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5 Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions typically start with 'tell me about a time when...' The key to successfully answering behavioral interview questions is to draw upon experiences in your past, and talk about how what you learned relates to the job that you are applying for.

5 Common Behavioral Interview Questions

1. By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and environments.

What they are really asking...

How adaptable are you to unexpected situations?

Tips on Answering

Think about some examples in your previous work or life experience that required you to adapt successfully to new circumstances. Go through these examples for the interviewer clearly explaining how you adapted to the situation.

2. Describe a problem you solved for your employer. What was your approach to solving the problem? What was the result?

What they are really asking...

What is your approach to solving problems?

Tips on Answering

Outline your approach in assessing and addressing the problem. Be generous in providing credit to others if it was a team effort. Clearly articulate the positive outcome.

3. Describe a time when you put your needs aside to help a co-worker with a task. How did you assist them? What was the result?

What they are really asking...

Are you a team player?

Tips on Answering

Focus on your teamwork here. Highlight the specific steps you took to assist your teammate in overcoming an obstacle. You don't need to come across as Mother Teresa but you should definitely focus on your ability to help others by using your teamwork skills.

4. Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to get yourself out of a difficult situation.

What they are really asking...

How adaptable are you?

Tips on Answering

This type of question implies that the ability to think on your feet will be important in the job you are applying for. Try to provide an example that clearly shows how you were able to adapt to a difficult situation. Talk about the thought process you went through at the time of the situation, and what the outcome was. Talk about what you could have done differently to potentially avoid this situation in the future.

5. Talk about a project that you took on that required a lot of initiative.

What they are really asking...

Are you a self starter?

Tips on Answering

This question implies that the ability to work independently is important in the role that you are applying for. Try to emphasize your ability to work with minimal supervision by highlighting how you are able to set clear priorities, and focus on end results.