Thursday, January 31, 2008

Behavior Questions

By Zebriod (c) 2008

I’m not one for listening to party debates, but last night I listened to the Republican debate at the Regan Library. Largely to see how they answered questions, did they have any tips for successful interviewing?

My top observation was the ability of Ron Paul to listen and not get frustrated, just marvelous.

The debate centered on Romney and McCain. As an independent, that is not going to vote for any of these guys, with little or no baggage toward these guys, Romney was the winner on this day by a wide margin when judging the quality of his debating skills. Why? He used examples of “his” past to predict his performance in the future, verifiable accomplishments as examples of why the country should hire him.

When asked if the country was better off today than eight years ago. when the current President started, he clearly pointed out that was not a question he should answer. He had nothing to do with this performance, but instead reviewed his role as governor of Massachusetts, the Salt Lake games, his business career and how he left each better than he found them. McCain on the other hand focused on general, unsupported statements like “I will be the …” “I am the most qualified…”. One approach left me impressed the other unconvinced.

My take away was the importance of being a good listener and using accomplishments to answer questions about future performance.

Introducing the STAR or SOAR principle: STAR stands for (S)ituation, (T)ask, (A)ction and (R)esult, and would be used as follows. I was in this situation, I was given these tasks, I took these actions and the result was. So, going back to Romney, he said when he became Governor we had a 3 billion dollar budget shortfall, not wanting to raise taxes, he found many areas where Massachusetts had not raised fees for 20 years, such as food signs on interstates. In this way, he closed the budget gap by running government more sensibly, like a business.

(For SOAR the (O) is for obstacle)

Use this concept to answer any behavior questions, for example of which are ‘how would you react to…’, ‘give a situation how would you act/react…’

In order to be well prepared, you must sit down and create a list of accomplishments. Write these up, add to them, reword them and practice them. From this list you can now go many places. First , create your own personal marketing statement, a Features And Benefits worksheet and answer behavioral questions.

Accomplishments need to answer the following question “what did you achieve that helped MAKE MONEY, SAVE MONEY, or CHANGE A PROCESS to impact the BOTTOM LINE?”

Don’t forget employers are only looking for “Skills, Experience and stability”

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