan it in and email it. So save your
money. Really just copy paper is perfectly fine for most companies. And that resume paper
gets expensive. This is just a little bit a few more examples of how to phrase things
so they stand out: leadership positions, organizations, try to avoid acronyms. So instead of the PRSSA
you know spell that out. So SCPD is a good example. You might want to you spell that
out so the Student Center for Professional Development. It sounds professional anyway.
So spell those kind of things out because a lot of these things vary from campus to
campus. And usually it’s best to apply as much as possible, depends on the format. With
our particular system we do encourage you to apply to all of the positions that you’re
interested. Many of the companies have an agent you set up. So it will send you the
notifications when the positions come up that meet your criteria. Like Monster as an agent
that you can set up kind of thing. And I recommend that when you are looking for a job, if it’s
this time of year, and you’re a senior, and you want a job when you graduate that you
have your resume with you at all times. You don’t know who you are going to run into.
You don’t know coming to this, perhaps I could have brought a hiring manager or something
that was in your area. So have your resume with you at all times if at all possible.
And tell everyone you’re looking for an internship or entry level position. I know it sounds
crazy but it could be your neighbor, it could be your parents’ friends, it could be, who
knows, the barista at Starbucks may know somebody so it’s good to get the word out about that.
So we’re assuming you’ve put together your resume and you’ve gotten to an interview.
First of all before we talk about behavioral based interview, I find, and its natural human
nature I should say, when you get a call from someone and they say, “We want to set you
up for an interview”, you say, “Great! What time? I’ll be there. Thank you very much.”
And there aren’t a lot of questions asked. I encourage you to ask as many questions as
you possibly can that don’t make you look rude and pushy. Be polite but you know the
attire, oftentimes they’ll say that to you already and if they don’t, ask them about
the attire. Who will be interviewing? Who are the people that will be interviewing you
and what position are they? Are they gonna be peers? That obviously is a little bit different
than your manager. How many interviews will there be? You know they may tell you to be
there at 8:00 but do they tell you there’s three or four interviews through the day?
Hopefully they do but we run into situations where students have been told and they have
interview after interview after interview or the panel interview. It’s going to just
get mentally prepared for what you’re going to go into. So a panel interview is going
to be a lot different than one on one. So what I like to do too is as you sit down whether
it’s a panel interview or not, and this I learned from honestly my international business
travel experience when I was with Toyota and this is very much a thing in the Asian communities
is that in profession they give business cards and then they set it down on the table in
the order of how people are sitting around a table. So if the person to my left I set
the business card here and here and so on and then I can look down and have that reference
and know exactly who I’m talking to. And it’s interesting because you most of us, just natural
reaction, we don’t think about it, take a business card and we look at it and we put
it in our pocket or we put it away. And especially in a situation like that where you have nerves,
that’s a good technique for you. So those kind of questions and then ask what kind of
interview is it? And the person who’s setting this up may not know exactly how to answer
that in the beginning so you may have to prompt them. It’s most likely not the hiring manager
was calling. They may have someone else or someone in the group. So you know you ask
them, “So is it a behavioral based interview or are you gonna ask about strength and weakness
or is it a tactical interview?” And technical is more obviously with the engineering folks,
the IT folks but you know you don’t know. They could give you a spreadsheet and have
you do something for them, macros, whatever it may be. So you probably want to be prepared
for that. So ask as many questions and if they don’t know hopefully they’re gonna offer
to get back to you with those details, but the more you know the more confident you are
going to be going in obviously. And if it is a behavioral based interview which a lot
of companies are going towards, you really need to prepare. As I alluded to before, I
have trained hundreds of managers on this technique but if you were to pull me in a
room right now and ask me behavioral based interview questions, I’d fall on my face because
I haven’t prepared. I’m not sure what the competencies are. So it’s really, really essential
that you prepare for this kind of interview. It’s also known as a structured interview.
And the idea is that your past behaviors and how you’ve approach things before are more
indicative of how you would work for us and work for our company work for another company
than any other measure. This is actually defensible in court cases to determine who is qualified
