Interview

How to successfully manage behavioural questions?

The candidates we meet at interviews are usually very well prepared for standard questions about their work experience. However, model situations may take them by surprise. We have, therefore, prepared a summary of questions which we often ask during an interview.

What is actually behind our questions?

When we give situation questions, our aim is to find out your reaction to a particular situation you had to deal with during your professional career. Job interviews are most commonly focused on the following soft skills:

Interpersonal skills and teamwork

  • What was your role in the team? Evaluate your contributions within the team.
  • Tell us about somebody with whom it was difficult to collaborate. Why?
  • Tell us about a situation when you could not integrate into your new team.

Communication skills

  • Tell us about a situation when you had to convince somebody about your opinion.
  • Tell us about a situation when you had to obtain important information from a person who did not want to provide it to you.
  • Describe a situation when you had to communicate any unpleasant information.

Adaptability and resistance to stress

  • Tell us about a situation when your work wasn’t assessed positively.
  • Tell us about a situation when you were under stress.
  • What pushed you out of your comfort zone the last time?

Motivation and enthusiasm

  • Tell us about a situation when you initiated an idea.
  • What was the greatest challenge for you and how did you cope with it?
  • What motivates you to perform better?

Problem solving

  • Tell us about a situation when you had to accept a decision you did not agree with.
  • Tell us about a situation when you were solving a difficult problem.
  • Tell us about a situation when you had limited time to make your decision.
  • Tell us about a situation when you solved the problem in a non-standard way.

Self-reflection

  • Tell us about a situation when you were criticized unjustly.
  • When was the last time you learned from your mistakes?

How to answer this type of questions?

Even if you had to deal with similar situations in the past, sometimes it is difficult to formulate your answer to sufficiently explain the context and, at the same time, not to provide needless information. The following STAR method can help you to prepare for an interview:

  • S (situation) – briefly describe the situation
  • T (task) – what was your role / task in the given situation
  • A (action) – how did you solve the situation
  • R (result) – awhat was the result of the situation ? What did you learn from the situation?

What would you do differently if you were in a similar situation now?
When preparing for your job interview, don’t forget that it always depends on interviewer. HR staff often ask behavioural questions, but managers or technical specialists, on the other hand, focus more on professional skills. So, be ready for anything.

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