During your job search, you will be asked behavioral interview questions to test your personality. These can sometimes trip candidates up given their personal nature. In this article, we’ll look at common behavioral interview questions and the best way to answer them. By the end of this, you will be ready for all the behavioral questions thrown your way.
What are behavioral interview questions?
Behavioral interview questions are used to understand how a candidate performs in certain situations. Typically, you will be asked to describe a time you handled a specific event or how you handled a type of project or situation. Here is a list of common behavioral interview questions to give you a better understanding of what they entail.
- Teamwork: Give me an example of a time you had to work with a difficult colleague.
- Adaptability: Talk about a previous job where your team was affected by changes and how you were able to adapt.
- Client facing skills: What techniques do you use to handle unhappy clients?
- Time management skills: How do you manage a tight deadline for a project?
- Communication skills: Give me an example of a time you had to work with or present to senior-level employees at the company.
- Taking initiative: Tell me about one or two situations where your plan was implemented and helped you reach a goal.
- Working under pressure: Talk about a time in a past job where you were under extreme stress and how you managed the pressure.
Methods for answering behavioral questions during job interviews
Being asked a behavioral interview question is very common. Make sure you are prepared to answer several different kinds. The hiring manager will ask behavioral interview questions to get to know you and how you work. They are looking for someone who has successfully managed situations they deal with. These could involve a customer or an internal project with the team.
Behavioral questions usually start with, Give me an example of… The best way to prepare is by thinking of past work experiences where you exceeded expectations. You can use a project, problem, or something that required you to adapt quickly to describe a time where you had a great success.
One of the best ways to answer a behavioral interview question is using the STAR method.
What is the STAR method?
The STAR Method is an interview method candidates can utilize when answering behavioral interview questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. Let’s break down what each word represents so you can use this method when answering behavioral interview questions during your job search.
When answering questions using STAR, make sure you start with the situation. The example should be relevant to the job you are interviewing for. Discuss a specific project, event, or challenge you have handled. You will want to include what, where, who, when, and how.
Next, describe the task from the situation that you were responsible for. You will want to mention any difficulties or challenges that you faced and how you managed it.
You then want to tell the hiring manager exactly what you did. This part of your answer should include the most details. Take time to explain the work you did. Focus on skills and techniques that you put into action. For example, teamwork, leadership, dedication, and initiative.
This is where you get to brag about your success. Share the results you got and how your contributions made a difference for the company. Give examples of what you learned. If you faced a problem, explain the step-by-step process as you tell your story.
As you prepare to answer behavioral interview questions, using methods like STAR can help you have a better answer. Think of a time in your career that really shows your skills and expertise.
You may have a few different examples that you can use depending on the type of behavioral question you are asked. Practice your answers with a friend or a trusted mentor. Discussing your experience with an expert can provide you the feedback you might need.
Final thoughts on behavioral interview questions
Potential employers want to learn as much about you as they can during your interview. The interviewer will use behavioral questions to understand how you would work with the team in given situations. Would you handle a new project well and also what good ideas could you bring to the department?
It’s important that the answers you give to behavioral interview questions describe a time from your past work experience. You do not want to make up a story to answer these interview questions. Making up stories to answer these types of questions can be a big mistake candidates make, so be careful.
Often times an employer just wants to get to know you. Asking behavioral interview questions will give them a good idea of how you handle real work situations that you would face at their company. So, don’t be nervous, just tell them about yourself and your accomplishments.