Tough Interview Questions #36: Behavioral Interviewing: Attention to Detail
Behavioral interviewing is a relatively new style of interviewing that was developed in the 1970's by industrial psychologists. Behavioral interviewing asserts that "the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation."
It is one of the current fashions in human resource and management interviewing because it is designed to focus on behaviors and attributes that would allow a new employee to be successful in a new position.
Although I believe that it is often misused, because it is part of the current fashion (much like some of the other questions I have been coaching you for that reflects a previous style of interviewing), it must be paid attention to and prepared for.
In this section, we focus on offering you attention to detail questions that will allow you to be prepared when this line of inquiry begins.
Please give me some examples of things you have done on previous jobs that have demonstrated your ability to pay attention to detail. What resulted from your actions?
Please give me an example of where you may have found an error in some aspect of work that others may have overlooked. What was the error, how did you find out, what actions did you take, and what resulted from your actions?
Do you notice the quality of detailed thought they are looking for in the questioning? it goes beyond that to seeing how you interact with others. Do you create conflict or solutions? Are you cooperative or argumentative?
Here are a few more:
Tell about a time when you needed to develop and use a detailed procedure to successfully complete a project.
Tell us about a job or setting where great precision to detail was required to complete a task. How did you handle that situation?
How did you go about making the changes (step by step)? Please answer in depth or detail such as “What were you thinking at that point?” or “Tell me more about meeting with that person”, or “Lead me through your decision process”.
Please describe your experience in past jobs that required you to be especially alert to details while doing the task involved.
Some people consider themselves to be “big picture people” and others are “detail oriented”. Which are you? Give an example of a time when you displayed this.
This has danger associate with it because you need to understand the nature of the job and the corporate culture to answer it to the interviewer's satisfaction.
Here are a few more to prepare for:
Describe a situation where you had the option to leave the details to others or you could take care of them yourself.
Tell us about a situation where attention to detail was either important or unimportant in accomplishing an assigned task.
Tell us about a difficult experience you had in working with details.
These are all questions that require you to dig a little deeper and reveal facets of your personality as it pertains to attention to detail.
REMEMBER: What does your potential answer tell them about you in the context of the job being discussed?
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Concepts in Staffing
© 2008 all rights reserved.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, is Managing Director with Concepts in Staffing, a New York search firm, He has successfully assisted many corporations identify management leaders and staff in many disciplines since 1971. He is a retired certified leader of the ManKind Project, a not for profit organization that assists men with life issues, and a practicing psychotherapist.
He is the author of “Get Yourself Hired NOW! The Big Game Hunter’s Guide to Head Hunting Your Next Job and Every Job After That” (in ebook and audio formats) and “Get Your Job Search Organized NOW!” (ebook) Both are available at www.getyourselfhiredNOW.com
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