The most important questions to interviewers are frequently behavior-focused questions such as 'Give me a specific example of a time when a co-worker or classmate criticized your work in front of others. How did you respond? How has that event shaped the way you communicate with others?' Behavioral interview questions provide a forum for you to show how you shine as a part of a team- as well as how you take charge of situations and turn them into learning experiences. This is your opportunity to highlight your problem-solving skills and show how your office team has benefitted from your unique creativity in the past. How you respond to behavioral questions rather than traditional interview questions will allow your potential boss to determine whether you are the best candidate for the job.
Interviewers will use questions like 'How did you respond to criticism?' not only to learn how you handle judgment directly- but also to see how you treat others in a potentially negative situation and how you react to people in a professional environment.. Examples of how you handle stress on the job will enable an employer to better evaluate how you might fit into their workplace. Practicing your response to such questions will help you provide intelligent and relevant answers when it's time to interview.
How to Answer the 'Give Me a Specific Example of a Time When a Co-worker or Classmate Criticized Your Work in Front of Others. How Did You Respond? How Has That Event Shaped the Way You Communicate With Others?' Behavioral Interview Question
Do Your Research. It is usually pretty easy to figure out what a company's core values are by making a quick trip to its website. Do a little research on the company to which you are applying- and find out what it values the most in employees. Is the workplace environment competitive or is cooperation the most highly prized trait? This may impact how you are expected to handle criticism. Relatedly- if you are lucky enough to land interviews with multiple companies- make sure you tailor your responses to behavioral interview questions to be relevant to each specific job. Recycling answers is a bad habit to get into. Once you start regurgitating replies from a script- you may find yourself merely going through the motions during your interview- and lose the meaning of the points you are trying to convey.
Recount the Correct Details. While a question about a response to on-the-job criticism may seem rather specific- your interviewers are not looking for every last detail of your prior situation. They are hoping to learn the particulars of how you processed the criticism- how you treated those around you and the lasting effect it may have had on you. While you don't want to omit the relevant details about how this experience shaped you- avoid getting mired down in history and irrelevant specifics.
Use the STAR Method. The STAR method is a way to answer behavioral interview questions that helps you hit the three primary parts of your answer. All responses ultimately need to cover the following:
- ST – Situation or task
- A – Action
- R – Results
By first identifying the problem, then moving to the call to action and wrapping up with the results, STAR will help guide you through a tricky question to a succinct and effective answer. By framing your responses in this manner, you can achieve the desired results.
Don't Omit the Tricky Parts. Many of these questions are multifaceted and may include awkward or difficult self-analysis. The 'How did you respond?' portion of the question may be a much easier pill to swallow than the 'How has that event shaped the way you communicate with others?' part. However, if your interviewer asks you to dig deep and reflect on how a previous experience has molded you, it's wise to offer an honest and applicable assessment. Never skirt the issue, for hiring committees ask every question for a reason.
Sample 'Give Me a Specific Example of a Time When a Co-worker or Classmate Criticized Your Work in Front of Others. How Did You Respond? How Has That Event Shaped the Way You Communicate With Others?' STAR Interview Answer
I was tasked with the job of creating a slide presentation for my boss for an upcoming talk. I had never used the graphing program many of the figures she wanted to use came from, and I was having a hard time lining up some of the images properly. When my boss gave a dry run of her presentation to the office, a co-worker pointed out the shortcomings of two of my slides and made a joke at my expense. I replied that I was in the process of learning a new program, and I agreed that my results looked a little clumsy. I asked the co-worker if she could provide any constructive criticism or tips on how to create a cleaner slide in that system, and she ended up teaching me a few steps. This experience has led me to continue using a direct approach and meet criticism head on, in the hopes of learning how to improve.