Interviews can be terrifying. It is terrifying, as it is hard to predict what the interview questions will be like.
More often than not, the hiring managers like to ask questions about our past experiences. If we have not prepared a story or two to cope with this, we sit tongue-tied.
Behavioral Interview Questions Are the Hot Items in Interviews
We’d like to introduce to you the term “behavioral interview questions”. Behavioral questions aim to get information about how the interviewees behaved in the past.
By knowing how they behaved in the past, managers can get a sense of how they will behave in the future. The important question every interviewer wants to know the answer to is: will this person work well with our organization? 1
You may have heard some of these questions in the past:
- Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some changes. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
- Can you talk about a long-term project that you managed? How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?
- Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
Their formats are varying. But more or less they can be reduced to a simple question which starts with: “Can you tell me a time…”.
Categories of Behavioral Questions
Here, we categorise all the behavioral questions based on the knowledge of experienced hiring managers.
If you are an interviewer, this article may serve as a reference for preparing interview questions; if you are an interviewee, by knowing the forms and expectations of these questions, you may be better equipped in the preparation of an interview.
As said by Pamela Skillings, the founder of Big Interview, interview questions about teamwork are the most common.
This type of questions aims to know if the potential employee will be a good team player. After all, the ability to cooperate is crucial in an organization, and hiring managers are responsible for finding out if the potential employees are cooperative.
- Can you tell me a time when you had to work closely with someone with a personality which was very different from yours?
- Please tell me a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. Did you handle it well?
- Did you once try to get information from someone who, for whatever reason, was not responsive?
- Provide one or two of the most relevant examples demonstrating your skills to cooperate with others well.
- The ultimate goal of the interviewee is to show that they are easy and a joy to work with.
- Understand the definition of teamwork the job requires. For example, a start-up company may look for employees who work well with others by taking different roles. Or a multinational company may look for newcomers who can adapt quickly to the established working environment.
- In order to show their cooperativeness, interviewees should demonstrate their ability to help a team succeed, instead of emphasising on one individual’s success.
- Show respect for the previous teammates, instead of raising complaint or criticism.
- According to Alison Doyle, there are some qualities or skills that define the ability to work well…