I think you’ll agree with me when I say that behavioral interview questions have become the norm.
The problem is, most job applicants struggle to answer behavioral interview questions properly because they don’t know know the one trick to acing this type of interview!
I’ve given thousands of interviews and know exactly how the answers should be constructed.
In this blog post I’m going to give you 7 perfect examples of behavioral interview questions and answers to each one. You will know exactly how to answer when behavioral interview questions are coming at you one after another.
Don’t Be Afraid!
You might be saying to yourself, “Man I’m kind of nervous for these behavioral interview questions!”
I assure you though, there is no need to be scared. Let me show you why…
These types of questions allow the interviewer to hear you tell a story, and show them if you are calm and cool under pressure.
So, the funny thing is, you’re already well prepped for behavioral interview questions!
That’s because you have real life scenarios that will give the interviewer the type of answers that they’re looking for.
With a little prep and thought, you will crush these questions!
Avoid the One Biggest Mistake
There’s one mistake that most applicants make, and it’s easy to avoid…
The behavioral interview questions will always be asked in a similar form.
That form will be, “Tell me time when you pleased a customer.”
The mistake that most applicants make is that they answer the question with a general statement.
An example of a general statement type answer is, “I always try to go out of my way to help customers and make sure they’re happy”.
That answer doesn’t give the interviewer any information about what you actually did in the scenario.
The interviewer want’s a specific example. A real life situation.
When you give a general answer about your overall philosophy, there is no proof or evidence of what you did to make sure that customers were happy!
How to be a STAR and Give the Answers to They Want
Replying with the answers to the behavioral interview questions is actually simpler than you think.
So how do you do it? Easy…
Answer in the form of a story!
There is a very popular interview technique called STAR, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
As you answer, just make sure that you hit all 4 of those topics!
What was the SITUATION you were in?
What was the TASK at hand?
What was the ACTION you took?
What was the RESULT of your actions?
For example, if the question is, “Tell me about a time you had an argument with a coworker, what did you do to resolve it?”
Your answer would just be the story, in detail, when you had a dispute with a coworker, and how you resolved it. That’s it!
Be sure to hit your S.T.A.R. and I promise the interviewer will be impressed, maybe even relieved, because you told the whole story start to end.
And a quick but ultra-important piece of advice:
Don’t over think it! Just tell the truth.
I cannot stress that enough!
That’s because answering with a true story, full of details, tells the interviewer exactly what to expect from you if they were to make you a job offer.
The Questions Will Fit the Environment
You don’t need to worry about studying for all sorts of crazy scenarios. That’s because the behavioral interview questions will pertain to the industry you are applying for.
Let me give you a few examples…
If you are applying at a company that deals with face-to-face customers, expect a question about a difficult customer you have dealt with.
Trying to get a job with a call center? Anticipate a question about a customer using bad language and threatening you.
Are you going to be working on a team? You can expect a question about collaboration and how you make sure everyone has a voice.
Going for a sales position? Then you know there will be a question about persuading a customer or maybe the largest sale you ever made.
You see, it’s not incredibly difficult to know what to expect.
Alright, let’s get to it! Here are…
The 7 Most Common Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers
Ok, here are the 7 most common behavioral interview questions and answers to each one!
Question 1. “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a coworker and how it was resolved.”
This is a great question because most people won’t tell the truth because they shy away from the work “conflict”.
Answer 1. Give them THE TRUTH about a time that you had a conflict with a teammate. What started it, how did it escalate, what did you do, who was wrong, how did you speak to the person, was there a past of issues between you, what ended up happening? Tell the story!
Question 2. “Give me an example of a time when you did exceptional work.”
This question is great because it allows you to detail a time where you excelled!
Answer 2. Your answer here should be in 3 parts; First, the thing that you killed it on! What was the accomplishment? Second, it should involve some humility. Don’t go tell them you are the best at everything and no one else on earth understands that. No, tell them you took the actions that you did because its in your values or maybe it’s how you were raised. Third and finally, your answer should involve other people. Who did you teach or who else contributed. I’m not saying give ALL the credit away, but make sure you recognize the people that assisted you.
Question 3. “Tell me about a time you worked as a team to overcome the odds.”
I love this freaking question! I ask it myself in interviews that I conduct because I want to know if the applicant can work with others and be successful, or if they are more of the Lone Ranger type. By the way, both are ok!
Answer 3. This is as easy as telling them about your job at McDonald’s, how you all banded together on a Saturday when the drive thru speaker system went down and you all had to work together to ensure customers didn’t suffer.
Question 4. “Did you ever have a time where you had a policy that you didn’t agree with?”
It sounds like a trap!!! But it’s not I promise. Just tell the truth. Every large company has countless policies, and every employee has at least one they don’t agree with!
Answer 4. Just tell them the policy or procedure that was implemented, and why you disagreed with it. But, be sure not to roll your eyes, or become visibly negative. The interviewer wants to see how you handle this, because they know it’s going to happen again. Tell your story about how you implemented it even though you didn’t agree with it, and if you can, inject some details about how you supported others to implement the policy as well.
Question 5. “Tell me about a time that you saw someone doing something wrong and what you did.”
This seems similar to question 4, and it can be, but to really ace this question, go for the moral issue detailed below!
Answer 5. This can be a tough one because it can be answered two ways. Way 1; You describe a time that a coworker was doing a procedure wrong and how you stepped in and supported them. If you go that route, be sure to include what you taught them! Way 2 to answer; Describe a time that you witnessed someone doing something immortal and how you addressed it. It could be stealing time, or taking office supplies, or even a situation where there was someone being bullied! Either answer is fitting, but way 2 is much more impressive!
Question 6. “Give me an example of a time you handled a difficult customer/client.”
Great question, and maybe the most common for any business that has face to face contact with customers/clients.
Answer 7. Tell the story from the beginning, but hold back from scoffing or being extra dramatic when you start the story! A vast majority of applicants start the story like they’re complaining about the customer. NO! Go through and detail what you did to fix the issue the customer had, how you eased the tension, and then what the end result was.
Question 7. “Tell me about a time when you trained or mentored someone.”
This is where you’re going to talk about anyone that you’ve taken under your wing.
Answer 7. Tell a story about your favorite person that you ever worked with, and how you mentored them in some way! Be detailed and outline the interaction that you had with them to help them grow. Any tough conversations you had to pull them aside for? Any big praise that you gave them? Did they end up maybe winning employee of the month? Brag a little about the person you mentored!
Perfectly ACE the Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers
So now you’re ready to crush the behavioral interview questions and answers!
Lets go through and do a quick recap…
- Answer in the form of a story
- Tell the truth!
- Give good details
- Involve others in the stories
- Be a STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result)
Glad we could get you ready to go for your your next behavioral interview!