Common Star Interview Questions
Below are common behavioral interview questions that may be asked, which prompt a STAR response from the interviewee. These will be asked in addition to more common interview questions like, “Why do you want to work here?”
Tip: As a candidate, before your next interview, practice taking the STAR approach to behavioral interview questions. Write your sample answer down on a piece of paper and ensure the story only takes 90-seconds or less to tell. Practice telling your work experience story with a friend, colleague, or family member.
What The Heck Are Behavioral Interview Questions Anyway
In case you arent completely clear on what exactly behavioral questions are, heres an explanation.
A behavioral question is a question that aims at learning about your past behaviors in specific work situations.
How you have behaved in certain situations in the past will give them clues on how youll behave in those same situations when working for them in the future.
Behavioral questions can be asked at any time, but are often asked as part of a second interview.
Why do hiring managers insist on asking behavioral questions?
Hiring managers ask behavioral questions for a few very specific reasons.
According to worldwide job-search portal Indeed.com,
interviewers are usually trying to learn three things: First, they want to know how you behaved in a real-world situation. Second, they want to understand the measurable value you added to that situation. Finally, they are trying to learn how you define something like pressure at work a concept different people might interpret differently
We couldnt agree more.
But wed take it one step further, and say that they are also trying to see if you possess specific qualities that they need for the particular position you are interviewing for.
Remember, as Jeff and I always say: Its not about you, Its about them
In other words, if they are looking for someone with good leadership qualities, they may ask you a behavioral question to see if your past behaviors demonstrate leadership.
The answer is: With Success Stories
Tell Me About A Time You Disagreed With A Supervisor Or Co
This behavioral interview question evaluates how you view your relationships at work and how you handle conflict. It also shows how you communicate during uncomfortable and uncertain situations. Keep your opinions and emotions out of your answer and state the facts.
Answer: My previous manager had specific ideas about what she wanted in our social media marketing campaigns. She wanted to use text dense graphics. As the lead designer, I believed that a simple call to action was more convincing.
After much discussion, we compromised, and ran each campaign for one week. We then collected the insights related to customer engagement. It turns out that my campaigns performed better so from that point forward, she allowed me to manage our social media independently.
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Interview Questions About Interpersonal Skills
53. Can you describe a time when you had a conflict with someone at work? What did you do?
54. Can you describe a time when you dealt with a co-worker you didnt like?
55. Can you tell me how you communicate with someone who doesnt like you?
56. Can you tell me about a time when you disagreed with a manager? What did you do?
57. How have you maintained relationships with your co-workers? What skill do you use?
58. Was there ever a time that you didnt get along with a customer? What did you do?
Questions About Goals And Ambition
29. What is one example of a goal you achieved, and how did you work to achieve it?
30. Tell me about a time you went above and beyond your job duties.
31. Have you been passed over for a promotion? How did you react?
32. Have you struggled to reach a goal and failed? How did you handle it?
33. How do you set goals in a way that facilitates achieving them?
34. What do you do when you finish your work and the day isnt over yet?
35. How would you go about seeking out an additional certification for your career?
36. Have you ever had the opportunity to talk to your CEO? What did you talk about?
37. What would you discuss if you could talk to our upper management today?
38. What do you do when you need to make a good impression with a new customer?
39. What do you do when you need to make a good impression with management?
40. What would you do if you were chosen to represent the company at a trade show?
41. What do you do if your job training is going poorly?
42. What do you do if you want more training than what your job is providing you?
43. Have you ever had to take over for your boss? Is it something you would prefer to do?
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Questions About Customer Service
Being that all management roles serve others, you can expect a handful of questions about how you help your clients or even employees.
- What process do you use to check that you have the correct details from a new customer?
- Tell me about a time that you were unclear about a customers request.
- Give me an example of a time when you have had to deal with an irate or angry customer?
- Describe a time when it was especially important to make a good impression on a client. How did you go about doing so?
- Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a clients expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
- Tell me about a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your service.
- When youre working with a large number of customers, its tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers needs?
