Behavioral interview questions are some of the toughest you may be asked by a potential employer, but they don’t have to be. We’ve answered some of the trickiest behavioral interview questions to make sure you don’t get stumped!
1. What did you like best and least about your previous job?
GAME PLAN: This question exposes a lot about you. When answering what you liked least, keep it brief and don’t be negative. Take the opportunity to highlight the things you liked best that will most appeal to the hiring manager. Give concrete examples of how your previous job allowed you to demonstrate and practice positive behavioral competencies.
EXAMPLE: I really enjoyed leading my team and encouraging the group to work together towards achieving key initiatives for the organization. However, I am looking for a change that will give me greater responsibility and challenges.
2. Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job and tell me how you solved it.
GAME PLAN: Here’s your chance to show your critical thinking and problem solving skills. Aim to give an example of a problem you tackled that will be applicable to your new job. You can utilize a very simple formula: My situation was A and I took action B and the positive outcome was C. Then follow up with a question that will invite the hiring manager to agree with you.
EXAMPLE: I was working with a department that was slowing down the sales cycle. I brought the issue to the attention of my supervisor along with a list of solutions. My supervisor gave me the authorization to implement my suggestions. As a result, the sales cycle was shortened and we were able to increase our annual sales by 5% without incurring any additional costs. I believe this is the type of problem-solving experience you aim to bring to your team. Is that right?
3. Tell me about a time when you had to face a stressful situation.
GAMEPLAN: This question assesses your coping skills. Once again, exhibit positive behavioral competencies such as, conflict resolution, decision making and conceptual thinking. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control your response.
EXAMPLE: I was project managing the design and implementation of a new website. From the very beginning I had all the key players involved. Half way through the project the decision makers started to disagree about the goals and audience of the site, even though we had clearly documented each phase. People were starting to worry the project would fall apart. I stayed calm and immediately set up a strategy meeting with everyone involved, along with key sales people that could offer insight and a fresh perspective. We quickly got the project back up and running and in the end were able to meet our deadline.
Having a positive attitude and rehearsing some of these behavioral interview questions will really help you in your next interview. Remember, interviewers are looking for someone that is competent and confident.
Article contributed by April Jennings
Here’s a look at what HR mangers and recruiters look for in a behavioral interview: