Employers want to know about more than just your skills and experience–they want to know how you’ll get along day-to-day. How will you react in stressful situations? What will you do when a customer gets cranky, or there’s some issue with the product?

One way for hiring managers to get to that information is to use behavioral interview questions, sometimes known as the STAR technique.

STAR stands for:

Situation or Task

Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.

Action you took

Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved

What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?

What this does is, it provides the manager with real-world detail about how you do your job. You can’t just get by with “standard interview answers” here. But it also gives you a fantastic opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the job.

You should always be prepared for these kinds of questions in your job interview. They really are a great way for you to highlight your experience, and many hiring managers in medical sales, laboratory sales, medical device sales, pathology sales, imaging sales, pharmaceutical sales, clinical diagnostics sales, and biotech sales like to use them because they’re so effective.

Your best way to prepare is to think back over your career. What situations can you think of where you resolved some issue, or successfully addressed a problem? Make a list. As you’re preparing for your interview, think about which of these stories best fits the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for (since you always tailor your answers to fit the job). Don't worry if you have to think for a minute to come up with the best answer. The most important thing is to be sure to emphasize the positive outcome that was a result of your actions in each situation.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee is the owner/chief recruiter of PHC Consulting, a nationally-known recruiting firm for the medical sales industry for the last 10 years. See her blog and website for more interview tips and help with your job search => http://www.phcconsulting.com/WordPress.