Behavioral Interview Questions And Answers 101
Imagine youre sitting on a black folding chair in the middle of the hiring managers office at your very next job interview.
You want this job. Bad.
Youre eye to eye with the hiring manager
The hiring manager takes a long pause and after what seems like an eternity finally leans forward and says:
Tell me about a time when a group project you were working on failed.
This guy has been trying to prepare for behavioral questions
Uh oh. One of the dreaded behavioral interview questions.
So, considering your future career aspirations may hinge on your answer
What do you say?
Do you have a success story that highlights the exact qualities that particular company is looking for in an employee, and are you ready to talk about it smoothly?
Or are you sitting there dry-mouthed with a confused and rather silly look on your face as you try and come up with a stall tactic?
Dont worry if you fell into the confused and rather silly camp because this article is going to demystify behavioral interviews and hand you a clear blueprint or plan for coming up with fantastic answers that will wow the hiring manager and leave your competition in your dust.
You are going to get actionable stuff that you can immediately apply in your next interview. No wishy washy info here.
Start by downloading our Behavioral Interview Questions PDF Checklist that gives tips on how to answer 25 common behavioral questions
Ok lets get cracking
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Iv What Answers Do Employers Want To Hear
Interviewers do not ask random behavioral questions. They customize them to reflect the realities of the industry, the specific workplace, and the advertised position. That means they will be looking to hear about skills and experiences that are relevant and transferable. Therefore, you want to think of examples that relate directly to the job you are applying for.
That being said, there are some general skill sets that nearly all recruiters will be looking to gauge using behavioral questions. These include:
- Time management
- How you cope under pressure
- How committed you are to seeing projects through
So, always keep these in mind, and make sure that your answers to behavioral interview questions showcase your skills and personality at their best.
How To Pick The Right Questions To Ask
If youre the one giving a behavioral interview, you have a decision to make: what do you ask? There are a ton of questions you can ask as evidenced by our list below and you only have so much time in your interview. You need to pick a selection of questions that give you a feel for your candidate without turning interviews into a slog.
Think about the open position. What kinds of situations occur in that position, both frequently and semi-frequently? This should guide the majority of the questions you want to ask.
For example, if youre hiring for a position that involves handling valuable items, you may want to ask questions about how an employee has handled a situation where they became aware of a coworkers theft. If the position involves dealing with private personal information, you can ask how they would handle a potential breach they noticed.
You can also ask more generalized questions about behavior, such as if you encounter a problem with your assigned tasks and you havent been trained to solve it, how would you handle it?
How much time do you have to ask and discuss? Behavioral questions tend to take up more time to ask, answer, and discuss than more traditional interview questions. You have to engage with a candidate and judge their awareness of a hypothetical situation, or the veracity of an anecdote that may take some time to tell. The longer a question takes to answer, the fewer questions you can ask in the course of a normal interview.
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Additional Sources To Prepare For Behavioral Interview Questions And Answers For Management Positions
We found some great videos and books online for additional information about tackling these behavioral interview questions.
1. High-Impact Interview Questions: 701 Behavior-Based Questions to Find the Right Person for Every Job
From the author:
- Tell me about a time. The words evoke a childs fairy-tale innocence. Yet when used by an interviewer, they can help to determine the suitability of a job candidate by eliciting real-world examples of behaviors and experience that can save you and your organization from making a wrong hiring decision.
- High-Impact Interview Questions shows you how to use competency-based behavioral interviewing methods that will uncover truly relevant and useful information.
- The book contains 701 questions youll be able to use or adapt for your own needs, matched to 62 in-demand skills such as customer focus, motivation, initiative, adaptability, teamwork, and more.
- It allows you to move immediately to the particular skills you want to measure, and quickly find just the right tough but necessary questions to ask during an interview.
- Asking behavior-based questions is by far the best way to discover crucial details about job candidates. High-Impact Interview Questions gives you the tools and guidance you need to gather this critical information before you hire.
Check out the book here.
2. Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers: Q& A Framework for Successful Job Interviews
From the Author:
Check out the book here.
