Have you ever been asked to do a sample project as part of a job interview? If you haven't yet, chances are good that you may be asked to participate in a challenge-based interview in the future. U.S. News & World Report career columnist Miriam Salpeter reports that the number of employers who are using challenge-based interview techniques is on the rise. In these types of interviews, you may be asked to create a plan to tackle a specific scenario.

Example: Let's say you are interviewing for a position with a start-up company. They say, "We've produced a new beverage line of mint-flavored drinks that provide the same mental alertness as a cup of coffee -- but without the side effects of insomnia. You have 48 hours to devise a marketing plan to pitch the product to your peers. We look forward to your presentation tomorrow."

Challenge-based interviews are based on the same general concept as behavioral interviewing -- that past behavior is often reflective of future behavior. So if you do well with your interview, they may assume you'll also be a strong performer on the job.

Here are Salpeter's five tips on how to tackle a project based interview. Notice that none of these tips require you to go to extreme measures. Instead, they focus on the importance of doing your research on the problem and potential solutions, creating materials that speak to the project's goals, and demonstrating to the employer that you understand and are enthusiastic about what the job requires. (In other words, strategies you would normally use in the process of applying for a position!)

Do you have an interview in your future? Consider coming to Career Services for a Monday Mock interview. Contact our office at 6-2215 to schedule an appointment.