You are here

Blog posts by Category

Interviewing: Behavioral

Finding Balance: Soft Skills and Technical Skills

Being prepared to talk about your strengths and to support them is a common interview tip. Many of us cite soft skills such as teamwork, adaptability, or communication as some of our answers, but may fall short when highlighting technical skills. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported in 2017 that “a composite ‘ideal’ employee… [is] a hard-working individual with appropriate technical training…solid problem-solving skills, and the abilities to communicate well, work in teams, and to continually learn new things.” Finding an appropriate balance between soft and hard skills shows that you are a well-rounded candidate.

What are the main differences between hard (technical) skills and soft skills?

Hard skills can be learned or taught. Think of the skills you have developed thus far in your academic career. Have you learned how to program? Do you have a lot of experience using a certain software system? Do … 

Read More

Conquering One-Way Recorded Interviews

One-way recorded video (on-demand) interviewing, otherwise known as “asynchronous” interviews, are on the rise and since it can be somewhat awkward for candidates, it is all the better to be prepared! What exactly are these types of interviews, you ask? They are conducted with software that companies use for distance interviewing that takes the place of an actual “live” person asking you the questions.

There are 2 kinds: either the employer will request a video from the candidate in which you answer pre-scripted questions due by a certain deadline OR in the video interview, you will be the only one visible but you’ll hear an interviewer ask you the questions. Certain software might only allow a specific number of attempts at answering the question, so being prepared will ensure that you provide an impressive response with the time and attempts allotted. Here are a few tips to ensure your success with … 

Read More

Eliminating Pre-Interview Nerves

You landed an interview - Congratulations! You tell your friends, call your folks, and maybe even share with a professor. You bask in the “what’s possible” for a while, but soon the “what’s imminent” sets in and you start to worry. …What will they ask me? …What will I say? …Will they like me?

Channel that nervous energy. Use it to prepare for the interview rather than fret about it. You can do a Google search to find advice ranging from getting enough rest, exercise, and proper diet to using imagery and power poses. All of that can be helpful, but the best use of your time and energy would be in preparation.

To prepare you with what to expect and how to respond to interviewers, ECS suggests using any/all of the resources below.

  • ECS Student Handbook – The section on interviewing, located on pp. 25 – 31, gives concrete … 
Read More

"That Didn't Go So Well." How to Avoid or Recover from Awkward Job Search Moments

We have all had at least one—an awkward job search moment that makes you panic even more than you already were.  While I maintain that preparation is key to success, I also understand that sometimes we cannot anticipate situations. And other times (let’s be honest) we just weren’t prepared. Here are a few job search concerns I’ve heard from students and ways to recover or respond.

You can’t think of a response to the behavioral interview question:

First of all, brief silence is OK. If you take a moment to gather your thoughts, you will likely be able to come up with a response. What happens if you can’t? Stay calm, cool, and collected. Let the interviewer know that you are unable to think of a response at the moment and ask if you can come back to the question.

“That’s a great question. I know I have an example … 

Read More

Put the "I" in Your Interviews

So many of us are conditioned to understand and appreciate the importance of teamwork. Teamwork, of course, is unavoidable in most work environments, and we all want to talk about how good we work collectively. Nobody wants to sounds arrogant by bragging about their accomplishments. But, there is one situation in particular where talking about yourself is socially acceptable – and that is a job interview.

Of course an employer wants to hear that you have made successful contributions to teams. But they also want to know the “I” and not just the “we”. Unless you’ll be bringing your entire team to your new job, an interviewer wants to know what your specific successes and capabilities are.

Think about the STAR method for behavioral-based questions. As a refresher, STAR is an acronym for situation, task, action, and result. You use this method to respond to questions that start something like … 

Read More

Pages