Whether you’re the interviewee or the interviewer, behavioral interview questions are the best method to gauge the candidate’s abilities and experience. Read up on what the most common behavioral interview questions are.
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At one point or another, we have all been interviewed for a job. Whether we were 16 looking for a part-time job or are middle-aged looking to move up in the corporate ladder.
And it doesn’t matter if you have a done of experience dishing out the interviews or receiving them, you still need a lot of practice.
In any case, this blog takes you through how to handle behavioral interview questions and the most common behavioral interview questions.
What Is A Behavioral Interview?
A behavioral interview is an interview that asks questions that requires the candidate to share examples of specific situations they were in and had to use certain skills to get the job done.
Basically, it is how you prove that your past work ensures you are capable of doing the same for your new potential employer.
Behavioral interview questions force the candidate to go past the generic answer and to rely on their personal history. This way, the hiring manager can be certain they’re bringing on the best candidate for the job. And if you’re on the receiving end, you want to be prepared for anything so that you can stand out from the rest of the competition.
The Best Way to Tackle Behavioral Interview Questions
The following are tips for the candidate to best prepare in case behavior interview questions arise. It’s best to be prepared!
Take Your Time
Don’t hesitate to take a brief moment before you answer the question. Feel free to take a breath, a sip of water, look at your feet, or even just pause. This allows you time to calm your nerves and to think of an appropriate answer to the question.
Prepare Ahead Of Time
This really is common sense.
Be sure to review the most common behavioral interview questions (listed below) ahead of time so that you can practice your answers. Why should you do this? Because it ensures that you will already have a handful of answers ready for behavioral interview questions and you won’t be caught off guard, racking your brain and appearing unprepared.
Use The STAR Technique
When answering any questions, be sure to use the STAR technique. When you complete each of the four steps, you will be able to provide a thorough answer and will avoid getting off-topic.
- (S) Situation. Describe the situation when and where the situation took place.
- (T) Task. Describe the task you were required to complete. Include any problems you solved if they arose during this time.
- (A) Action. Explain what action(s) you took to complete the task or t0 solve the problem at hand.
- (R) Results. Explain the result of your action(s) and focus on how your action(s) brought about this success.
Usually, you are required to focus on a problem or a failure that you have experienced at work during behavioral interview questions. Therefore, be sure to describe the problem or issue that you encountered, but be sure not to focus on the negative too much. Instead, you should quickly shift to describing how you solved the problem and what the positive outcome was.
Common Behavioral Interview Questions
As the person giving the interview, these are great behavioral questions that you can ask the candidate sat opposite you.
Additionally, a candidate should review these behavioral question examples so that way you’re prepared with answers instead of thinking on your feet.
- Give an example, in your career, when you used logic to solve a problem.
- Give an example, in your career, of a goal you reached and how you achieved it.
- Give an example, in your career, of a goal you didn’t meet and how you handled it.
- Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How?
- Have you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor/another department/a client? How?
- What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?
- What do you do if you disagree with your boss?
- Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
- Tell me about how you have worked effectively under pressure in your career.
- How do you handle a challenge?
- Have you ever made a mistake and how did you handle it?
- Describe a decision you made that was unpopular with your co-workers and how you handled implementing it.
- Have you had to convince your co-workers to work on a project they weren’t happy about? How did you do it?
- Tell me of an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
- Have you ever put off making a decision? Why?
- Have you ever dealt with a company policy that you weren’t in agreement with? How?
- Have you gone above and beyond your job role and responsibilities? If so, how?
- When you worked on multiple projects, how did you prioritize?
- How did you handle meeting a tight deadline? Did you make the deadline? If not, why not?
- Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
- Did you ever not meet your goals? Why?
- What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it.
- Do you listen? Give an example of when you did or when you didn’t listen.
What Do Behavioral Interview Questions Measure?
Unlike your typical interview questions (tell me a little about yourself), behavioral interview questions really test your skills.
Behavioral interview questions measure:
- Time management
- Leadership skills
- Problem solving capabilites
- Conflict management
- Communication skills
- Client-facing skills
- Your ability to adapt
- Your motiviation
- Your values
- Your work ethic
It is highly recommended for candidates to refer to the job description and specific experience in relation to the job description to come up with the best examples to share with the interviewer.
However, if you are just starting out and have a lack of professional experience, don’t stress over it. For entry-level positions, the hiring manager or HR professional is fully aware that you don’t have the on-the-job experience required. Therefore, you should refer to your classroom experience, extracurriculars, and life experiences that help demonstrate your capabilities.
The Bottom Line on Behavioral Interview Questions
The above behavioral interview questions work two-fold: as a manager and HR professional, they help you best understand if the candidate is the right fit for your company because they go beyond a one-word answer.
And as a candidate, you can best prepare yourself as the top candidate by preparing ahead of time with fully developed answers to the most common behavioral interview questions.
Remember that most behavioral interview questions will start with statements. Such as, “tell me about a time” or “give me an example of a time.” As the candidate, you have to reach back into your experience and share specific examples.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to any job interview, but especially to prepare for any potential behavioral interview questions!
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