over another candidate, behavioral based interviewing especially with the scoring and all of ours
have scoring associated with it. It is something that many companies are going towards because
it is measurable, it is defensible versus old school techniques and that was hypothetical.
You know if given this situation hypothetically how would you handle this project? Well I
used Interview with that kind of style and the answers that I would get from students
and people well into their career were awesome. Hypothetically you give me a fantastic answer.
You’re not gonna give me a bad one. You get your group of people together, you find out
your budget, you work really hard to get it in on time all wrapped up with a bow and it
was great. But then you found out investigating their background they’ve never done anything
like that ever. So the leap between what they really did and this hypothetical situation
was big. So we go here back to past actions and specific projects specific classes, specific
jobs that you’ve had and I keep saying specific because we’re going to be driving down for
the details of those answers and that’s why you need to have those stories pre-packaged
and ready to go going in. So the format: “tell me a time when”, “name a time when”,
“describe a project where you”. All of those are precursors to behavioral based interview
questions. So if you did that research we talked about before, you know the competencies
for the job. Our job posting tells you right there basically here’s what’s gonna be on
the interview. Does it say, “Here what’s going to be on the interview”? No it says
competencies and it says adaptability and flexibility. That’s a huge, huge trait that
we want in interns and entry level is adaptability and flexibility because we will need to have
you fit into our culture fit into our work. So adaptability and flexibility is big. Leadership
even though you’re not going to come in and probably run a department. We want to know
that you can lead others. We want to know that you can work with other people, so teamwork,
group work. Those are just a few competencies that may be listed in our job postings. So
the stories that you want to have ready, I recommend about five or six, and they’re based
on those competencies. So if you looked at the job, you applied for it and it said, you
know, teamwork, I would recommend that ahead of time you put together a story or probably
a couple stories just to be safe, about how you worked with a team. And we’re looking
for the STAR format. So what we find we say, “Tell me a time when you worked with a team
to achieve that goal.” That’s a very common behavioral based interview question. We want
to know the situation. Were you in the classroom? You were assigned teammates by the professor?
There were four of you. The assignment was to research a company and you divided up responsibilities
and here were the responsibilities for all of the members of the team. You may run into
hiccups and you can tell about challenges and how you overcame those challenges. And
then as a result, this was our project. This is what it looked like. What I love about
classroom examples is you usually have a grade. So you can put that result at the end. The
main focus is on those actions. So what did you do as a part of that group? How it did
you contribute? And you see how those actions are behaviors we’re zoning in on. So that
teamwork, how you work with others, that is what we’re using to score you on teamwork
and then how you would be a team player in our company. So here are some topics, competencies
very common that are used in behavioral based interviewing. Leadership, my favorite question
of all time is, “Tell me a time when you dealt with a difficult person” I put together
our master intern booklet which we prefer that all the interns that interview use that
this summer. We’re going to have fourteen hundred interns nationwide so they use that
booklet. And I had to remove that question because I’m not sure you all are familiar
with the site, . is a very amusing site isn’t it? I saw you
nod your head. It will tell you interview questions that companies use, so great research
for you, the process they use, sometimes the technical tests that they give. We tell people
it’s confidential, don’t share this with anyone and we’ll them up there so that question I
found up there so I had to take it off of the interview booklet. But, “tell me a time
when you dealt with a difficult person” is still one that’s used by many different
companies. And one of the most amusing answers I got, thought it started off really well
and went downhill really fast when he said, “And we took it outside.” So that obviously
didn’t think it through, just thought about the difficult person and went right to the
difficult person but you know we’re not really, it doesn’t really matter about the situation
so much, which maybe opens the possibilities for you, meaning that you can bring in volunteer,
you can bring in work related examples that you think may not be you know like we talked
about the retailer, the lifeguard situations that may not be professional examples but
it’s about the actions that you took. So you can deal with a group of people who are volunteers
or through different organizations, not just work examples. So it’s those actions that
we’re looking at. So he just thought about the difficult person and then it went all
