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Dealing with the top 10 behavioural interview questions

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Employment interview


Behavioral interviews are based on the premise that a person’s past performance on the job is the best predictor of future performance. When a company uses behavioral interviewing techniques, they want to know how you act and react in certain circumstances. They also want you to give specific “real life” examples of how you behaved in situations relating to the questions.

In fact, behavioral interviewing is said to be 55% predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only 10% predictive.

The interviewer identifies desired skills and behaviors for the job, and the questions you will be asked will be geared to finding out if you have those skills. The interviewer wants to know how you handled a situation, rather than just gathering information about you.

Top 10 Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
  • How do you handle a challenge? Give an example.
  • Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
  • Describe a decision you made that wasn’t popular and how you handled implementing it.
  • Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
  • Give an example of how you worked on team.
  • What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
  • Have you handled a difficult situation? How?

How to formulate your answers

Keeping to the STAR (Situation,Task, Action, Result) method is a very effective tool to answer competency based questions as it should make your answers structured and yet succinct:

  • Think about a Situation that corresponds to the question in hand. State it clearly and succinctly.
  • Then explain the Task you had to undertake to resolve the problem
  • Tell them the Actions you took to break down the task and get the job done
  • Explain what the Result was, and where possible quantify it e.g. % cost savings, how many new customers, etc

Written by Cathy Richardson

January 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

Posted in Recruitment

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