Final Words Of Advice Before The Job Interview
Dont memorize your lines, but try to have a general strategy for approaching potential topics, using compelling anecdotes. Rehearse your stories out loud. You might even record them. Ask a friend or family member to listen and help you polish your speaking points.
One technique for answering interview questions is called the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action and Results. That helps you break down your answers into the when, where, what and how, and articulate the results without rambling.
The bottom line: Dont view behavioral interview questions as curveballs meant to trip you up. View them as opportunities to highlight your insight, experience and critical thinking skills as indicators of future success.
Do You Work Well Under Pressure If So What Is Your Method Of Approaching High
Most employees will experience some level of pressure in their positions, so being able to work well under pressure is an important quality that many employers look for in applicants. This question is particularly important if youre applying for a job thats known to be high stress. When answering this question, youll first want to confirm that you do work well under pressure and then describe how you manage high-pressure situations. For example, you could discuss your organizational approach and how it ensures you stay on track even when your workload is overwhelming.
How To Answer Behavioral Call Center Interview Questions
There are two ways to answer behavioral call center interview questions:
Recommended Reading: How To Prepare For Google Interview In 6 Months
Tell Me About A Goal You Set And Reached And How You Achieved It
For this question, the interviewer wants to see how you plan to achieve a goal. A good answer is one where you were given a goal, created a plan and followed the necessary steps to achieve it. A great answer is one where you set your own goal, especially a large goal, and took the necessary steps to reach it.
Example:“In my last role, I managed all social media content. One quarter, I set a stretch goal to increase conversions to our website by 75%. I broke it down into weekly goals and researched what other brands were experimenting with. I noticed they were using videos and seeing great engagement from their customers, so I asked my boss if we could do a low-budget test. She agreed, so I produced a video cheaply in-house that drove double the engagement we normally saw on our social channels during the first week. With the new strategy, I not only met my stretch goal, but I also exceeded it by 5% increasing total conversions by 80% over the quarter.
Describe A Time You Werent Happy At Work And Why
Situation & Task: Im not happy at work every time I encounter a customer whose problem could have been solved if the previous agent only followed the First Contact Resolution. Its honestly one of my pet peeves because first, it wastes time and second, it leaves a bad taste in the customers mouth.
Action:What I usually do when I encounter something like this is to assist the customer as best as I can so she wont call again for the same issue. And if I notice the same issue happening again, I would take note of it and bring it to the attention of my Team Lead so she can remind everyone.
Result:This always solves the problem. If theres one person who can keep issues from happening again, its the Team Lead because he does a weekly one-on-one meeting not only with her team but also with other Team Leads.
Also Check: Where To Watch Oprah Meghan Markle Interview
Results Orientation: Tell Me About A Time When You Had To Deliver Results In The Face Of Major Challenges
Context: One of my previous employers sales divisions had been experiencing decreasing sales so I was brought in to help reverse the situation. My challenge was to manage the team effectively so they were able to actually exceed their sales targets.
Action: Over a six-month period, I introduced several initiatives within the team, including: setting specific and measurable sales targets for each individual within the team introducing weekly sales meetings for the team and for each individual within the team and implementing a structured sales training program.
I also conducted market research to identify what our main competitors were doing, set up focus groups with major clients to discover crucial pain points, and introduced a new remuneration system that linked sales performance to remuneration packages.
Result: We lifted sales by 60% and exceeded sales targets by 25% in the first quarter, and continued the upward trajectory throughout the next year.
Tell Me About A Time You Had An Interpersonal Conflict At Work
This question is not an opening to disparage your coworkers or explain why you were in the right. But you also dont have to pretend youve never disliked or disagreed with a coworker.
Instead, spend less time describing the conflict itself and more time explaining what you learned from it. Did you notice some room for growth in your communication style? Did you pick up a strategy for handling tough situations or competing interests?
People want to know that youre going to take accountability, Stenzel said. Its about being honest about what went wrong, but then I think youve got the opportunity to say, Heres what I learned from that. And heres what I did the next time, or heres what I would do in that situation again.
