Downey Job Club

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Story Starters

In today’s interview employers want to know how you will respond in a given situation. The following story prompts fall into the behavioral/situational judgment question category, which most applicants fail to anticipate. Develop your answers and don’t forget to tailor them to each job you apply for—remember, transferrable skills are a goldmine in answering these questions!

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Story 1 Story 2 Story 3 Story 4 Story 5 Story 6 Story 7 Story 8 Story 9 Story 10 Story 11 Story 12 Story 13 Story 14 Story 15
Think of a story when you went beyond the call of duty to help a co-worker get a project finished. Employers want to know if you're willing to put in extra effort, when needed, to get the job done.
Sometimes you need to figure out how to do something on your own without much help from anyone else. Are you a self-starter that can organize your time and work independently? Are you able to find and use resources to get the job done on your own?
Was there a time when you thought of a more efficient way to complete a work task? Make something better, easier to use, more beautiful?
Think of a time when you solved a problem by coming up with an innovative/creative solution that no one had thought of before.
Remember a time when you had to change directions quickly. Employers ask this question to determine how you deal with change and how flexible you can be.
Think of a time when you were challenged by having to work with a difficult person. How did you approach the situation, and how was the situation successfully resolved?
Can you work well with other people? Describe a situation where you worked as part of a team to successfully accomplish a goal. Make sure to include what part you played on the team.
Think of a time when you had to solve a problem that had multiple issues to resolve. How did you approach the problem? How was the problem successfully solved?
Describe a project where you put in extra effort to make it more successful. Tell how your added effort made the project better than it would have been.
Were you ever in a situation where you realized that the path you were taking was not leading you to the place you wanted to go? Employers want to know how you handle change.
Can you take responsibility for your mistakes? Can you learn a good lesson from them? Tell a story how you learned from a mistake and did things better the next time.
Remember a time when you saved the day by using your quick wit and skills. Did you save a presentation from disaster by quick thinking and/or good organizational skills?
Have you ever had to meet someone in the middle when you had different ideas about how something should be done? Good negotiation skills are important in every job.
Were you ever in a situation where you learned something good or bad about yourself? If it was good, how did you encourage it? if it was bad, how did you change?
Tell a story about a time when you did great work and didn't get paid. Did you volunteer at a neighborhood cleanup event? Volunteered at your child's school?