awry. Showing adaptability and flexibility. We talked about that. Motivating others. You
get that experience when you’re in groups and you have people that are volunteering
when not paying them you really have to find ways to motivate people. Setting and achieving
goals Either personal goals or with a group. You’ll find goal related questions are going
to be very big in marketing and sales jobs. So if you’re looking at any of those setting
and achieving goals are going to be very important, and how you went about achieving those goals,
how you’re structuring your day, you’re week, your month, your year in order to do that
with time management, organizational skills, those types of things. Those are again that
action that you really want to concentrate on. Giving and receiving criticism. If you’re
out of school, you don’t have a lot of experience, those are things that we’re going to look
for. So tell me a time when you were given feedback that you didn’t agree with. That’s
an actual question we’ve used in the past. Tell me a time when you were given feedback
and how did it change your approach to things. And you see how right now if you were to ask
that question, it’s kind of jarring because you really have to think about all those experiences
in your life and what are the best examples to bring in to those interviews.
[Student] Is it good just to like say, “Can I take a second really quick?”
[AJ] Absolutely. Absolutely. And thank you for saying that because I usually remind people,
and it is part of our interview instructions at the beginning. We say, “If anytime, I
talk really quickly, if at any time you want me to repeat the question or you need take
a second think about it, please do.” but not everyone else gives that grace, so then
that’s part of you being confident in the interview is saying, “You know, give me
a second while I think about the best answer.” That’s great because we don’t have a stopwatch
that says, “This is how long it took you to answer the question.” But we’re going
to judge you on the answer and in all cases we will only allow one answer. And the reason
why is has a lot to do with the fairness in processes. If you say you give up halfway
through, “That isn’t the best example. I wanna use another one.” Or if I say, a problem
some employers make is they say, “Do you have another example.” Well we’d have to
give everyone that option right? We’d have to give everyone the opportunity to come up
with a second answer. So its best to take a little bit of time. Not uncomfortable amount
of time but you know it all depends on those nonverbal. Are they still taking notes? I’m
gonna have a little bit more time. So do take that in.
[Student] Should you ask them? How much longer do you want to take this for?
[AJ] No, those nonverbals you see, if they’re taking notes, they’re busy, they might give
you a little bit, I mean we’re probably talking about you know what ten seconds, fifteen seconds
you know to really wrap your head around it. Also with that being said and I see your hand,
I encourage you to bring in a notepad, a notebook that has notes on it. There’s nothing that
says you can’t have notes right? So if you’re prepared for a behavioral based interview
and you know flexibility, adaptability, setting goals, you can just have something on a sheet
that says “goals” and then say you know, “Dr Jones’ class”, and it’s something
that you probably don’t need it but knowing that you have it there to just refer down
to, it’ll spark because we tend to freeze right? That will help you and there’s nothing
that’s saying you can’t bring in something like that. And also have the questions, and
we’ll get to this in just a second, but have questions written out there as well. The kiss
of death in any interview is to say, “Thank you very much”, and walk out and have no
questions at all. There’s a question in the back.
[Student] I was in an interview for an internship once and they asked me, “If we were to go
ask your supervisor right now what your biggest weakness is or what you could most improve
in, what would she say?” And so, what do you say back to that? Because you don’t want
to make it so good that it’s like… [AJ] Right. We know those are gonna be rehearsed,
so it’s a silly question right? I wouldn’t ask that question because most people are
going to be ready for it and rehearse and it’s..
[Student] What if I’m just true to you and I’m like, “I’m selfish.”
[AJ] Right there is that balance between being honest and being a good employee or potential
employee right? So we want to know that everyone has weaknesses right? So if you say, “I
don’t have weakness” then you’re out because you’re pompous and you’re cocky and you’re
out right? But if you have a weakness and you’re working towards something to make it
better, so that’s what you wanted to convey. You can always say, “My weakness was time
management and I didn’t really know until I got into school and I realize I have all
these priorities.” And you get the chance to sell yourself. “I have classes. I work
fifteen hours a week. I have these two clubs that I belong to. So I really had to figure
out how to manage myself and I find it’s a constant struggle.” You don’t just get good
at it. You’re just not an expert on time management. “So this is the tool I use. I look to my
friends and I picked up this tip from this friend” whatever it may be. “I set alarms
