How to Choose Good (Behavioral) Interview Stories

January 1st, 2020 by lewis

During the interview, it’s not just your vocal delivery that matters; the content counts just as much.

When deciding what content or stories to share, McKinsey offers some valuable tips which I’ve paraphrased here:

Behavioral Questions about Leadership

Good examples show that you guided a group to overcome a significant challenge or obstacle. Keep in mind that you did not have to be the official leader for your story to be good.

Bad examples are ones where you were “elected” as the leader but never faced any challenges.

Behavioral Questions about Influencing Others

Good examples share a challenge where you had to convince one or more people, who were initially resistant to your idea, to embrace that idea or proposal.

Bad examples share a situation where an individual or group embrace an idea that they weren’t resistant to in the first place.

Behavioral Questions about Accomplishments

Good examples show that you both set and accomplished a challenging goal.

Bad examples are ones where:

  • Someone else set a goal, and you achieved it.
  • You set the goal, and someone else achieved it.
  • You didn’t set the goal, and you didn’t achieve it.

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