Holly Lee Coaching

How to Answer Behavioral Questions in job Interviews

Do you find yourself not knowing how to answer behavioral questions such as “tell me a time when you have completed a project from beginning to end?” or “Tell me about a time when you have dealt with a difficult manager or peer?” If the answer is yes, then this post is for you!   

In today’s job market most employers will ask behavioural questions they want to see if you’re able to articulate your answer and solve the problem. In this blog, we will discuss what behavioral questions are most commonly asked in interviews, why are they asked and how to use the STAR method to answer these questions.

What are Behavioral Questions?

Behavioral interview questions are designed to find out how an interviewee will respond in various situations depending on their prior knowledge and, in many cases, logic. Interviewers also use it to forecast your potential success, and you’re unlikely to get through an interview without being asked at least one of these vexing questions.

For example, Interviewers may ask, “How have you handled disputes in a group setting? In order to reach deadlines, how do you prioritise your workload?”

Why are Behavioral Questions asked?

In general, behavioural interview questions are formatted by describing a scenario and inquiring about what action you have done in the past to respond to something similar, as well as what the outcome of your challenge was.

The interviewer will inquire about how you approached a case, and you will be required to answer with a detailed response. The reasoning goes like this: your previous success is a good predictor of your potential success.

Use the STAR method to answer interview questions

The STAR (Situation.Task.Action.Result) method provides a structure to help outline your story with specific examples and steps to paint a clear picture of how you take a situation and solve it.

It helps you prepare to answer behavioral questions through each step of STAR. it helps you create the content so that you can articulate your answer from the beginning to the end for the interviewer.

Following are the steps to implement it:

  1. S (Situation) – What is the situation of your story? Set the background and context
  1.  T (Task) – Describe the task you were responsible for and your expectation
  1. A (Action) – The actions that you took: HOW?
  1. R (Results) – Provide an explanation of the end result. Accomplishment

Now that you know how to implement the STAR method in answering your behavioural questions I have created a template for you so that you can outline your own story. Here it is with a personal example for you to understand the method better.

Examples of Behavioral Questions to solve using STAR method

During a work interview, you might be asked any of the following behavioural interview questions. Although you don’t need to memorise responses, you should have an idea about what kinds of stories you’d like to express and how you’d explain them to the interviewer. Your explanations should be both straightforward and concise as outlined through the STAR method structure.

  • Tell me about a time when you performed well under duress.

What They Want to Hear: If you’re interviewing for a high-stress role, the interviewer may want to know how well you perform under duress. When responding, offer a specific example of how you’ve dealt with pressure.

  • How do you deal with adversity? Give a specific example.

What they’re looking for: Stuff will go wrong no matter what work you have, and it will not all be business as usual. The recruiting manager is asking this question to see how you will respond in a tough situation. When responding, think about how you dealt with a difficult situation. Consider doing a detailed breakdown of what you did and why it succeeded.

  • Have you ever made a mistake in your life? How did you deal with it?

What They Want to Know: The interviewer is more concerned about how you treated the situation where you made a mistake than about the fact that it occurred. Did you make use of your problem-solving abilities? Was it necessary for you to be humble? Did you have to re-establish trust? How do you make sure you don’t make the same mistake again?

Demonstrate integrity, accountability, good leadership, fair accounting procedures, loyalty, problem-solving, critical thought, fast thinking, and the courage to deliver bad news, among other skills and characteristics.

  • Tell me about a moment when you (or your boss) had to make a difficult decision that your team had to carry out.

What They Want to Know: Did you have to put in a lot of effort to get buy-in or inspire the team? Did someone threaten to leave? What did you take away from the encounter? The intention is for you to explain a scenario in which a consensus was reached. After all, individuals working in teams often bring various points of view to the table, and the effectiveness of a team is dependent on workers’ ability to communicate and reach compromises. Keep in mind that the solution itself would not have to be the product of conventional or public processes. If you and your coworker addressed the issue over lunch and came up with a plan, it might be evidence of the tact and diplomacy you bring to problem-solving.

  • What are your long-term goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

What they want to know: The recruiting manager is curious about what you do to achieve your objectives and the actions you take to achieve them. To begin, make sure you can articulate job objectives that go beyond “being recruited.” Demonstrate that you are a long-term planner who is excited for the future. Make sure the objectives align with what you’ve heard about the position and the organisation. It’s important to demonstrate to the interviewer that what you’re looking for and what the boss is looking for in an ideal candidate are compatible. An overview of the active approach and actions you’re taking to accomplish those goals, which also speaks to your inspiration, call to action, is what distinguishes a decent response from an outstanding one.

Whatever your occupation, you will be a STAR. The only thing is if you’re able to show off your abilities to potential employers.