Always share how you adjusted your behavior in response to the conflict. For example: Maybe you failed to set expectations for a project, and as a result, you and a client miscommunicated. Going forward, you adjusted the cadence of your communication and sent out status updates once every week.
Often, interviewers will ask specifically about a time you had to tell someone no, Brown said. If youre a developer, that might mean you had to tell a product manager a particular project wasnt doable in the given timeframe. If you work in customer-facing roles, maybe you had to tell a client one of their requests wasnt included in their current contract.
Why Are Behavioral Questions Used
Used correctly, youll find that it can be used to look for consistency in answers and how to identify how an employee will prove out with specific questions. Are we going to assess soft skills like problem-solving or critical thinking or their speaking skills?
The other thing that you can assess when you decide to use these kinds of interview questions isis the candidate prepared? Is the interviewer able to compare and contrast specifics? So are they using the interview guide? So there are certain things that my interviewer is prepared to use behavioral questions because they have documented questions, its structured, they are looking at the answers, they can compare and contrast one interviewee to the other, and then also we look for consistencies in behaviors as interviews are answering the questions.
Best Practices When Using The Star Method
The STAR formula provides a straightforward framework point for approaching the questions. Using it as an outline helps candidates describe their work experiences in a way that best highlights what an interviewer wants to know. To make the most out of the STAR method, use these additional interview preparation tips.
You May Like: Why Did You Choose Cyber Security Interview Questions
Listen To What Is Asked
Sometimes applicants are too eager to answer the question that they dont stop to consider what the interviewer is looking for.
Perhaps youve already had some practice answering a similar question. But that doesnt mean your well-rehearsed answers will fit nicely.
Sarah Dowzell, COO of Natural HR agrees,
I’ve interviewed a few candidates who have clearly prepared for the interview with formulated examples they could use for different behaviors or competencies. But they don’t always quite match up to the one I’m asking for.
For example, how would you answer this question?
Tell me about a time when you persuaded a colleague to alter their thinking and how did you go about it?
The obvious answer for some applicants might be a situation demonstrating their communication and negotiation skills. And thats not wrong but its also incomplete.
For Dowzells case, shes also looking for your method of researching information to support your case. If you read the question above, youll see the question requires two answers.
Editorial Note: This content was originally published in 2016. We’re sharing it again because our editors have determined that this information is still accurate and relevant.
How To Answer Behavioral Questions About Failure
I strongly recommend that every job candidate prepare an interview story about a failure. As I mentioned earlier, this question has become extremely common I hear from my corporate clients that they find it very effective in separating the B.S. artists from the solid candidates.
Its also a question that can really bite you if you screw it up. Maybe youll get lucky and your interviewers will stick to shiny, happy questions about your awesome teamwork skills. But isnt it better to be prepared?
As usual, when it comes to preparing for behavioral questions, I encourage you to use the STAR format as a framework to prepare your failure story.
With the STAR framework, you simply write down a few bullet points for each of the key aspects of your story . This method allows you to hit all of your key points while keeping your answer concise .
Note: Big Interview has step-by-step instructions for creating powerful STAR stories and our Answer Builder tool will walk you through the process quickly and easily. Learn more.
Also Check: How To Ace A Project Manager Interview
Take A Look At The Job Listing
You’ll also want to review the job listing before going into the interview. This will help you identify the qualities of the ideal candidate for that position.
Look through the job listing for a list of qualifications and scan for any keywords that give you a hint as to what the employer wants in a job candidate. Then, match your qualifications to the job, so you’re prepared with examples related to the experience and qualifications the employer is seeking.
How Would You Handle An Instance Of Receiving Criticism From A Superior
What recruiters want to hear: This question enables you to display your ability to learn, grow, and accept mistakes. You want to show that you use feedback to make changes, while demonstrating emotional maturity.
Essentially, you want to show that you are coachable.
