Behavioral interview questions are a common tool used by employers to assess a candidate’s past behavior and how it may indicate future performance.
Unlike traditional interview questions that ask about hypothetical situations, behavioral interview questions are designed to ask about specific examples from a candidate’s past experiences. These questions are intended to reveal a candidate’s thought process, problem-solving skills, and ability to handle different situations.
Behavioral interview questions typically start with phrases like “Tell me about a time when…” or “Describe a situation where you had to…” These questions require the candidate to provide a detailed response that outlines the specific situation, the actions they took, and the outcome. The idea is that past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior, so by understanding how a candidate has handled certain situations in the past, an employer can better predict how they may handle similar situations in the future.
Examples of common behavioral interview questions include:
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. How did you handle the situation, and what was the outcome?
- Describe a time when you had to solve a complex problem. What steps did you take, and what was the outcome?
- Give me an example of a time when you had to work with a difficult coworker. How did you handle the situation, and what was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a tough decision. What factors did you consider, and how did you ultimately make your decision?
- Describe a situation where you had to adapt to a new environment or process. How did you approach the situation, and what was the outcome?
How to answer behavioral interview questions ?
When answering behavioral interview questions, it’s important to be specific and provide concrete examples.
Use the STAR method to structure your responses:
S = Situation
T = Task
A = Action
R = Result
Start by describing the situation or task you were faced with, then explain the actions you took to address it, and finally, describe the outcome of your actions.
By preparing for behavioral interview questions and providing thoughtful, detailed responses, candidates can demonstrate their problem-solving skills, their ability to work well under pressure, and their potential to be a valuable asset to the company.