Thursday, August 19, 2010

Behavioral interviewing

As I previously mentioned I'm in the process of looking at a couple of other consulting firms. I've had some phone conversations and have some in person interviews coming up as well. One of these firms I'm exploring is big on behavioral interviewing, a style that is based on the assertion that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation.

I've been on both sides of the behavioral interviewing fence before, so I'm pretty familiar with them. But because its been a bit of time since I've been the one being interviewed, I decided that I'd brush up by reviewing some basic behavioral interview questions and thinking through what examples I'd use.

As I was reviewing lists of questions, I found myself thinking how applicable a lot of these questions would be to WoW. I'm not sure what was more surprising, the fact that WoW has so many commonalities with a work setting or the fact that my mind went to relating these interview questions to WoW.

Anyways, need some good questions for your next guild application? Some of these I kept in there because I could give a really really funny WoW related answer to them. Hmmm maybe I should answer some these questions myself in a future post...

1. What are your short term and long term goals? How did you develop these goals?
2. How would you define "success"?
3. What performance standards do you have for yourself?
4. How do you manage and schedule your time?
5. Describe a situation that required you to do a number of things at the same time. How did you handle it? What was the result?
6. How do you assign priorities?
7. What has been your biggest disappointment or failure? What happened and what did you do?
8. What is the most competitive situation you have experienced? How did you handle it? What was the result?
9. Describe a major change that you had to deal with. How did you adapt to this change?
10. Describe a time when you were able to effectively communicate a difficult or unpleasant idea.
11. Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person, even when that individual may not have personally liked you.
12. What have you done in past situations to contribute toward a teamwork environment?
13. Tell us about some demanding situations in which you managed to remain calm and composed.
14. Describe a situation in which you were able to positively influence the actions of others in a desired direction.
15. Tell us about a time when you had to convince someone in authority about your ideas. How did it work out?
16. When is the last time you had a disagreement with a peer? How did you resolve the situation?
17. Describe a situation where you had a conflict with another individual, and how you dealt with it. What was the outcome? How do you feel about it?
18. What was the most stressful situation you have faced? How did you deal with it?
19. What is the difficult part of being a member, not leader, of a team? How did you handle this?


  1. So that's what it's called... I was referring to this type of interviewing simply as "hell".

  2. If I gave an interview like that, the only acceptable response would be some variation of "I have excellent time-management skills; shut up ten questions ago."

  3. Oh man. Those sound almost exactly like the interview questions that I'm supposed to be asking people when they're applying for a position with my firm. Of course, I don't - because it's generally crap. But that's pretty much the list.

    The one that you seem to be missing from your list that I know is on ours is "Describe a time where things have changed suddenly or unexpectedly for you - where you've had the rug pulled out from under you. How did you adapt?"

    I always thought I'd extend an immediate offer to someone who responded to that question by saying "adapt to this sudden change" and walked out!

  4. I am doing my behavioral management course and feel happy that i came across this article so early in my career..thanks for sharing this useful question..i have shared with face book!!

  5. I’ve always felt that all this kind of interviewing assesses is the candidate’s ability to pre-prepare a list of anecdotes that make themselves sound impressive, and then shoehorn those answers into any question asked by the interviewer.

    I work in a similar industry to you, and in the interviews I have experienced, both as interviewer and interviewee, you can tell in the first 10 minutes of an interview if someone is qualified for the job, and the hard bit is working out if a candidate will be a fit in terms of their personality and the culture of the firm and team they would be joining.

    I think the WoW connection works the other way around. The best way to really test someone out for a job would be the way it’s done by some guilds - bring the candidate in for a test raid or two and see if they stand in the fire. That probably translates to being brought in on a short term contract, but I can’t imagine many people enjoying that kind of prolonged uncertainty and you wouldn’t get a lot of applicants.

  6. @Jen: yeah this type of interviewing is tough and takes some getting used to

    @klep: haha I'd love to hear you in an interview like that...

    @Joar: yeah here's to hoping not everyone at this firm interviews like this when I go in!

    @Anon: yeah I have to go through all my past projects and make sure I think through them to see what kind of examples I can pull :(

  7. We can't even get app's to answer all the basic questions - let alone something that required thought!
    One of the best and longest management interviews I had asked a lot of questions like that - and I felt I actually got to talk about me and what I have done, and what can do more then the standard questions. They told me I would get bored too easily. So that I felt I was giving greate answers probably worked against me. I'm hoping for a interview in the near future, so I'm taggging some of those questions to practise on :)