150: Putting a Bow on Your Behavioral Interview Answers

Putting a Bow on Your Behavioral Interview Answers

This is episode #150! Considering so many podcasts that flame out after a dozen or so episodes, I am so very proud of the body of work in my catalogue.

I’m also working on a podcast index book, so stay tuned for more information on that.

We’re talking today about behavioral interviews. Those interview questions that begin with “Tell me about a time when…” or “Describe a situation that…”

There are episodes where I’ve talked about the behavioral interview – specifically episode #84.

A brief recap:

Your answers to behavioral interview questions should follow this format:

C (Challenge)

A (Action)

R (Result)


Question: Tell me about a time that really tested your organizational and time management skills.

C: I was managing a large project and we were at a critical phase when a coworker had to be off for extended medical leave. I was asked to fill in her role.

A: -Learn her responsibilities

-Manage boss’s expectations

-Agree together on what I can put on the back burner or hand off to someone else

-Meet with project management team to let them know about my additional responsibilities and what that would mean for the project

-Became even more scheduled, including…

R: As a result, I completed the project within time and budget constraints while also managing my co-workers’ responsibilities effectively for 6 weeks.


Let’s talk about putting a bow on your answer. Think of this like extra credit on an exam. Now your CAR story is a CARL story:

L (Lesson Learned)

L: What I learned from that situation was my capacity for organization and time management…


L: What this situation demonstrates is how my boss trusted me with so much responsibility and I didn’t let him down.


-Communication skills


-Relationship with boss

I don’t recommend putting a bow on every single behavioral story, but peppered in they can be quite effective in reinforcing your brand and demonstrating the kind of value you will offer the organization.

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