Best Responses to Behavioural Interview Questions
Behavioural interview questions are used by employers and recruiters because they believe that learning about your past behaviour will help them to determine your future behaviour. This is the sole reason that the majority of interview questions these days are some form of behavioual interview question.
Most behavioual interview questions start with “Tell me about a time when…” – and the interviewer will want to hear about a recent example where you demonstrated the specific competenty or skill within the last year or two.
How to Answer Behavioural Interview Questions
So the first thing you do when preparing for a job interview is:
- go to the job advertisement and make note of the top 5 job functions and the requested skills and experience.
- write down 2 examples of times within your workplace that you have demonstrated these attributes and skills.
- read through your resume and see what examples are already summarised there, as the interviewer will also be asking you to elaborate on each point.
- jot down how you would answer the following behavioual interview questions, using the STAR formula.
Best Formula for Answering Behavioual Interview Questions
The best way to answer a behavioural question is to use the STAR format.
- Situation: Outline a recent challenge or situation that demonstrates when and where you demonstrated the required competency.
- Task: Describe what the core outcome was that you had to achieve
- Action: List the top 3 to 5 steps you took to ensure that the task was completed to a high standard.
- Results: Provide an overview of the outstanding results that your actions delivered, and how the key stakeholders benefited from your decisions.
Example Behavioual Interview Questions
Situation: My role as project manager was to ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget.
Task: My last role involved combining three office spaces into one. With a tight deadline of 45 days, I needed to deal with various tradesmen and contractors from different busiensses, I knew it was going to be a difficult to complete the job in time. I set the goal of having everything completed within 40 days to give us 5 days at the end to make final corrections.
Action: By segmenting the contractors into three groups, I seconded three project co-ordinators to supervise the teams. This created a more efficient and effective work timetable and kept downtime to a minimum.
Result: As a result, we completed the job on time and reduced costs by 15%. This new way of dividing contractors into smaller teams has now been implemented into standard work procedure and seen a reduction in overall costs.
Some of the most popular competencies that recruiters and employers will ask behavioual questions on are:
- Communication – “Give me an example of how you were able to use your ability to communicate and persuade to gain buy-in from a resistant audience.”
- Leadership – “Give me an example of a time when you motivated others through difficult times, and how this led to a positive outcome”
- Teamwork – “Give me an example of a time when you had to cope with interpersonal conflict when working on a team project.”
- Problem-solving – “Describe a time when you proactively identified a problem at work and were able to devise and implement a successful solution.”
- Organisation and planning – “Tell me about a time when you came up with an idea that made a work process more efficient”
- Creativity – “Tell me about a situation in which you worked with team members to develop new and creative ideas to solve a business problem.”
- Analytical skills – “Give me an example of a recent roadblock and your logic and steps in overcoming it.”
- Integrity – “Give an example that demonstrates your professional integrity, for example, have you ever had to work with, or for, someone who was dishonest? How have you handled this?”
- Accomplishments – “What are three achievements from your last job that you are particularly proud of?”
- Initiative – “Provide an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead”
- Client Management – “Tell me about a situation where you have had to speak with an unhappy customer”
- Decision Making – “Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to make a split second decision”
- Tact – “Describe a situation where you knew your boss was wrong – how did you handle it?”
- Dealing with Change – “Describe a major change or adjustment to your job and your reactions to the change”
- Conflict – “Tell me about a time when you encountered conflict in the workplace and how you handled the conflict”
- Commitment – “Provide an example of when you had to go above and beyond your normal duties in order to get the job done”
- Working Autonomously – “Tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem with very little guidance or direction”