to go off so I make sure that I do things.” On my calendar this is one technique I use,
on my calendar which is, I look at people’s calendar because at Boeing you can snoop.
I love to do that. I snoop around in people’s calendars and it’s not just for you know are
they busy or not? I want to see what they’re doing. And you can put in tasks and a lot
of people don’t do it. They just put in meetings. So I’m wondering how do they get things done?
Because we’re constantly being interrupted. So I will put tasks in on my Outlook calendar
what to do that, but a lot of people don’t. So that would be one thing that you would
want to say. But again it’s something you want to think through because you come up
with a weakness and you just say a weakness and then it looks like a negative if you’re
not looking at how to improve. We had a question here in the front.
[Student] How oftenbringing in notepads?
[AJ] Oh yeah. Oh absolutely. Completely open to that unless, I can’t think of any reason
not to because you really should have extra copies of your resume even though you know
they have it, you might have a pretty copy because when you submit it to us it’s ugly
and it’s text only. So you might want to give them a pretty one. It’s in a notebook right
there with your notes and everything else. And so you can take notes as well. There was
a hand in the back. [Student] I just had an interview over spring
break with Northwestern Mutual and I’ve found that honesty is the best policy. She asked
me what my weakness was and I was free to admit it. I was like, “I’m not an analytical
person as far as when it comes to numbers and often times I don’t read things precisely
enough. It’s easy to glance over things like memos and stuff like that but you really have
to sit down and read more precisely and that’s a weakness for me.” And I said what comes
out of it though is that I was able to admit a strength directly after. I said, “I’m
more of a people person. I’m more better one on one with somebody or with a group of people
as far as like a leadership position where we can all sort of discuss and think together”
and she was thrilled about it. [AJ] And what I heard you say too is that
you read more carefully because you’re not an analytical person. So I see self awareness
number one. I see that you know enough to take extra time, so that’s just like you know
we talked about before if you show a weakness, what are you doing to compensate for that?
And you answered it in that way. And it all depends on what they want for the job right?
You’re going in for an accounting analyst, they’re probably like, “You’re out.”
[Student] That’s what we’re all about. She’s like, ”I’m not really great with numbers
either.” It was like just because I was honest.
[AJ] There was this bonding moment. And it all depends. If you know and you focus on
your strengths, that and you got to sell yourself, I think that was a perfectly good answer especially
when you talked about, “I know I have to take extra time to read over numbers.” And
you kind of prep for them not putting you in a number cruncher type of role right? Because
those can exist even at firms like that. There’s another question?
[Student] I want to share a negative experience. Kind of show the other side too. When you
use the honest route, sometimes it doesn’t work out. And that’s when you say you have
to have a balance. So I was interviewing with Fiji Water for a project management position
and it’s not a technical job, it’s a leadership job. My resume probably conveyed to the interviewer
that I’m very technical. So I tried to be honest. I tried to say, “Okay, you can see
that…” He was so focused on the technical stuff. And I said, “Yeah, there is, I know,
technical stuff and analytical stuff. However it’s not my focus.” It just went downhill
even though I was trying to be honest and say… It kind sounded like I was pushy because
I was trying to say, ”I am a leader. I can do this. Even though I think it’s necessary
to have the technical background so you can actually do a project.” But in the end,
using the honest route, I could have just said, “Yes, I’m technical and just go with
that and just talk about technical stuff and jargon and he would probably like it better.
So I didn’t get the job. [AJ] I think you probably learned about fit
though right? So I don’t know would you be a fit in an organization like that that maybe
didn’t hear you out and listen to what you feel you’re about. And then too, it sounds
like you know your resume, would you tweak it next time too?
[Student] I’ve done so many tweaks with my resume to show that I am not a technical person.
But all the calls that I get is for IT or project related jobs because they look at
my resume and they see those keywords that I cannot remove because they were part of
my job but I was… [AJ] Oh you can remove them. I mean we can
talk about rewriting. We can talk about doing things like that. And you want to bring in
maybe it’s the soft skills you want to focus in on a little bit more than the technical.
But sometimes not getting a job and in cases like that may have been good. And I know I
sound like Polly Anna here and you know let’s just look at the positive. But you know I
had a boss one time who came in and I put my full name on my resume and then in parenthesis,
AJ and my given name is Amy Jo. And I tend not to go by that because people make fun
