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Frequently Asked Behavioral Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)

Frequently Asked Behavioral Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)

A behavioral interview is intended to assess your ability to function in a variety of contexts by asking specific questions about previous work situations. Learning the most common behavioral interview questions will give you a better idea of what an interviewer is looking for in a candidate and will help you respond successfully to exhibit your transferable skills.

In this piece, we’ll look at some of the most common questions asked during a behavioral interview, as well as sample responses to help you prepare.

What is a behavioral interview, exactly?

Employers use behavioral interviews to learn about your working habits and decide whether you would be effective in their environment. Answers can reveal how you will respond on the job, how your behavior will impact your performance, and if you will be able to handle it effectively.

How to Respond to Behavioral Interview Questions Using the STAR Method

The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method can help you answer behavioral interview questions by telling a story. This approach breaks out the measures you took to resolve workplace issues. You must study the job description and personalize your response to each behavioral interview question in order to handle each component of the STAR approach chronologically. You can create a list of your obstacles and accomplishments to describe how you arrived to specific results.

Let’s take a look at each component of the STAR technique to understand how you may respond to behavioral interview questions correctly:

  • Give context for the situation you encountered and the behaviors that lead to it in the first place.
  • Describe your role in the task.
  • Show how you approached the difficulty and how it informed your actions when you arrived at the outcome.
  • Result: Explain to the interviewer how your actions resulted in the outcome and how you believe your behavior influenced it. Numbers and other measurables help to paint a more complete picture of how your actions impacted a company.

In-depth behavioral interview questions

These questions guide the candidate through specific workplace scenarios. Examine examples from your previous job experience to prepare for the following questions:

  • Describe the most difficult situation you’ve faced in the last year.
  • Discuss a major mistake you’ve made and your efforts to remedy it.
  • Tell us about a time when a coworker or a client was dissatisfied with your performance.
  • Tell us about a moment when you had to follow orders even though you disagreed with your manager’s decision.
  • Tell us about a time when you needed to motivate a coworker and how you went about it.
  • Describe an instance when you had to bring up an awkward topic with your supervisor.
  • Tell us about an instance when you exceeded an objective. Describe your journey to get there.
  • Tell us about a time when you fell short of a goal.
  • When was the last time you had to manage a large number of projects, and how did you do it?
  • Tell us about an instance when you went above and beyond your manager’s expectations to give a client outstanding service.
  • Give an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult client engagement.
  • Tell me about a time when you needed to get things done quickly.
  • Tell us about a time when it took a long time to close a sale with a customer.
  • Describe a situation in which you struggled to connect with a crucial member of an organization. How did you get yourself out of the situation?
  • Tell me about your first job after graduating from college. How did you develop new skills in your entry-level position?
  • Describe a scenario in which your organization experienced a big transition. How did it affect you, and how did you cope?
  • Talk about how you managed a long-term project. How did you manage to meet your manager’s deadline and complete everything on time?
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to demonstrate your ingenuity. What was the most rewarding and challenging aspect of your experience?
  • Tell me about a moment when you were dissatisfied with the outcome of a job. What do you think you could have done differently?
  • Give me an example of when you worked directly or indirectly under supervision. How did you act in such situation to attain your goals?

Examples of interview questions and answers

Here are some examples of behavioral interview questions and responses. You should spend extra time preparing for the interview by researching their tactics for boosting your career.

  • Describe the most difficult situation you’ve faced in the last year.
  • When was the last time you had to motivate a coworker, and how did you do it?
  • Discuss a major mistake you’ve made and your efforts to remedy it.
  • Tell us about an instance when you exceeded an objective. Describe your journey to get there.
  • Tell me about your first job after graduating from college. How did you develop new skills in your entry-level position?

Describe the most difficult situation you’ve faced in the last year.

The question gives you the opportunity to tell the interviewer about a time when you overcame a challenge and how the position you’re seeking will help you become a better employee. Discuss how you got to that point and the approach you designed to overcome the obstacles.

Example: “About a year ago, a client called me with a complaint about the software we provide. He explained that he needed to cancel because the program had gone down when he was working on an important assignment for his firm. I asked him to take me through the scenario step by step so that I could better understand how he was feeling at the time and we could work together to find a solution. We elected to refund him for his payment that month after speaking with the customer and my manager at the end of the conversation because we were aware of software flaws that could cause service delays and we wanted to keep our top client pleased.”

When was the last time you had to motivate a coworker, and how did you do it?

This question gives you the opportunity to explain how your interpersonal skills helped someone on your team. The way you interact with team members can suggest whether you are a good match for the business culture and care about the organization for which you work. Giving your response a human-interest component can help you succeed with this question.

Example: “Dave is a sales associate who has been with the company for over three years. He taught me everything I know about sales. However, he became stuck one Friday afternoon and doubted his ability to meet his goal of bringing on a new customer by the end of the week. I told Dale that this is the first time he’s been this pleased with his performance since I started. He seemed surprised by what I said, but I told him that if I stay on pace with my work, I can help make calls next week to meet these deadlines. Dale and I both achieved our goals the next week, awarding us co-employees of the month for the first time in our company’s history. Dale needed some encouragement and assistance to raise his morale.”

Discuss a significant misstep you’ve made and your efforts to rectify it.

This question shows to the interviewer how difficult you are on yourself when you make a mistake, as well as how you deal with organizational challenges. Explain how this mistake moulded you into a qualified candidate for this position and what you gained from the experience. This is a critical comment on how you will be managed if you are hired for the position.

Example: “While working with accounting software, I made a mistake on a financial statement and sent it to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Despite the fact that I thought I had entered everything correctly at the time, I received an email in which he voiced worries about the accuracy of my work and asked me to double-check my calculations. It is my obligation to ensure the accuracy of financial calculations, but I chose to speak with the accounting manager, who pointed out that the total assets calculation is erroneous and thanked me for bringing it to her attention. I made the change, reread the statement, and sent it back to the CFO. He thanked me and assured me that everything was well.”

Tell us about an instance when you exceeded an objective. Describe your journey to get there.

Even if the inquiry is favorable in tone, you should keep to emphasizing the difficulties you encountered in achieving your goals. The STAR approach walks you through the process while also crediting other members of your team to show that you’re a team player who thrives on collaboration with a broad set of employees.

Example: “When I started working as a marketing manager at Marty’s Marketing, I wanted to be the employee of the month. Not only did I want to be acknowledged and make a good impression, but I also wanted to collect the $500 bonus that came with it. I worked after hours to manage my workload so that I could assist clients the next day during business hours. I made a list of everyone I needed to contact this week and put it on my calendar. I enjoyed learning about the clients and discussing the services they provide to their customers, and I achieved the certification in my second month with the company while maintaining 100% customer satisfaction. I feel my positive, go-getter approach helped me express the potential and how they may benefit a company.”

Tell me about your first job after graduating from college. How did you develop new abilities in your role?

The first job will influence how you define your professional path, so focus on what you learnt and how it will lead to an interview with the hiring manager.

Example: “Working as a cashier at a local grocery shop may appear to be a typical job for a 17-year-old, but I struggled early on. I made mistakes when working the cash register, such as entering the incorrect type of payment and the price of various produce products. However, I used it as a motivator and wrote down my blunders when I got home from work so that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes the next day. As time went on, I saw that I was getting better feedback from regular clients, and one even said that he appreciated my perseverance. I received a raise after working there for a year in high school, but this story illustrates my ability to grow with a company and manage short and long-term issues.”

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