From the author:
Behavioral Interview Questions 21
You probably wont have any trouble thinking of a story for communication questions, since its not only part of most jobs its part of everyday life. However, the thing to remember here is to also talk about your thought process or preparation.
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What Are Behavioural Interview Questions
Behavioural interview questions focus on how you’ve handled different work situations in the past. They give interviewers an idea of how you would behave if a similar situation happened in the future. Your answers to these questions should provide a brief story that illustrates your skills and strengths. For each answer, tell the interviewer about the story’s background, the specific actions you took and their results.
List Of The 100 Most Common Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral interview questions are some of the most important questions you can ask in an interview. They allow you to get a feel for how a candidate is going to respond in certain kinds of situations. Some of them are more useful than others, of course, and you should always be aware that people will fudge the truth to secure a job, but thats true of all interview questions.
What even is a behavioral interview question? Theyre similar to normal, traditional interview questions, but they tend to be more pointed. They arent asking about superficial details like how did you hear about this position? Instead, theyre focused on how the candidate reacted to certain kinds of situations in their previous employment, or in general life situations. The idea being, of course, that the way an employee has reacted to situations in the past is an indicator of how they will react to similar situations in the future, should they encounter them on the job.
The key to using behavioral interview questions is to watch more than just their answer. Look for their body language when they answer, think about details they may be leaving out of their answer though never assume something unsupported and keep an eye out for contradictions between answers.
Whether youre the one holding the interviews, or youre preparing to take one yourself, it pays to know the most common behavioral interview questions that may be worth asking and answering.
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Sample Behavioral Interview Questions And Answers
Behavioral interview questions vary widely, and theres no sure-fire way to predict the exact questions youll be asked. The good news, however, is that these questions tend to relate to common themes, such as teamwork, leadership, conflict, and problem solving.
Below, weve outlined these themes, including a few sample behavioral interview questions for each one. Although the exact wording may differ in your interview, the themes will likely remain the same. For each theme, weve provided one sample answerand while weve kept our examples pretty succinct, you might want to go into more detail. Just remember to keep your responses to around two minutes each! As you read through the questions and answers, identify two or three of your own success stories for each theme.
Pretty much every job requires you to play well with others, so you can expect a couple of teamwork-related questions in your interview. The interviewer wants to know if you work well in groups, which roles you gravitate towards, how you communicate, and how you react when faced with challenging personalities.
Sample Interview Questions And Answers
Here are some examples of interview questions and answers that you can use during a behavioral interview. You’ll want to take extra time before the interview to prepare about their strategies you’ve taken to advance your career.
- Describe the most difficult scenario you’ve had to face in the last year.
- When was the last time a coworker needed to be motivated and what action did you take to motivate them?
- Discuss a major mistake you’ve made and your efforts to remedy it.
- Tell us about the last time you achieved a goal. Describe the process of achieving it.
- Tell me about your first job in the workforce. How did you learn new skills in your entry-level role?
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Tips For Answering Behavioral Interview Questions
Take Your Time. Its okay to take a moment before answering the question. Take a breath, or a sip of water, or simply pause. This will give you time to calm any nerves and think of an anecdote that appropriately answers the question.
Prepare Ahead of Time. Review common behavioral interview questions ahead of time and practice your answers.
This will help you ensure that you have a number of thoughtful anecdotes ready to answer any behavioral interview questions.
Follow the STAR Technique. Be sure to answer any questions using the STAR technique described above. By completing each of the four steps, you will provide a thorough answer without rambling or getting off topic.
Be Positive. Often, behavioral interview questions require you to focus on a problem or a failure at work. Describe the problem or issue you faced, but dont focus too much on the negative. Quickly shift to describing how you solved the problem and the positive results.
Why Is Behavioral Interviewing Important
Behavioral interviewing is important because there is a well-documented history of using past performance as an indicator of future performance when it comes to hiring candidates. By providing real-life examples of their past behavior, candidates can give employers a more accurate idea of their abilities.
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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.