job seeker answering behavioral interview questions

An Applicant’s Guide to Behavioral Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)

Finding a job is a fun but challenging task, especially in today’s job market. Applicants may have the required years of experience to fill the position, but they have to pass a series of verbal and written tests to get the job—not to mention the screening tools recruiters use nowadays to filter resumes and CVs. Having all of that said; one of the most important steps in the process of one’s job application is to prepare for behavioral interview questions.

Just what exactly are these types of questions, and how would you prepare for them? To find out more, read on below.

What are behavioral interviews?

As most job interviews in today’s world employ the virtual approach, the process still includes focusing on behavioral interview questions. Apart from invseting in recruitment training sessions for these virtual interviews to equip their HR staff, companies use behavioral-based interview questions to assess the past behavior of a job seeker. This set of questions shows their hard and soft skills and how those skills must match with the requirements of the job post.

Difference Between Traditional Interview and Behavioral Interview

In a traditional job interview, the applicant will be asked common questions such as “tell me about yourself,” “why should we hire you?” and so on. On the other hand, in a behavioral-based interview, a candidate will be asked detailed concerns not only to display their skills, but also shed light on their character.

How to handle behavioral interview questions

The Star technique is helpful to use during a behavioral job interview, as it allows you to give a detailed answer. To apply this method, refer to the list below.

  • Situation: Remember and explain the situation that applies to the question.
  • Task: Narrate your duties together with the issues you encountered.
  • Action: Enumerate the actions you did to fulfill your duty and the steps to settle problems.
  • Results: Describe the successful outcome and how it helped your former company.
woman answering behavioral interview questions online
An Applicant’s Guide to Behavioral Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them) 1

List of Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

Below are some common behavioral queries and how to respond with a satisfying answer.

1. How do you work under pressure?

Recruiters ask this question to gauge how you cope with pressure, and what measures you do to handle it. It aims to highlight your resiliency and the steps you took in the past to turn the situation to your favor.

How to answer: Respond with a scenario where you were given a task with a deadline. Narrate your proficiency in managing the team as the leader, or state your efficiency as a team member.

2. How do you motivate people in your working environment?

Interviewers use this to assess your capacity to lead. It will feature your management skills as seen by motivating team members to do their best for your common goal.

How to answer: Provide a specific instance wherein you advised your team members to use a fresh approach to reach a triumphant outcome.

3. How did you handle a challenging situation in your previous workplace?

This query is asked as it displays your problem-solving skills in a challenging situation.

How to answer: If you had leadership experiences in the past, reply by mentioning the steps you took to accomplish a task with a difficult beginning. Narrate how you guided your team to come up with a favorable result. If you worked as a member of a project, you can respond by telling your suggestions to the team, and its winning outcome.

4. How did you manage and resolve a conflict with a co-worker?

Conflicts may arise as distinct personalities work for a goal. The question will show how you dealt with disagreements in your workplace.

How to answer: Respond by how you professionally dealt with the misunderstanding and came up with an amicable resolution.

5. How do you set your career goals?

Employers want to hire people determined to get their goals. They want employees with a strong passion who can channel their focus to their ability to contribute to the company’s growth.

How to answer: Address the concern by narrating your goals to grow within the company. Speak with passion and let your eagerness show.

6. What steps did you take to reach your set goals?

Once they know your professional objectives, the hiring team wants to know how you will achieve them. They will be interested in your strategy and gauge if it is workable within their company.

How to answer: Reply by explaining your precise steps to achieve your professional ambition and include the company’s help with your plan.

7. How did you correct a mistake in your previous employment?

No employee is perfect and who doesn’t make mistakes at some point. This query will display your skills in handling errors and how you effectively corrected it.

How to answer: Explain how you righted the situation. Add the steps you took to avoid doing the same error again.

8. How did you handle unfinished tasks after the workday has ended?

This question is used to show the working behavior of the applicant. It displays their work ethic, commitment, and priorities in tasks.

How to answer: Reply by narrating a situation where you extended extra hours for a task. You may also say that you came early to work.

Employees make tough decisions that are not favored by all. This question shows your ability to handle such situations and how you will come up with a good result.

How to answer: Explain how you introduced the idea to all, asked for their cooperation, and how they benefited from your choice.

10. Have you had a career goal that you failed to achieve?

This query aims to display how you deal with frustrations in your career. Hiring managers know it’s in our human nature to fail, but they want to understand how you responded.

How to answer: Talk about a time where you experienced failure, learned from the mistake, and efficiently strategized plans aimed to gain a better result.

woman participating in behavior based interview through videoconferencing
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Additional Behavioral Interview Question Tips

Apart from the questions above, here are helpful tips to ace this step in a job search.

  • Before your interview, assess the qualities ideal for the position and make sure they match you.
  • Clear your mind of any distractions during the interview.
  • Apply the Star method.
  • Answer in a pleasant, positive, and professional manner.
  • Gather your thoughts before answering.
  • Recall the situation and pause when needed.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time.

For other useful tips in preparing for job interviews, from answering behavioral interview questions to overcoming job interview jitters, we’ve just discussed, you may browse through our resources page. Moreover, if you need help in preparing your resume, you can check out our resume samples or contact us today for our resume writing services.

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