A recent Tomorrow’s Professor blog post contains advice to faculty chairs when hiring a new member of academic staff (and is therefore interesting to anyone who’s planning to be sitting on the other side of that interview desk).
The post outlines the process of behavioural interviewing, an approach by which the interviewer tries to understand whether you’re potentially suited to the post by asking what you have done and how you acted in the past. Rather than asking, for instance, ‘What would you do if…?’ or the dreaded ‘Tell me where you’d like to be in 5 years’, the interviewer asks questions like ‘Can you give me an example of a time that you [showed a particular skill, dealt with a particular situation or challenge, or gained some particular experience]?’. The post also contains some sample questions that interviewers might ask (or you could be asked) and some tips for constructing an appropriate answer which gives the interviewer the kind of information s/he’s looking for.
To read the full post, go to: http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/postings.php and check posting 1052
And for more tips on how to handle a behavioural interview, see: http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/behavioral.htm