Best Behavioral Interview Preparation: A Behavioral Resume

Need some good behavioral interview preparation? Try creating a behavioral resume. That's a resume designed to prompt the interviewer to ask the questions you want him to ask so you can talk about your best career stories.

The Idea Behind Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interviews are filled with questions that ask you to tell stories about times when you:

  • Proved yourself effective at a particular skill
  • Showed a valuable character trait
  • Achieved a relevant project
  • Championed a noteworthy cause
  • Hit the bottom line

By learning about your past experiences (through your stories of specific times and places), the interviewer will deduce that you'll do a repeat performance for your next employer. If your stories fit the bill, you become a high value-proposition candidate. Sounds good... if you're asked the right interview questions — ones that give you a chance to tell the stories that spell out your value.

Your Behavioral Resume

Think of your resume as an interview script, or at least a prompter the interviewer can use to ask his behavioral interview questions. With this in mind, write bullet point teasers on your resume about success stories you want to talk about in the interview.

Here's how to write and use your behavioral resume:

  1. Make a list of all the behavioral questions you want the interviewer to ask you — ones that demonstrate your strengths for the job you're applying for.
  2. Write statements on your resume that point to experiences that answer those behavioral questions. Don't tell the whole story, just the theme of the experience and the quantifiable results from your success. Leave the juicy details for your interview.
  3. Practice how you'll answer each of the behavioral questions on your list, using the statements on your resume as a springboard to launch into your brief story of success. Inject your story with quantifiable details and mentions of your skills and knowledge.
  4. Bring your resume to the interview, just in case the interviewer would like a hardcopy version. If he has your resume in hand, he's more likely to ask those interview questions you've practiced.

In short, use your resume to facilitate behavioral interview questions and answers that show a thread of success running from your past into your future. Actually, that's what all resumes should do but I'm calling it a behavioral resume to underscore this winning resume tip.