of it. Believe it or not that’s my name. And people say, “Oh Amy Jo, where you from?”
And so I just don’t go by it much. And plus professionally I started off going by my initials
and so networking, so I had to change my name. So I walk in and I had a manager tell me,
“You’ll go by Amy. No Jo. No initials in this department. This is what’s gonna happen.”
OK I should have seen the writing on the wall because that was a nightmare of a job. I mean
the management was awful. They treated me you know like crap. I know we’re recording.
And I saw it right? So sometimes you see things like this in the interview and how they could
treat you. So I’m kinda glad you didn’t get it.
[Student][AJ] Oh no no. It was one person. One person.
It was one interview setting absolutely. So be prepared ask tough questions. Switching
majors. Sometimes it’s good to have stats. Depends on who you’re talking to. Seventy
percent of people change their major during their college career. So you know it all depends
on how you might come off as a little bit of a smart aleck if you say, “Hey, did you
know seventy percent change their major.” But you know say. You really found an area
that you’re passionate with, that you’re passionate about. Well they probably chose you because
it’s related to something they do. So job hopping. Don’t have as much issues with job
hopping with people in school because we understand that you’re gonna short periods of time but
if you had, if you were working in industry before you went to school and you have a lot
of very short jobs, when you’re in the workforce you should be prepared to answer those. And
here we are. He left. He didn’t get to get the reinforcement that I put right here. Take
a moment to think about the best answer. Be enthusiastic. So I know it’s nerve wracking
but a lot of times we’re looking for passion and we’re looking for your interest in what
we do your interest in your projects and that enthusiasm while being professional at same
time is really good. Tell your story and stop. Don’t keep going. Situation, task, action,
results, stop. Stop. Stop. Look at the nonverbals. If we have our pen down and we’re staring…
[AJ] …at you, stop. And I have to tell you it comes up all the time. I mean if I do a
session on campus of ten to twelve interviews I’ll have one to two people who are ramblers.
And, you know, you can see the nonverbals. If we’re writing frantically, probably a good
sign. So you might expand on those areas. But every single time. I’ve turned the page
before. I’m moving on. I’m done. I already scored you and they’re still going. So you
want to just keep in mind those nonverbals. Have great questions prepared. We alluded
this before. So you want to make sure that you show your interest in the company. If
you walk out without asking questions, it looks like you’re not interested. Sometimes
there’s things you can’t find out online like how long have you been with the company if
they haven’t already told you this. And if they’ve been with the company twenty years,
“So to me, you stayed in the company for twenty years. That is a great tenure. Tell
me why you stayed.” You know, “Tell me why you didn’t go work for other companies.”
If they just made the transition, “What were the things you considered when transitioning
to this job? How long have you been in management? What is your management style? What dp you
look for?” Because they may be so structured in the questions that they ask you, they may
not have a lot of room to tell you, “By the way this is my expectations of what I
would see an employee.” So you want to ask those kind of questions. Also you can kind
of brag you know. “So I read recently about this bid that you’re on or this project that
you’re working on. Tell me about this company or this department’s involvement in it.”
So you got a two fold right? You’re asking for their opinion. You’re asking a question
about interest and you’re also kind of bragging that you know what’s up with their industry
and their company. And ask about next steps. I don’t have as much issue with our business
students trying to close because this seems a little more natural than my engineers. They
tend not to ask about next steps. They just go with it and they figure they’ll be told
or something. I don’t hear this as much when I go and interview the technical folks as
I do the business side. So ask what are the next steps? How many people are you interviewing?
How long is the process? Because that will tell you about the next item and that is follow
up. So if they tell you you’re the first of twenty seven interviews going over the next
month… Send seven emails in a couple days because of the expectation that you know how
long that is going to take. So there’s always the question right? Do we send an e-mail or
do we send letter or a note? Letters are old school right? Well think about the last time
you got a thank you note. I personally have them up in my cubicle and there’s like thirty
of them up on top because it looks cool and kinda brag people around me. “Look at all
the thank you notes I got.” And I like to get a thank you note and open it up. Is it
required? No. Is it an extra step? Absolutely. So if you do most of your correspondence via
e-mail, that’s how they set things up, it’s perfectly acceptable to send an e-mail. But
