Chiara Gizzi, a filmmaker and writer once said, “let go of the past, but keep the lessons it taught you”. While it’s important to let go of the past, it’s equally important to keep learning from it. Our past informs the future and it influences the way we interact with others and deals with experiences.
Even employers consider past experiences to be important in the life of a potential employee. This is why you’ll see interviewers asking questions such as “tell me about a time when you…” Behavioral questions are quite common in an interview process and you should be prepared to answer them confidently. Let’s see how.
Navigating Behavioral Interview: What Is It?
A behavioral interview is a popular interviewing technique that employers use to evaluate job candidates based on their past behavior. It even helps to assess how someone behaved in employment-related situations. How you behaved in the past will help predict how you’ll behave in the future (past behavior is indicative of future performance).
Behavioral questions are often used interchangeably with situational interview questions. While the two are similar, the latter focuses on hypothetical situations and how a candidate would act at that moment. On the other hand, behavioral interview questions encourage someone to recall a past experience and how they handled it at that time. These questions often begin with “tell me about a time when…”
Top 10 Behavioral-based Interview Questions
Here is a list of the 10 most popular behavioral interview questions that will help you prepare better for your next interview.
Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond at work.
Describe a situation when you weren’t satisfied with your job. Did you do anything to change it?
Tell me about a time in your life when you had to work toward an important goal. How did you achieve it?
Tell me about a time when you failed. How did you handle the situation?
When was the last time you didn’t get along with someone? What did you do?
What would you do if you had to complete a task that you had no experience in?
Tell me about a time when you made a good impression or impact on someone. How did you do it?
Describe a time in your life when you faced a difficult interaction. What did you do?
Provide an instance from your life when you had to make a difficult decision or choice. What steps did you take?
Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your manager or team leader. How did you handle the situation?
Here’s an example of a behavioral interview question with a sample answer. You can use this example to create your own answers.
Question: Tell me about a time when you faced conflict in the workplace. How did you overcome it?
Answer: In my previous role, my coworker and I had to work on a common project. Over time, I realized that he isn’t a team player and likes to work independently. As a result, he took several decisions that affected the project and I wasn’t really happy about it. I suggested that we catch up somewhere outside the office. The informal exchange helped us break the ice and divide tasks between the two of us. We scheduled weekly meetings to communicate our progress.
How To Prepare For A Behavioral Interview
A majority of behavioral-based questions try to assess skills that aren’t quantifiable. From problem-solving and critical thinking to interpersonal skills, writing skills and listening skills—behavioral questions look into various foundational skills. Consider the following behavioral interview techniques as you highlight your competencies and skills.
Identify keywords and study the job description carefully
Review past projects that you’ve worked on (can be school or university projects too)
List your accomplishments (academic and professional) and remember them
Revisit any job performance reviews or letters of recommendation, where someone has acknowledged your efforts
Be honest when answering and don’t give too many details (keep it under two minutes)
Another effective way to structure your answers to behavioral questions is using the STAR technique, which stands for
Set the context for the interviewer
Discuss the issue or problem you had to solve
Talk about the steps you took to overcome a challenge
Discuss what happened as a result
Success in behavioral interviews lies in your preparation and communication skills. Harappa Education’s Ace The Interview course will teach you how to highlight your skills and craft well-structured answers. Always remember that behavioral interview questions are aimed at getting to know the real you. So, present the best version of yourself and convince interviewers that you’re the most suitable candidate for the job.
Explore topics such as General HR Interview Questions, Situational Questions to Prepare for, Top Telephone Interview Questions & How to Prepare for Mock Interview from Harappa Diaries and crack your next interview.
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