Prepare For Your Interview

Prepare For Your Interview
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Interview Process

We want to help you make the most of your interview experience. This is your chance to learn more about life at Booz Allen and for us to get to know the real you, beyond the resume. Once you apply, our recruiters assess your expertise and potential fit between you and Booz Allen. If your skills and experience are a match for us, we will contact you. 

Understanding our Purpose & Values is a recommended prerequisite. If our values resonate with you, it’s a likely a good sign.

To prepare for your interview, get to know our firm through this site and other resources or speak with a recruiter. If you were referred by a Booz Allen employee, talk to that individual about what it’s like here and make contact with other employees who have a similar career path.

Our interview process evaluates your skills, thinking, and experience. You’ll meet with several employees from different teams who will give a cross-section view of Booz Allen and look for quantifiable examples of functional expertise, consulting skills, teamwork, and leadership.

You can expect a multiple-perspective interview, with sessions touching on consulting skills, resume probing, technical and functional abilities, and cultural fit. 

Unfortunately, cyber scammers sometimes target people in the job market. Here are some tips on how to spot postings and recruiters that are not affiliated with Booz Allen:

  • Trust your intuition. If something does not feel right, contact us directly.
  • If someone is asking for money, or bank account information, it's not us.
  • We tend to interview on the phone and in-person.
  • Do not respond to someone asking you to make a purchase.
  • Check and make sure the person you are corresponding with has a "@bah.com" email address.

If you keep these aspects of the interview process top of mind, you should expect a seamless experience.

Interview Style is Key

Most potential employees are familiar with traditional interviews, when they’re asked to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, or case-based interviews, when they’re presented with a hypothetical situation and asked to provide a solution. 

But behavioral-style interviews help determine not only whether a candidate can do the job, but also whether he or she has the characteristics that would make him or her successful in that position.

In fact, some analysts believe that responses provided in behavioral interviews are 55 percent predictive of the candidate’s future on-the-job behavior, while responses during traditional interviews are only 10 percent predictive.

Booz Allen uses behavioral interviews as part of its three-step process to find the best candidates for consulting positions. The process also includes questions targeting a candidate’s consulting skills (e.g., active listening, data gathering) and questions evaluating her or his technical and functional proficiency and motivation to develop those skills.

By focusing on behavior-oriented questions that solicit personal facts, behavioral interviews enable interviewers to elicit real-life experiences that demonstrate less tangible traits.
 
For example, a question asked at a traditional interview would be: “Tell me about yourself.” In a behavioral interview, however, the interviewer might ask, “Describe a situation in which…” or “Tell me about a time…,” and encourage the candidate to tell a brief story. Behavioral interviews also provide opportunities for candidates to explain what they have learned from their experiences.

Other examples of behavioral-based interview questions might include:

  • Describe the greatest challenge in your last job and how you addressed it.
  • Describe a situation in which you found yourself working with someone who didn’t like you. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time that you exhibited leadership qualities.

Additional Tips

What are the two most common mistakes candidates make when interviewing for a job at Booz Allen Hamilton? Inadequately preparing for the interview, and not researching the firm.

Here are a few specific tips to help job hunters prepare for an interview:

  • Research Booz Allen and understand the opportunity for which you’re applying.
  • Write an inventory of your key achievements and failures before coming to the interview.
  • Have a strong sense of self-awareness, and review your resume to jog your memory.
  • Anticipate the questions that the interviewer is likely to ask and practice your answers.
  • Write 3 or 4 things you want Booz Allen to know about you and incorporate them into your interview.
  • At the interview, show an interest in the firm and ask relevant questions, such as how the state of the U.S. economy has impacted Booz Allen’s business. Don’t ask about benefits or vacation time during the first interview.
  • When asked, use recent examples from internships, school, community service, hobbies, or work experiences where you demonstrated the skills that Booz Allen seeks. When sharing negative experiences, choose those that had positive outcomes or from which you learned something.
  • If you’ve answered a question and the interviewer pauses, follow up with a relevant question about Booz Allen or ask whether the interviewer needs additional information. Don’t babble or talk incessantly to fill the silence.
  • Answer the question that was asked—and only the question that was asked.

We suggest candidates use the 3-step “STAR” approach to frame their answers to interview questions: 1. Situation or Task, 2. Action, and 3. Result. Using this approach, the candidate would describe the situation or task; what specific actions she took that had an effect on the situation; and the positive result or outcome.

And try to avoid common pitfalls:

  • Not having answers
  • Not having questions
  • Talking too much or too little
  • Lack of focus
  • Deception
  • Criticizing former co-workers, teammates, or employers
  • Revealing too much personal information

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