Interviews are stressful. It’s no fun being drilled about your past experiences, your personality, or your life choices by interviewers who have the power to decide your fate.
One of the best ways to get past the fear and stress of an upcoming interview is to prepare for it. Preparing should not only be choosing your outfit and printing your resume; you should also practice your answers to the most common questions.
Behavioral interview questions are some of the most used questions in the world of interviewing. That's because they can help recruiters to get a sense of how you’d handle future situationsby finding out how you’ve handled them in the past.
Common Behavioral Interview Questions
Now that you know why you have to prepare for the behavioral questions in an interview, you might wonder what those questions look like. Here are some common examples:
● Tell me about a time when you faced a large or overwhelming goal. How did you handle it and did you achieve the goal?
● Have you had a difficult relationship with a coworker? How did you handle that situation?
● Talk to me about how you have handled high-pressure situations at your current job?
● What do you do when your typical working hours are disrupted?
When you hear these questions in an interview, it might be tempting to answer them simply, but that is not what employers want to hear. You should go into detail and tell a story when answering these types of questions.
How to Prepare Responses to Behavioral Interview Questions
Instead of spending hours preparing an individual answer to every question you might encounter in an interview, try preparing by thinking about your current or past employers. Think about challenges you have overcome, problems you have solved, and situations you want to avoid in the future.
When you start to open yourself up to thinking through a variety of experiences in the past, you stop narrowing down your potential responses to these questions. It will be easier to adjust if you get an off-the-wall question, and you will have plenty of examples to choose from if you get nothing but common questions.
You can even have a friend or family member ask you some questions so that you can practice formulating a response to typical behavioral interview questions on the spot. It helps to practice giving your responses a beginning, middle, and end out loud versus in your head.
Now, What Should You Do?
You have looked back at your experiences and practiced giving complete answers out loud, but you still do not feel 100% prepared.
You may want to look at some reasons employers ask behavioral interview questions to help ease your mind. There are some things that employers want to know about you that they cannot discern unless they see how you have handled it in the past.
For example, you can say you are a strong leader as much as you want, but until you show your leadership skills through a story, your interviewer will not know whether your idea of leadership matches with their needs.
If you talk about how you lead your team through a challenge by stepping up to assign roles based on your fellow team members' strengths, then the interviewer may be more confident in your abilities.
Check out the video below for some of the categories of behavior employers are looking to discover by utilizing your answers to behavioral interview questions.
What are Behavioral Interview Questions Trying to Find Out?
Now that you know why you’re getting these questions and what they will look like, it is vital to check out answers to behavioral interview questions that others have given. Doing so will help to ensure your answers are the best they can be for the situation.
Given the popularity of behavioral interview questions in interviews at all levels, you must prepare for these questions early and often. You will probably receive a few of these questions in every interview you go on, even if management invites you back to the same company three times.
Behavioral interview questions might feel tricky, but they are some of the easiest to prepare for since you can base your answers on real-life experiences. As long as you know how to frame your response, you should be all set to walk into your next interview with confidence.