5 months ago by Sophia Philippou
Behavioural (also called Situational questions) come up in most interviews, especially if an HR Manager is present or if it is more a panel style interview.
We don’t often deal with something at work and go ‘wow, look at me I just dealt with conflict resolution, that would b a great example to use in an an interview one day!’ We just do our jobs right! This is why its best to think about and practise how you answer Behavioural-Based / Situational Interview Questions.
The best way to prepare for these kinds of questions is to write down answers as to each question with a situational example and rehearse these before the interview. I mean it, old school, pen and paper, even light a candle or an oil lamp for the occasion to really kick-it old school. The reason is, when you write something down it cements it and will stick in your memory much better. The worst is feeling is walking out of an interview and remembering all the good examples you missed mentioning!
Here are the 55 most asked Behavioural / Situational Questions.
Communication and Relationship Building
These questions are probably the most important part of the Behavioural-based questioning system. Why? Because communication is the most important thing in any business. You probably won’t have any trouble thinking of a story for communication questions, since it’s not only part of most jobs; it’s part of everyday life. However, the thing to remember here is to also talk about your thought process or preparation which isn't always easy.
Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult stakeholder and how you managed to turn them around.
Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?
Tell me about a time you had to resolve conflict in the workplace?
Do you consider yourself to be better with written or verbal communication? Give an example of good communication in each.
Have you ever had a time where you’ve proposed a solution to a problem only to have it rejected? What did you do?
Have you ever calmed down an angry customer or colleague? How?
Tell me about a time you’ve wished you handled a situation differently?
Have you ever had to give a presentation, and how did it go?
Stress and Adaptability
Times of turmoil are finally good for something! Think of a recent work crisis you successfully navigated. Even if your navigation didn’t feel successful at the time, find a lesson or silver lining you took from the situation.
Tell me about a time you were stressed at work and how you handled it.
Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some change. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
Tell me about a time you realised you made a mistake and what you did d to rectify this.
Tell me about a time you’ve experienced a major setback, and how you handled it.
Tell me about a time where you had to extricate yourself from a tricky situation.
Time Management Skills
Get ready to talk about a time you juggled multiple responsibilities, organised it all (perfectly), and completed everything before the deadline.
Tell me what you do when presented with a deadline that seems too short.
How do you prioritise your projects?
How do you handle interruptions when you’re under a time constraint?
You have to make an important decision in a short time constraint; how do you make it?
Sometimes it’s just not possible to get everything on your to-do list done. Tell me about a time your responsibilities got a little overwhelming. What did you do?
How do you handle your schedule being interrupted?
For questions like these, you want a story that illustrates your ability to work with others under challenging circumstances. Think team conflict, difficult project constraints, or clashing personalities.
What do you do if a team member on your project isn’t pulling their weight?
Give an example of a successful moment as part of a team.
Give an example of a difficult situation with a team member you’ve had to solve.
What do you do if your team disagrees with your manager’s decisions?
What would you do if your team was waiting on another department dragging their heels?
Tell me about a time you’ve had to work with a teammate with a very different personality from your own.
What do you do when you discover a mistake made by a coworker?
How would you handle your team being reprimanded for something you didn’t do?
Tell me about a time where you were the resident expert. Did people trust you?
Have you ever had to convince a team to work on a project they didn’t like? How did you do it?
Have you ever gone to bat for your team in opposition to a higher-up in your company? How did you do it, and how did it work out?
Tell me about a decision you made that proved unpopular, and how you handled it.
How would you go about motivating a team member who is struggling or a team member who failed to reach their goals?
Tell me about a time you’ve had to put together a team; how did you choose your candidates?
Motivation and Goals
A lot of seemingly random interview questions are actually attempts to learn more about what motivates you. Your response would ideally address this directly even if the question wasn’t explicit about it.
What is one example of a goal you achieved, and how did you work to achieve it?
Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.
Tell me about a time you went above and beyond your job duties.
Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied in your work. What could have been done to make it better?
Have you struggled to reach a goal and failed? How did you handle it?
How do you set goals in a way that facilitates achieving them?
What do you do when you finish your work and the day isn’t over yet?
If the role you’re interviewing for works with clients, definitely be ready for one of these. Find an example of a time where you successfully represented your company or team and delivered exceptional customer service.
Describe a time when it was especially important to make a good impression on a client. How did you go about doing so?
Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult client. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritising your customers’ needs?
Miscellaneous Questions that I love.
What do you do to verify that the work you produce is accurate and valuable, what are your measure of success?
Which would you lean on to make a decision; logic or a gut feeling?
Tell me about a time where your gut feelings have been wrong.
Tell me about the most difficult decision you’ve had to make on the job.
What do you regret most about your previous job?
Have you ever had to make a risky decision? How did it turn out?
Tell me about a time you solved a problem in a creative or unorthodox way.