if you… It kind of triggers then too if you’re thinking about following up at the
end of an interview, you may then get that business card that you didn’t get before.
You may get that contact information. So that’s one thing that you want to try to ask for.
We talked about the cell phone message before. So before we do the interactive part any questions
about resumes, interviewing at all? [Student] I have a couple questions about
resumes. What if you have like ten years of work experience and say over that ten years
you’ve had three jobs or two jobs. How far back should you go?
[AJ] That’s a really great question. So none of you, I don’t think, in this room have to
worry about age discrimination but it does exist. So I’ve done executive search, mid
career, everything. And it is not a comprehensive document that you need to fit everything on.
So I’ve seen resumes like, “From 1972 to 1982 this is what I did.” Really?
Usually it’s about ten years back but it depends. If you have a job that you’re going for that
that job eleven years back touches upon, then you might want to put it in. In my case I
put previous experience includes and I put the name of the company and my title, maybe
a bullet point, but that’s where I lump in the previous experience because as a college
recruiter, I want to look youthful, I have to say that when I targeted Boeing for a job
and I said, “that’s where I say I want to work and I’d already been a college recruiter,
I shrunk my resume and I left off three jobs because I wanted to be seen as more youthful.”
So it depends on what you’re going for. If your job is completely unrelated to the new
industry that you’re going into, then obviously you’re going to focus on those traits or qualities
or competencies that they’re looking for that you had before. So you might be dropping off
more technical things in some cases depending on how you want to market yourself.
[Student] And so can there be gaps in between years as far as your work experience goes?
Like say ’98 to 2004 you had this management job and then from 2004 to 2006 you went into
sales. But the job you’re applying for now is a management job. So maybe there’s like
a… Would you keep that off? [AJ] If you’re gonna put years on, then you
want it to be contiguous. So if you’re gonna put years on I would hesitate to take off
jobs that would make you look like you were out of the workforce completely because a
job gap without seeing that you were in school because that’s completely understandable.
We get that. But a job gap is a real red flag. So maybe in that sales job did you train others?
Did you hit goal 100% of the time? Did you supervise others? So then you’re gonna kind
of tweak it so it’s more related to that. So you know I have three different resumes.
I have one that’s recruiting. I have one that’s HR. So I’d put in more of my general list
and so it doesn’t look so specific and I have a management one. So it talks about the people
I’ve supervised and train and mentored through the years. So I have three different versions
for that very reason. [Student] Okay. That makes sense.
[AJ] Is there another question? [Student] Just like you write down the answer
right? But when what if you interview five people, five different days and you don’t
write down the answer. How can you evaluate them? Because I have a situation where I went
in for an interview, I was the first one and they asked a ton of questions and we talked
a lot. But they didn’t write down anything. They just called me.
[AJ] That is really surprising. [Student] So that’s why I was wondering how
they evaluate me compared to the next … [AJ] Well I’m wondering too. That really unusual
because you have… People start blending together anyway you know. We tend to interview
many people in a day and so you’re aware if you’re gonna set your time, if you can set
your time, try to be the first or the last. Those tend to stick out in our minds most.
But I would really worry about the legal defensibility of the interviews if there’s nothing documented.
So we not only take our answers, we score. So did you meet? Did you almost meet what
we’re looking for? Did you exceed? And we score based on those, a one to five, and then
we have those documents and we keep those. And we keep them for, shoot, I should know
that. It’s a number of years. I forgot. I can’t remember the number of years but we
have to keep it and it’s all documented so if somebody’s interviewing and not writing
down, okay, what does that make me think? What kind of documentation does this company
have? Are they making subjective decisions and not objective decisions about other things
not just hiring people? Are they really laid back? That might be a positive for you? So
those are the kind of assessments I would make because I’ve never been in an interview
where people have not taken notes.Did you get the job? That’s the key. Did you
get the job? And how was the job? [Student] Awful
[AJ] Sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. No meaning that there might be some indications
of how they interview… So we are going to see you a little interactive…
Divide into threes so you’ll probably have
to move your seats around a little bit, just whoever’s… The first person is gonna ask
the questions and I’ll give you the questions. And keep in mind, you can ask follow up questions.
So not just the first question. The second person…

