So you have the experience and the education. You exceed the job qualifications and just landed the phone or in-person interview. But what else can you say or do to convince your future Employer that you are “The One” to hire? Well, sometimes, it’s all about preparation. Being prepared for some Behavioral Questions that is!
At our company and with most employers, the culture of the company and level of customer service are two integral components of success. That’s why we base many interviews on behavioral questions, just as much as we do the expected technical interview questions. Behavioral questions become especially invaluable as we reach the final stages of interviewing for a position and we’re down to the last two or three standout candidates. Our rationale? Knowing how someone has performed in the past, may help us assess how they might do in the future.
The good news is that most of these questions are pretty general, and you can prepare for the more common ones before your interview. That way you don’t end up rambling or giving a long and unfocused response to your future employer. Behavioral questions generally revolve around three categories; adaptability, problem-solving and teamwork. Here are some examples of what the employer is looking for, and what questions you should expect.
- Adaptability & Handling Conflict
Employers want to know that any new employee will be on board with them for the long haul and will be able to adapt to change. This could be a change in environment, responsibilities and day-to-day challenges. Certain positions might also require a great deal of interaction with clients and freelancers or sometimes challenging situations with other employees. Sample questions may include, “Can you tell me about an instance where you had to defuse a sticky situation?” or “Describe a time when a major change took place at a previous employer and how you handled it?”
When a position is going to require thinking outside-of-the-box and a lot of creativity, then the employer may want to hear about an instance where you had to move out of your comfort zone and handle an issue or situation that required some creative problem solving. Sample questions may include, “Can you describe a time when you came up with a new approach to a problem?” or “Tell me about a situation in which you found a creative way to overcome a challenge at work?”
It’s all in our name right? TeamPeople! By definition, teamwork is the process of working collaboratively with a group of people in order to achieve a goal. One’s ability to work well with others is crucial for almost any position. Teamwork questions are the most common of Behavioral Interview Questions. These questions can inform your future employer about your strengths, weaknesses and ability to lead and work with different personalities. A general question may be, “Tell me about a team experience that you found rewarding.” For a higher level management position a sample question may be, “Can you share an example of when you fulfilled a leadership role?”
If you take a little time to jot down some ideas about how you’ll answer these types of questions, you’ll be able to give well thought out answers that will set you apart and get you one step closer to landing the job. So, the next time you want to rock your interview, remember what our friend Alexander Graham Bell said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Happy interviewing!