When you are interviewing for a position- you will likely find that the interviewer will ask you more behavioral interview questions than traditional questions. Unlike simple questions dealing with concrete facts- such as how many years you have been working or what your education is- behavioral questions are more abstract- meaning there are many ways you can answer.
These kinds of questions are designed to give the interviewer a look into your priorities- work ethic- and personal attributes- giving them a much more thorough understanding of what it would be like if you were hired. This means the best way to answer behavioral questions is to think about what attributes employers are likely looking for and try to exemplify them.
A common behavioral question is- 'Give me an idea of the first week or so of your current job.' The question may go a step further and ask- 'What steps did you take and how long was it before you were up to speed and making a contribution?' Hiring anyone is an investment- and the first few weeks are the time when the investment has the least payoff. Interviewers want to get an idea of how long it will be before you finish the training stage of work and begin contributing and making their investment worthwhile. Answering this behavioral interview question may seem difficult- but using the STAR method and being prepared in advance will make it much easier to tackle.
How to Answer the 'Give Me an Idea of the First Week or So of Your Current Job' Behavioral Interview Question
Use the STAR Answering Method. This is a simple strategy that you should use for each of the behavioral interview questions that you are asked. This will guarantee that your answer is structured properly so the interviewer will get what they are looking for. The STAR method focuses on these steps:
- ST – Situation or Task. Begin by describing a situation or problem you faced. For this particular interview question, the situation of beginning a new job is already included in the question itself, so you should have no problem including this part.
- A – Action. Next, explain the actions you took to tackle the situation. You should be detailed and explain yourself clearly.
- R – Results. Finally, do not forget to also describe the result of the actions you took. For this question, the interviewer wants to know that you became fully trained and began contributing.
If you include each of these points in your answer, it will naturally be very strong and appealing to the interviewer. The STAR method is designed to be applicable for every kind of behavioral question, so you should not be afraid to implement it frequently.
Be Honest and Realistic. Everyone knows that beginning a new job is a challenge. The interviewer is not looking for candidates who are never unsure of themselves and jump into every challenge without any trouble whatsoever. In fact, if you portray yourself in this way, the interviewer is more likely to doubt that your answer is sincere. It is expected and acceptable to describe any challenges you had when beginning, but you also should not focus on these difficulties. Remember that the purpose of this question is to communicate how you overcame the challenge of beginning a new job and how you became a functional part of a team.
Find a Way to Be Relevant. If your current position is in the same area as the one you are applying for, you will be at an advantage. Of course that will not always be the case, so it is up to you to find specific ways that your current position relates to the one you are applying for. You absolutely cannot wing this aspect in the interview, so make sure you prepare in advance. Reflect on your first week so it is fresh in your mind. Then consider the position you are pursuing, comparing the two jobs and identifying skills and requirements that are similar. These are the aspects that you should describe coming to grips with as you worked through your first week.
Sample 'Give Me an Idea of the First Week or So of Your Current Job' STAR Interview Answer
When I first started, I faced the typical uncertainty of beginning a new job, but I quickly learned that the most important aspect of this line of work is cooperation. At first I tried to do everything myself. I suppose that is the way I was used to operating in the workplace, but I learned that would not work in my new work environment, as I fell behind on several of my tasks. I saw the rest of the team working together around me, so I adapted my actions, asking my new colleagues for assistance when needed and offering help in turn. I'm glad to say that it did not take long after that for me to fit into the team and become a contributing part of the work force.
Behavioral interview questions are among the biggest challenges when interviewing, but by preparing and reviewing these tips, you will be able to give an excellent answer.