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Interview Preparation  •  Sample Resumes    Questions You May Encounter    Why Interviews Fail   Informative Links

Interview Preparation

One of the tools used to assess competencies is the Behavioral Interview. The premise behind behavioral interviewing is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation. These structured interviews focus on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related. Keep in mind that the interviewer is usually evaluating you against a profile of desired behaviors considered necessary for success.

During the interview, give specific and detailed responses in which you describe a particular situation that relates to the question. Briefly tell the interviewer about the situation, what you specifically did, and the result or outcome. Ideally, you should briefly describe the situation, what specific action you took to have an effect on the situation, and the positive result or outcome.

A complete answer should contain four steps: Situation, Task/Objective, Action and Result or "STAR."

Situation: Set the stage for the interviewer by providing an overview of the situation you were faced with and be specific.

Task: What goal(s) were you working toward to resolve the situation?

Action: Describe the action you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail. What specific steps did you take and what was your particular contribution?

Result: Describe the outcome of your actions and don't be shy about taking credit for your behavior but don't leave out the team that assisted. Your answer should contain multiple positive results whenever possible.

Remember… The interviewer wants to know what YOU did. Provide specifics (avoid generalities, opinions, or future oriented statements.)

What can you do to prepare for a behavioral interview? Try to anticipate which behaviors and competencies the interviewer will be interested in evaluating. Identify examples of situations from your experiences (work, volunteer, school, etc.) that demonstrate the various behaviors that companies seek. Practice writing or speaking about these situations in the STAR form.

Please Note: Assessing competencies through STAR used in behavioral interviews is only ONE portion of the common selection process. Many other factors are taken into consideration when choosing the right person, including past experiences, educational successes, motivation and drive and fit into the position and company.


Sample Resumes
Operations Engineering Maintenance


Questions You May Encounter

Below are a few potential interview questions to help you prepare for the interview. Please review them now and prepare outlines for your answers.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your strengths? "Understand what they are looking for in skills and make sure you mention it "
  3. What do you do now? (Keep it Technical, give an example of a tough day within your skill, …. do not talk about general cleaning responsibilities or collateral duties)
  4. What are your qualities that make you a good candidate for this position?
  5. Tell me about your skills.
  6. Why do you want to work for us?
  7. What questions do you have for us?

You must have a few questions ready to ask them and remember to keep your questions geared toward the position, training, company focus, etc.. Do not ask questions about benefits, the pay and any questions that are centered on what they can do for you.

Once you are finished with asking your questions you will move into the closing portion of the interview. The close is the most important part of the interview. It must be in your own words with true feeling. To be effective in this interview you should give a three part close;

  1. Thank them for their time
  2. Tell them that you want the job, and why
  3. Ask them when you can start

Remember: Look sharp going into the interview, be positive and smile, good eye contact and make them comfortable that you are happy to be there. Let your personality come out but keep it professional.

Give brief examples to reinforce your answers. Let them know YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO WORKING THERE.


Why Interviews Fail
  1. Poor Impact Presence - Attire, unshaven, hair-cut
  2. Lack of Enthusiasm - Interest in opportunity not relayed, no smile
  3. No Specific Examples - Unable to demonstrate previous behaviors, leadership
  4. Poor Communication Skills - Eye contact, mumbling, fidgeting
  5. Lack of Company/Position Research - No preparation
  6. Geographic Limitations - Unwilling to relocate
  7. Shift Restricted- Unwilling to work a rotating or off shift
  8. No Questions or Improper Questions? - Too much focus on salary and benefits and too little about the job.
  9. Late - Be at least 15-20 minutes early


Informative Links
City-Data.com Detailed data on cities you may be looking to relocate to
Nuclear Reactor Intel Operating Nuclear Power Reactors and job opportunities
Military Pay Site Military pay tables, news and information
Salary.com Cost of living wizard to compare cost of living indices
The Riley Guide Providing free career and employment information since February 1994





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