Say you just landed an interview. Your experience and education are a great fit, but what else will you say or do to stand out to the hiring manager? Well, in most cases, it’s all about preparation for the questions that may be asked.
At our company and with most employers, a cultural fit and customer service skills are two integral components of business to look for in candidates. That’s why we base many interviews on behavioral questions just as much as the technical interview questions. Behavioral questions become especially invaluable when an employer is deciding between the top few candidates left.
The good news is that most of these questions are predictable, and you can prepare for the most common ones before your interview. This will help prevent 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.
3 Categories of Behavioral Interview Questions:
Adaptability & Handling Conflict
Employers want to know that a new employee will be on board with them for the long haul and will be adaptable to change. This could be a change in environment, responsibilities, or ad hoc challenges. Certain positions might also require a great deal of interaction with clients, or sometimes challenging situations with other employees. Sample questions under this umbrella 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 job and how you handled it?”
If a position is going to require out-of-the-box thinking 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 to solve a problem. 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?”
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 out there. Teamwork questions are the most common type of behavioral interview questions. The answers you provide can inform your future employer about your strengths, weaknesses and ability to lead. A general question may be, “Tell me about an experience on as part of a team that you found rewarding.” For a higher-level management position, a sample question may be, “Can you share an example of a time you stepped up to a leadership role?”
If you take a little time to brainstorm how you’ll answer these types of questions, you’ll be able to give well thought out answers that will set you apart. When you’re preparing your answers, just think about what the employer is looking for. A little extra preparation could land you that next job!