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January 27, 2023
What are behavioral questions in a job interview?
People applying for a job position know they will have to answer many questions during the job interview. From this batch of questions, a very common obstacle are behavioral questions. In a job interview, any hesitation or unsatisfying answer could leave you out of the recruiting process. If you are not sure about how to answer these questions correctly, it could ruin the rest of the interview.
Don’t worry! Answering behavioral questions correctly is not rocket science, but you need to use the right method. At T2W we have an extensive experience in personnel selection service, so we can help you have a successful interview. In this article, we’ll show you what behavioral questions are and how to answer them.
What are behavioral questions?
Behavioral questions delve into candidates’ previous situations at work. This way, the interviewer can understand the way the applicant has faced complex situations and problems. Here we are dealing with the personality traits of each person. This is a key detail since personality traits will reveal if a candidate is the right fit for a position or not.
Situations in the past
It’s important to recognize behavioral questions and set them apart from other common questions during job interviews. In this case, behavioral questions are always related to situations candidates faced in the past. The goal here is to delve deeper into specific events in the professional past of each person. By knowing the past, the interviewer can see the way each applicant could behave if they get the job and face a similar situation.
Behavioral questions examples
Ok, now you know what are behavioral questions and their purpose. Now it’s time to take a look at them in the context of a job interview. These are some classic examples of behavioral questions:
- Have you ever had disagreements with a colleague or a boss? How did you deal with it?
- Tell us about a time when you worked with other people to complete a project.
About problem solving
- Can you give an example of a time when you had problems in your previous job? How did you deal with it?
- Have you ever used your soft skills to solve a problem at work?
- Tell us about a situation when you showed initiative in your previous job.
- Tell us about a time when you had to show leadership in your job.
About stress management
- Tell us about a time when you had to work under pressure. How did you deal with it?
- What was the hardest situation you had to work in? How did you deal with it?
- Tell us about a situation when you made a mistake at work. How did you deal with it?
- What was your biggest achievement in your previous job? Why do you consider it your biggest achievement?
How to answer behavioral questions?
As we can see, at their core, behavioral questions entail a story. This story must be about a problem or a particular situation at work. The main objective here is to understand an area of your personality through a past event. That said, answering these types of questions is not as easy as it seems.
One of the big mistakes in a job interview is trying to answer behavioral questions without a plan. What is most likely to happen is that the candidate will doubt while trying to recall the story. So, how to answer these questions properly?
The STAR method
The best way to answer behavioral questions is with the STAR technique. This gives you the structure you need to formulate an answer in a coherent manner. Keep in mind that the answer is based on a story. Let’s see the steps!
The first step is to set the context in which the story takes place. What is the name of the organization you were working at the time? What position did you have? Does the story take place during a specific situation the organization was going through? All these are details you need to specify.
The next step is to explain the problem that is the core of the story. Was it a last-minute request? Perhaps it was an unexpected situation. Be specific with the difficulty level of the problem, since this helps us define the real value of the solution you came up with.
The third step is the solution you offered to solve the problem. Here, you need to be specific since you are talking about the merit of your actions. If that was a teamwork solution, make sure to share the credit with the rest of the team. That speaks about your ability to work well with others.
The last step is the result of your actions. Explain how this event had a positive effect on your situation in the organization. Perhaps your effort was acknowledged in public or you got a promotion. These details help you finish your story in a positive light.
Now you know what behavioral questions are and how to answer them. Keep in mind that success in a job interview is for those who are prepared. With a little preparation, you will get the position you want so much!
At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.