Remember the Key to a Good Behavioural Interview: Situation … Action … Response…

Librarian of the Athos monastery of Simonopetra


This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager at a library with 10-50 staff members.


What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

organizational fit
positive attitude

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

They did not send a cover letter in the application
They did not smile in the interview.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Claims about skills without substance to back them up

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, I want to look at every accomplishment

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ pdf

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ As an attachment only

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Demonstrate skills through descriptions of actual behaviours – remember the key to a good behavioural interview:
Situation – describe what you were dealing with
Action – say what you did about it
Response – tell us how that worked for you

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

They don’t practice and they don’t plan for answering behavioural questions.
They do not have any questions to ask.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

Much more focus on behavioural questions – asking clients to demonstrate their attitudes and approaches to work by describing specific situations. More interested in attitude and fit with the organization than specific experience.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Research behavioural inteviews and the organization that is interviewing you.

1 Comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Original Survey, Public

One response to “Remember the Key to a Good Behavioural Interview: Situation … Action … Response…


    Yes, I think is very important to consider these three points like the key to a good behavioural interview.
    First the situation, if you understand this word in two directions, considering the manager and also the interviewed. Although you must to have your own point of view according your particular interest, by example your salary, your job hours, etc.
    Second: Action. It´s important to know what is your radio of action in your new job (I understand in this sense this word, but perhaps I´m wrong).
    Third: Response. It´s clear that you must to know and understand the limits of your response. There are so much things to talk about this three points, but time is very short for me.
    Thanks a lot.

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