How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions

Person answering behavioral interview questions at Addison Group

It’s common practice for hiring managers to ask a few behavioral interview questions in your conversations. These are designed to get a feel for your communications skills and how well you think on your feet. Interviewers know you’ve practiced the common interview questions, so they often try to mix it up with behavioral questions to get a better idea of who you are.

Being ready with an articulate and concise response can set you apart from other candidates that may stumble when caught off guard. Below are a few key things you can do to prepare.

Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions

  1. Understand the Types of Common Behavioral Interview Questions: While there are countless behavior interview questions, most can be classified by a single four-step method. This is what you should evaluate with each question. When you break it down like this, it becomes much easier to craft a well-thought answer to more complex questions.
    • Situation: Describe a situation and explain where you were working when the situation occurred.
    • Task: Explain the issue.
    • Action: Explain the action you took to resolve the issue.
    • Results: Explain the result of the action that you took.
  2. Know Your Skills: For each skill that you feel is relevant to the position, try to come up with a few stories that could exemplify that skill. If you want to promote your leadership ability, tell the interviewer about a time you led your team to success in your response. See below for examples.
    • 3 Common Behavioral Interview Question Examples
      • Q: Do you check your work emails while you are on vacation? A: Unless you want to commit yourself to checking your work emails from your vacation, Indicate your dedication to your work, but also convey your understanding that a work-life balance and personal well-being are keys to success.
      • Q: What is your biggest weakness? A: Give your weakness a silver lining and use your answer as an opportunity to highlight other strengths, like determination. Emphasize your resolution to keep improving your skills.
      • Q: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? A: Answer in a manner that demonstrates your commitment to keep accelerating in your field. Employers want to hire candidates who have an inner drive to keep bettering themselves.
  3. Put Into Practice: The best thing you can do for yourself is to have practice interviews prior to the real thing. You can do this with family or friends, but there are also professional mock interview resources out there as well. Getting in some practice can help you relax and prepare a few answers that could be used for potential questions.

Common behavioral interview questions can be difficult. However, taking more time to prepare for this portion of the interview will help you answer questions more effectively and display your skills in the best manner possible.

Feeling confident? Click here to take your next step!


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