SHARE Model Interview Techniques
The SHARE interview model is a powerful way to respond to questions in behavioral interviews, which some employers use to gauge your interpersonal skills, problem-solving abilities, how you function on a team and whether you are flexible. The acronym SHARE makes it easy to remember the guidelines for structuring your responses: Situation, Hindrance, Action, Results, Evaluate.
Identifying Behavioral Questions
The interviewer might not tell you that you are about to participate in a behavioral interview, or he may embed behavior-based questions within a group of more traditional questions in a mixed-style interview. So, it’s important to recognize behavioral questions where the SHARE model will be effective. These questions typically ask you to tell a story about professional relationships, challenges or achievements from your past. The interviewer usually begins the question with a phrase like “Tell me about a situation where …” or “Describe how you handled…”
When you hear a behavioral question, formulate your response with the SHARE model:
- S: Describe the situation.
- H: Explain the hindrances that made the situation especially challenging.
- A: Tell what action you chose to take, and why.
- R: Demonstrate why the action was a good choice by explaining the results.
- E: Explain how it turned out, perhaps contrasting the actual result with what might have happened if you had chosen an alternate course of action.
Preparing for the Interview
The SHARE model works best if you’ve thought through the examples beforehand. Look closely at the company’s website and the job advertisement to get more information about what the company does, and what it expects from the position. Next, place yourself in the position of the interviewer. Identify the qualities you would want in a person applying for this position, then think about past situations where you demonstrated these qualities.
Practice telling these stories using the SHARE formula so that it becomes natural and nearly automatic to you. If possible, practice with a friend or family member who will give you honest feedback. Career website Indeed even suggests recording a practice interview with your smart phone so you can take note of your body language. Rehearsing for your interview will help you look and sound more natural.
Be Ready for Follow Up
Experienced behavioral interviewers often ask candidates to expand on their responses. Be prepared for the possibility that your interviewer might interrupt your story to ask why you made a particular choice or how you felt in reaction to what someone else did or said. Don’t belabor the tale with minutiae. Instead, have all the details ready in your head so you can respond smoothly if asked for clarification. Also, practice stopping while telling your story so you’re not thrown off track when the interviewer interrupts you with a question.
Global employment agency Robert Half Talent Solutions reminds job seekers that behavioral interviews provide opportunities to highlight your experience and critical thinking skills. Look online for interview response techniques and sample responses, then use your own words to tell your story.
A retired federal senior executive currently working as a management consultant and communications expert, Mary Bauer has written and edited for senior U.S. government audiences, including the White House, since 1984. She holds a Master of Arts in French from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in English, French and international relations from Aquinas College.