SMART Stories are a way to create stories that highlight what interviews are looking for when asking behavioral questions. Here is a blog article I wrote detailing this more in the past: (Get SMART About Your Job Search)SMART STORIES: S-Situation M-More (Metrics) A-Action R-Result T-Tie-In
So, when do you know if you’re being asked a behavioral question? Simple. Are they asking a question that seems to be asking you to tell a story? Ta Da! You’ve got a chance to use one of your SMART Stories.
They might start off sounding like this:
- Tell me about a time when you. . . .
- Describe a situation where you . . .
- Give me an example of . . . .
- How have you handled ________ in the past?
- What are you most proud of in your career?
- What are you most proud of in each of your past positions?
- In what way did you help your employer generate more revenue?
- In what way did you help your employer save money?
- In what way did you help your employer increase productivity?
- What was the most interesting suggestion or project you initiated?
- What positive comments (or ratings) were documented in your performance evaluations?
- What special teams or projects have you worked on?
- When did you go above and beyond the call of duty?
- What would other point to as evidence of your success?
- When did your actions motivate or influence others to do something they initially did not want to do?
- How did you go about making a presentation to internal or external stakeholders? What was the outcome?
While many job seekers might dread behavioral interview questions, I LOVE THEM! (Am I admitting my weirdness here?)
Recruiters use behavioral interviewing to move past emotional hiring decisions, and to help them objectively assess job-related skills, abilities, and motivation.
I love behavioral questions because I use my SMART stories. No, I don’t have a story prepared for every potential question out there. However, since I have several I have practiced several times in my back pocket, I can easily just make up a new story on the spot, just by remembering the acronym! Plus, because I know I do this well and most other job seekers do not, then then this is an interviewing skill really boosts my confidence!