In 2017, job hiring statistics were very revealing. Jennifer Gladstone of EBI offered 60 hiring statistics in June and the top ones to pay attention to include:
- The average job opening attracts 250 resumes. (Glassdoor)
- Only 2% of applicants will be called for an interview for the average job opening. (Glassdoor)
- 42 days is the overall average time it takes to fill a given position. (SHRM)
- The interview process takes an average of 22.9 days. (Glassdoor)
- It takes five to six weeks on average to get a job offer. (MRINetwork)
When Kevin came into our office to interview, he looked polished, well kept, attentive, and prepared. The moment the interview questions started, however, it was apparent that he prided himself on answering questions as they came. This worked OK with industry specific knowledge questions. It was when we asked behavior-based questions that Kevin’s progress slowed to a crawl. Although he may have had the industry knowledge we needed, his inability to share prior experiences where he used that knowledge were weak and lacking in key details that would have allowed him to stand out from our other candidates.
Expect Behavior-Based Questions
Behavior based questions are designed to ask about prior experiences to capture knowledge, skills, and abilities in action.
When a question starts with
- Share an experience…
- Tell me a time when…
- Can you give me an example of…
it is a structured, behavior-based question.
Being prepared for these helps immensely in sharing information in such a way to highlight the positive side of your talent and keep your nerves calm too.
Don’t just prepare for questions…
I’ve had several clients come to me stating that they had always had great luck in answering interview questions in the moment. Operative term here, ‘had’. Now they were surprised to find that after each interview, like Kevin, they were not landing the offers and they were seeking answers.
What I found surprising is many aren’t prepared to work ahead of time and prepare for the next interview. They simply wanted to know more about what kinds of questions might be asked, as if that alone would help them.
When I let people know that no matter how great or poorly questions are asked, or which questions get asked, if you are prepared to share examples of your experiences that showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) they are normally automatically prepared to handle any type of question. And if not, there are simple formulas available to quickly think on their feet to highlight past experiences to share.
…Prepare relevant, specific examples.
The key is to take time to self-reflect and list experiences that showcase skills and talent that will be required for the next job. Practice sharing the details about these events and what they taught you. Another key is to understand what your strengths are and how you use them to be effective in what you do in your career. Combined, knowing your strengths and having a solid list of experiences that highlight your skills in action build a winning combination in the interview.
Don’t Wing it!
Don’t wing it – no one is that good without preparation. Those who land the offer and tell you they didn’t prepare are not telling the truth. They may have been preparing for this opportunity all their life and the opportunity favors the prepared – not the other way around. The Bureau of Labor Statistics even have prepared job preparation info to help people realize how and what to prepare. How you prepare matters and WHAT you prepare to share matters more!
To learn more, read Interviewing UP! to better understand how to prepare for your next interview. Or contact Carole with your questions. She may surprise you with her answers and set you on the right path quick!
Download our eBook: Interviewing UP
Interviews fall short if you don’t learn how to be relevant, both in understanding your own success and how it aligns with the job you want (and what the company wants from you). Interviewing UP shows you how to stop reaching for canned answers and start rising to the occasion with relevant information.