Ideally, you would say something like this: âIn my last position, I often met with clients face-to-face, and I greatly enjoyed it. However, occasionally theyâd call me over the phone, and in an effort to appear adaptable, Iâd always speak with them immediately. My manager heard a few of those phone calls, and he eventually told me that I sounded short on the phone, and worse, I often wasnât as prepared as I could be, because Iâd been in the middle of another assignment and was caught off guard. He was completely right — Iâd never considered that I could simply tell the client Iâd call them back, or let the call go to voicemail. In an effort to multitask efficiently, I was actually letting my client relationships suffer. I learned from that feedback and, going forward, felt confident telling the client theyâd need to set up an appointment with me even if they wanted to talk over the phone.â
Recommended Reading: How To Master A Interview
Samples On How To Best Answer Behavioral Interview Questions
Many of the behavioral questions follow a pattern where each have certain soft skills in mind.
A key to handling these questions is to anticipate which skill sets they will likely ask about and have answers ready.
I have provided some popular skills along with related questions or thoughts for you to consider as you develop your answers:
How To Make The Best Impression
Before you head out to your interview, review these tips and strategies for behavioral interview success. Be sure youve got the appropriate interview attire ready to wear, have questions of your own ready to ask the interviewer, and are prepared to follow up after the interview with a thank-you note.
Don’t Miss: How To Watch Meghan And Harry Interview
How Well Can You Work Under Pressure
All jobs may be stress-inducing at some point or the other. You cannot throw tantrums or you cannot resign just because of that. The interviewer is checking if you can deal with intensely tense situations and what approach youll take to tackle it. If possible, do quote a real-life example while youre trying to explain this point.
What Would You Do If You Were Assigned To Work Closely With A Colleague On A Project But You Two Just Couldnt Seem To See Eye
What recruiters want to hear: This question looks for a candidate who aims to understand their colleagueâs point of view. Youâll want to demonstrate flexibility and an ability to compromise. Plus, itâs simply important to give recruiters a sense for how you handle conflict.
Ideally, you would say something like this: âAnother project manager and I were assigned a project together. I quickly saw my colleague handled follow-up and communication with the client differently than I did. I like to follow-up often and chat on the phone at various stages of the process with the client, but my colleague didnât see the purpose in communicating with the client so frequently. Eventually, I talked with my coworker about her follow-up style versus mine. We compromised and agreed to follow up with the client every two weeks, rather than every week, to make collaboration smoother. I was glad I approached the situation head-on, and also understood and appreciated that my colleague had a different work approach.â
Undoubtedly, any applicant will eventually collaborate with someone who works differently. Youâll want to show you aren’t emotional or defensive when you run into conflict, but rather, you approach it from a business-perspective and communicates problems when they arise.
Recommended Reading: What Are Questions That Are Asked In Interviews
What Are Situational Interview Questions
Situational interview questions, also called behavioral interview questions, are intended to help the interviewer get a better understanding of how you would solve problems specific to the job youre applying for.
Theyre some of the most common interview questions around because they give hiring managers and recruiters the greatest insight into the interviewees key strengths and weaknesses.
One of the common ways to do this is by asking about how youve handled similar problems in the past or by giving you hypothetical situations to work through. Your answers will give your potential employer insight into your soft skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork.
While this may sound intimidating, its actually a great opportunity for you to showcase your skills and the results youve gotten from putting them into practice.
It just takes a little preparation to make sure youre ready to let your skills shine.
Build a professional resume in minutes.
Our AI resume builder helps you write a compelling and relevant resume for the jobs you want.
How Have You Balanced Working On Multiple Projects At Once
This question aims to find out your multitasking abilities. Make no mistake, though. The hiring manager isnt merely looking to confirm that you have dealt with multiple projects at some point. Almost any candidate can say that. What the interviewer wants to hear is how exactly youve thrived under those conditions — and how the projects turned out.
Recommended Reading: How To Do Podcast Interviews Remotely
How Would You Handle A Situation In Which You Had To Do Something You Werent Familiar With
Starting a new job position often means doing at least a few tasks youve never done before. And, depending on the position, you may be asked to regularly perform tasks that are beyond your current experience level. Hiring managers want to know how you approach situations in which youre required to learn new duties or take on new responsibilities, so your answer to this question should include your personal techniques for developing new skills.
For example, you could say that in your previous position when you were asked to do something new, you were more than happy to do so as long as you had a more experienced employee providing guidance.