The Scoring System


In a “tell me about a time when…” question, it’s helpful to talk about a specific problem that you faced, an action that you took, and the result of that action. These kinds of interview questions reveal how you handled different work situations in the past. By talking about a specific time when you faced that situation before, you are giving the employer confidence that you can do the job.

Missing PAR

Contains Problem, Action, and Result


Rambling is adding extra information to your interview response that is unnecessary to prove your point. It makes it hard for the interviewer to follow what you are saying. The interviewer may think that you are not a clear thinker.


Not Rambling

Missing Supporting Examples

Missing supporting examples means speaking in too many generalities without proof. Anyone can say that they “show up on time” and are a “hard worker.” But, without specific examples of when you did those things, it’s harder to believe.

Missing Supporting Examples

Has Supporting Details


Pace is how quickly or slowly you speak. It can be hard to understand you if you speak too quickly. The listener might zone out or get frustrated if you speak too slowly.

Too Slow

Just Right

Too Fast


Volume is how loudly or softly you speak. It can be uncomfortable to listen to you if you speak too loudly. The listener might have trouble hearing you if you speak too softly.

Too Soft

Just Right

Too Loud

Filler Words

Examples of filler words include umm, uh, so, like, well, I mean, you know, basically, actually, literally. Using a lot of filler words is distracting for the listener and makes you sound less credible.

Too Many Filler Words

Very Few Filler Words


Pausing is when you stop speaking for a few seconds. A few pauses can be helpful for emphasis or to collect your thoughts, but more than a few can be distracting and make you sound less sure of what you’re trying to say.

Too Many Pauses

Few Pauses


Duration is how much time you speak for. Speaking for too long can get boring for the listener and speaking for not enough time can leave your responses too vague and weak.

Too Short

Just Right

Too Long


Tone is how much you change the “musical note” of your voice. It’s by how much you adjust the highness and lowness of your voice. If you do not adjust the pitch of your voice, it can come off as boring.


Not Monotone