Expect employers to ask probing questions about your background. This is necessary to give them an idea of how you might respond in the circumstances you’ll be involved in. How will you apply the skills you’ve learned in your past job to the new challenges you’ll be faced with? How fast do you get the job done under pressure? It is important to answer in full detail when responding to behavioral questions.
Here are some of the examples you might want to look into:
- Tell me your experience with doing work beyond your job description.
- How have you used your analytical skills to solve a company issue?
- Tell me you have achieved a challenging goal in your past experience.
- How do you handle the stress of selling your ideas to senior management?
- How do you work with difficult managers and coworkers?
Just like with any other type of interview, take time to practice how you would respond to behavioral interview questions related to the job description. If the job you’re applying for needs you to be detail-oriented and organized, you might want to elaborate more on your time management skills, past projects and other details. If the job description requires you to be more outgoing, be prepared to answer questions about socializing, managing people and conflicts.
Simply analyze the job description and list 10 traits or skills that are required for the position. You can evaluate each and think of stories or experiences that will help you to convey your strengths and accomplishments.
Behavioral Questions: STAR Approach
Using the STAR approach will help you answer behavioral interview questions.
Construct stories that will describe the situation, indicating your approach and actions taken to solve the problem and ending it with a positive resolution.
Remember that it won’t necessarily go perfectly the first time you try using this approach. Practice crafting stories with a friend or in front of a mirror. You have to be comfortable talking about your behavior that emphasizes your skills. This is not the perfect time to be modest, though bragging is also not accepted. It’s better to practice answering numerous times in order to get a natural feel when the actual interview comes.
During the Interview
You shouldn’t have any problems answering the questions if you have practiced enough beforehand. Since you’re still human, it’s okay to pause and gather your thoughts if you get a question that surprises you. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you didn’t hear or understand what the interviewer is looking for.
It’s comforting to know that there is no wrong answer to a behavioral interview question. Your prospective employer just needs to know more about you, how you work and how you handle pressure. Your responses will give the interviewer an idea of whether you are suited for the job.
An excellent behavioral interview is one in which you are capable of sharing your past work performance and results that fit within the job description. Don’t be stiff; it’s okay to let a little bit of your personality shine. Behavioral questions enable employers to know how much of a team player you are under pressure. You have to show that you’re not only the best person for the job, but also someone who is enjoyable to work with. Give them an idea of how it feels to be working with you in different situations. If you can do that, then you’ll be well on your way to mastering behavioral interview questions.