In an interview, questions like “How did you handle (a specific task/situation)?” would come up very often. This kind of question, also referred to as situational or behavioral questions, requires you to describe a past work-related event and how you responded to it. Your answer would provide employers with clues about your abilities to master different situations.
Depending on the position you are applying for, situational questions may involve different job-related aspects. Here are some examples:
Decision Making/Problem Solving
- Describe a situation when you were required to make a quick decision.
- Tell me about a situation when you were assigned to complete a project with limited resources.
- How did you motivate your teammates to achieve team goals? Give an example.
- Tell me about a situation in which you had to deal with an underperforming subordinate.
- Have you ever dealt with a subordinate who was reluctant to follow your instructions? How?
- Give an example of a complex task you had to explain to your co-worker.
- Give an example of how you used your presentation skills to convince someone to accept your ideas.
- Tell me about a situation when a colleague was less cooperative than you wanted.
- Have you ever dealt with a co-worker who criticized you? How did you react?
- Tell me about a time when you had to handle several tasks and how you prioritized them.
- Have you ever made an attempt to improve work efficiency? How?
- Have you ever been assigned a task that you didn’t feel passionate about? How did you handle it?
- Share an example of a positive attitude that you have developed to enhance job results.
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with negative emotions at work.
- Have you ever failed to achieve your goals and felt depressed? How did you handle it?
Preparing for behavioral questions
To prepare for behavioral questions, you should read the job advertisement to identify the skills required for the position you are interviewing for. Then try to recall if any of your recent job achievements matches the requirements. Organize your thoughts by writing down details, actions and outcomes of the task/situation involved.
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