About Ralph Robinson

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19 thoughts on “Behavior Based Interviewing Skills – SCPD CBA CSULB

  1. what should you put on education when you have more then one college but haven't finish a BA or Associates, does this looks terribly bad?

  2. The behavioral interview part starts at about 20 minutes in and goes to minute 37, then 43 – 48. She does a GREAT job, especially if you are unfamiliar with this type of interview, but also excellent if you are reviewing it for an upcoming interview.

  3. It could look pretty bad, in my opinion. The employer might wonder why you didn't finish. The hiring manager might think you aren't someone who finishes what they start UNLESS you have a valid reason for that situation.


  4. Were you forced to move from one residence to another where it caused you to not attend school anymore, yet, you were able to transfer your credits to another school that accepted you but for some reason you had to quit school to stay home to help take care of your family? Give a valid reason for what happened.

    If they ask about why not finishing your education, you MUST give a solid answer. No solid answer = no job:-(

    Not sure, but maybe you can say "took ___ courses to develop ___ skills."

  5. yep thats correct. penny stocks must be traded with good advices from veterans. i am telling you, Best way to invest your money in stocks is to be a member of a renowned professional assistance team. i found it here >>

  6. Allot of this information is general knowledge and there is not allot of useful information, a little scattered brained.

  7. Why the thumb downs. Is not scatterbrain, she's talking and answering questions as they come up. Sure this is mostly on general interviewing, and she could of went into more detail about the star system.
    If you are new to interviewing shes giving you tons of tips that college graduates or older folks wouldn't know. Little ques that you wouldn't usually think much about.

    She made mone big mistake thought. I've read quite a bit on interviewing because I was so bad at it. NEVER ever use time management as one of you weakness that you are tying to improve. Employers want people who are EXCELLENT ON TIME MANAGEMENT. Yes of course its natural and everyone should be able to do the 60 hours of work they give you to complete in a 40 hour work week.

  8. It is really a nice place and the way to learn the unknowns and to get yourself prepared and more confident. Thanks to the you tube team and these peoples who are doing this communal sort of service as well.

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