Interview preparation entails more than research of the company in question and consideration of appropriate questions for the potential employer.
An effective interview requires the candidate to provide detailed responses to specific questions regarding his/her own experiences. At times, even the strongest candidates leave an interview feeling that they did not adequately describe their skills or provide worthwhile examples.
One highly effective way to prepare for an interview is to “walk through” a series of Behavioural Interview Questions, making notes on one’s specific accomplishments, incidents, management strategies, etc., carried out in previous roles or positions. The main point is to readily bring to mind past experiences, enabling the applicant to carry out the interview in a smooth and confident manner.
Having completed the Behavioural Interview Questions in detail, the next step is to use one’s experiences in addressing the needs of the potential employer conducting the interview. Clear, concise articulation of past experiences showing relationship to specific role requirements is of utmost importance. In addition, one can gain success by ascertaining the most pressing issues from the potential employer.
By noting these concerns, and furnishing specific examples of how you have found solutions to similar problems in the past, one shows his/her degree of competency. By utilizing the thorough approach described, and doing one’s homework beforehand, will allow the candidate to experience an effective interview process.
Sample behavioural interview questions
- Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a classmate’s or colleague’s working style in order to complete a project or achieve your objectives.
Analytical skills/problem solving
- Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. What did you do? What was your thought process? What was the outcome? What do you wish you had done differently?
- What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.
- Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person, even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). How did you handle the situation? What obstacles or difficulties did you face? How did you deal with them?
- Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.
- Tell me about a problem that you’ve solved in a unique or unusual way. What was the outcome? Were you happy or satisfied with it?
- Tell me about a difficult decision you’ve made in the last year.
- Describe a situation where you have had to overcome a problem or obstacle in order to move forward with something. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed. How did you handle it? Why? Were you happy with the outcome?
- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
- Describe a time when you put your needs aside to help a co-worker understand a task. How did you assist them? What was the result?
- Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
- What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far and why?
- Tell me about a goal that you set that you did not reach. What steps did you take? What obstacles did you encounter? How did it make you feel?
- Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
- What tricks or techniques have you learned to make school or a job easier, or to make yourself more effective? How did you learn that?
- Describe a situation where you have had to use your initiative to solve a problem. What did you do?
- What was the best idea you came up with during your professional or college career? How did you apply it?
- Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish failed.
- Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
- Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
- Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
- Tell me about a time you had to fire a friend.
- Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).
- Tell of the most difficult customer service experience that you have ever had to handle, perhaps an angry or irate customer. Be specific and tell what you did and what was the outcome.
- Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
- Give a specific example of a policy you conformed to with which you did not agree. Why?
- Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
- Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
- What has been your experience in giving presentations to small or large groups? What has been your most successful experience in speech making?
- Tell me about a team project when you had to take the lead or take charge of the project? What did you do? How did you do it? What was the result?
- Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
- Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
- Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How/why was this person difficult? How did you handle it? How did the relationship progress?
Planning & organization/time management
- How do you determine priorities in scheduling your time? Give examples.
- Describe a time in school when you had many projects or assignments due at the same time. What steps did you take to get them all done?
- Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do, and you were required to prioritize your tasks.
- How do you prioritize projects and tasks when scheduling your time? Give me some examples.
- Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person, even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
- Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.
- Describe a situation where you have had to work as part of a team to achieve a result. What was your role in this?
- Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?