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Answering Behavioral Interview Questions

If you are going on an interview, odds are you are going to be asked at least one behavioral interview question. For a successful interview, you should be prepared and have a strategy in place for answering these types of questions!

What are Behavioral Interview Questions?

Interviewers use behavioral based questions to learn how you react in specific situations. They are looking for a concrete example of how you approach a scenario and the skills you use to do so. Your answer should show that you have both the experience and the expertise necessary for the position.

Types of Behavioral Interview Questions

There are many types of behavioral interview questions that encompass a variety of scenarios. Below are some of the most common topics covered by behavioral questions.

Leadership – leadership is an important quality that employers look for. You should expect a question related to your leadership abilities if you are interviewing for a managerial position.

Ex) Discuss a time when you had to motivate others. What approaches did you use?

Handling Stress – sometimes work can be stressful and employers want to know you can handle trying situations. You should expect a question regarding how you handle stress if you are interviewing for a position in a fast paced or volatile industry.

Ex) Can you describe a time you had to work under pressure?

Problem Solving – problem solving questions are asked in order to evaluate both your rational and creative thinking. This is a common question that is asked no matter the job title.

Ex) What is a challenge you faced at work and how did you overcome it?

Teamwork – many jobs require you to work in a team at some point, so employers want to know how you operate in a group. Again, this is a common question that is asked no matter the job title.

Ex) What role do you normally play when working in a team?

Using the STAR Method

The STAR method is a four-step systematic approach used to answer behavioral questions.

Situation – first, provide context for the scenario.

Task – second, describe the problems and challenges you were faced with.

Action – third, explain what you did, how you did it, and why you did it.

Result – fourth, share the impact your actions and what you accomplished. It is best to quantify this answer.

Example of a Good Answer

Q: Discuss a time when you had to motivate others. What approaches did you use?

A: In my previous position as a sales manager, it was my job to keep my account executives motivated.  Team sales had seen a decline when I first stepped into the position. I wanted to turn this trend around so I created an incentive program that awarded a gift card to the top salesperson for the month.  Within three months my team saw an 11% increase in sales revenue.

Takeaways

Behavioral interview questions can seem overwhelming at first.  However, when you think through your answer and break it down using the STAR Method, you are sure to ace the interview!

How To Answer 5 Most Popular Interview Questions

Making it through a job interview can be a stressful process, even for seasoned professionals. Obviously, it is even more pressure for young employees or fresh graduates. While the best way to succeed in the job interview is being yourself, you should definitely show up prepared.  Depending on the company and the job you’re applying for, interview questions can differ. Times are changing, and more and more basic interview questions are becoming outdated. However, there are certain questions that you’ll hear almost in every interview. While many of them seem pretty simple, these questions are much trickier than you think.

Saying a rehearsed answer won’t land you the job, but it’s better to know the reason why a particular question is being asked, and what the interviewer wants from you. Let’s walk through the five most common interview questions and how to answer them.

How to answer interview questions?

Tell me about yourself

This is a tricky question and is often underestimated by interviewees. While many assume it’s too simple, and others may consider it pointless, the concept of the question is none of these options. First off, it helps the interviewer to start the conversation. The best way to answer this question is to briefly describe your current position and 1 – 2 of your greatest achievements. It’s also possible to touch on past experiences related to the job you’re applying for and share your vision of the future on this post. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear your A-to-Z work employment journey, so make sure to squeeze the most relevant and valuable information.

Why should we hire you?

While it seems a bit weird, it’s a good chance for you to summarize your skills and show your benefits over competitors. While preparing to answer this question, try to focus on the contribution you’ll bring to the company. Doing some research on the company you’re applying to would help you define the problems they need to solve, and how you can provide solutions for their issue.

Why are you leaving your current job?

Many applicants fail this question due to one simple reason: they start dissing their boss, manager, teammates or the company in general. Of course, it’s obvious that there is always a reason to leave. However, don’t mention any personal issues with people at your prior job. If you were fired or left because of whatever reason, focus on the future, not the past. It’s okay to say you left because you wanted more growth, challenge, involvement, experience, etc.

What are your salary requirements?

The biggest mistake while answering this question is taking numbers out of nowhere and the inability to justify your request. Make your research on the salary level including your location, experience, and skills. You will find what the average wage is for someone in your position, and can provide facts to back up your request.

Do you have any questions for us?

This is a must! Having questions prepared for the interviewer is a great way to show them that you are truly interested in the position and learn more about things that you have not covered already. Doing decent research on the company is crucial for a successful interview. You don’t necessarily need to switch roles and take another hour to ask your questions, but preparing a few would be perfect. Avoid asking primitive questions about the company, if you can easily find answers on their website or elsewhere. Demonstrate your interest in the job by asking questions about specific duties, team, company plans, etc. It’s a good chance to figure out whether this workplace fits you or not.

Learn How To Successfully Pass Job Interview!