How to Answer Behavioral-Based Interview Questions

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During an interview, the hiring supervisor will ask you several different types of questions. The hiring supervisor may start by asking straightforward questions regarding your previous employment or work experience. At some point in the interview, he may ask a few behavioral questions. Behavioral questions typically ask you to describe a difficult situation in your previous experience or to explain how you would handle a hypothetical situation. How you answer these questions may determine if you get the job. Prepare yourself ahead of time, so you can give the best answer.

  • Write down a list of potential behavioral questions the interviewer may ask before your interview. Hiring supervisors often ask questions that relate to your skills or ethics. For example, he may ask you to describe different situations where you used good logic, problem-solving skills, persuasion or coping mechanisms.

  • Create a list of examples from your previous work experience that highlight your best on-the-job behavior. For example, you may want to write about an experience where you handled a highly stressful situation. Review your sample questions and examples before your interview.

  • Listen to the questions asked carefully during your interview. If needed, pause for a brief moment to fully process what the hiring supervisor said. If you misinterpret a question, you may give the wrong response.

  • Respond to the question with a complete thought. Craft your answer so that you have a beginning, middle and end, similar to telling a story. For behavioral questions that ask you to explain a certain situation, start by giving a brief background, then explain how you handled the situation and end your answer by explaining how your reaction solved the problem.

  • Answer any follow-up questions the hiring supervisor may have. She may ask for more details or clarification on your answer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your answers brief but through. While you do not want to take too long answering one question, you do not want to leave out any key details.
  • Ask the supervisor for clarification on a question if you did not fully understand what he asked. Trying to guess the best answer may hurt your chances of having a successful interview.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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