Career Conversions. Life Changing Career Choices

What Employers Want to Know

Benefits of a Career Coach

So you wonder what employers want to know

when they ask behavioral interview questions.

Let me introduce you to a great article in the Wall Street Journal today entitled, “Bosses Seek Critical Thinking, but What Is It?”, by Melissa Korn. There is much controversy about the younger generation and how they do not have critical thinking skills because they have always had everything at their fingertips. Melissa Korn points out bosses do not really know how to describe what skills make critical thinkers. “That leaves job seekers wondering what employers really want and, once on the job, unsure of whether they’re supposed to follow the rules or break them.” Melissa’s article goes on to talk about behavioral interviews and how employers look for critical thinking skills and a whole slew of other skills as well, through behavioral style interviews.

Here are 3 critical steps to deliver what employers want on behavioral interviews.


Initially, prospective employers/interviewers are in the “shopping” mode. They are just checking you out, just as they are checking out many other qualified candidates. Yes- skills, talents and experiences may all be fairly equal. Through knowing the job description including the specific responsibilities and qualifications needed, reviewing the research you have performed to prepare for the interview, and asking dynamite interview questions to the employer, you are better able determine what will take this “shopper” to become a “buyer” of you.

2. BE PREPARED TO COMMUNICATE YOUR “RETURN ON INVESTMENT” based on their motivation to buy you.

As a potential employee, prior to your interview, be prepared with statements of value added. This means knowing how you could generate a return on the employer’s investment in hiring you. Whatever your role is, challenge yourself to look for ways to boost the employer’s success. Think in terms of “Benefits vs Features”. The benefits explain “What’s in it for them” if they hire you. The benefit is how you do what you do to solve their “pain”. The feature is what you do or what credentials you hold. Continue to have a “What’s in it for them” mindset throughout the entire interview.


Even before you put together your resume and cover letter you want to write out several success stories that identify your core strengths and competencies that the employer needs to have to fill the position you are interviewing for.

While each of these steps is critical, the fundamental message is to PREPARE. As the old saying goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” So if you wonder what employers want, prepare for behavioral interviews utilizing these 3 critical steps outlined above.

trish_socialmediaLet me know what challenges and wins you have encountered.

For a complimentary no obligation career coaching session contact Trish Dervin, Career Management Coach     Career Conversions, LLC  636-778-9090  [email protected]

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