As we know, preparing for an interview is essential. It has a direct result in both your confidence and competence and ultimately, your performance. With competition for jobs on the increase, it makes sense to ensure you prepare for the different types of questions an interviewer may ask. Among these, behavioral interview questions are crucial to prepare for. To help, we’ve put together a complete guide to behavioral questions, including what the interviewer wants to find out by asking them and common questions to prepare for.

What is a behavioral question?

Interviewers ask behavioral questions to determine how you might react to an issue or situation you experience in the future. Your answer to a behavioral question will reveal to the interviewer evidence of how you will react, illustrated by examples of how you’ve handled similar situations in the past.

Behavioral questions are very different from other types of questions, like competency and knowledge-based questions. These can be answered by stating the qualifications or experience you have in using, for instance, a specific piece of software.

What an interviewer looks for when they ask behavioral questions

Common behavioral interview questions can be grouped in several categories:

 

Two women pictured in an interview

How to prepare for typical behavioral interview questions

To prepare for behavioral interview questions and come up with answers, you should go through examples of behavioral questions and think of a story from your past experience that shows your competence. If you can’t think of a story that shows a successful outcome, consider sharing an example where you failed, focus on what you learned from the experience and would do differently in the future.

It’s a good idea to prepare a few strong examples that could be adapted to various behavioral questions. If you can, try to think of a story for each of the following categories of questions. This should allow you to have something to draw from, no matter what type of behavioral question you’re asked.

Remember, an easy way to structure any interview answer is using the STAR method:

As COVID-19 was an unprecedented and difficult situation for both employees and businesses, employers may want to use behavioral questions to determine how you handled these changes personally. They may focus on your transition to remote working or how you helped your company through the challenges they faced. So, it’s a good idea to prepare an answer using an example around this topic if you can.

A businessman and businesswoman are shaking hands while another man smiles on in the background in an office environment.

Examples of teamwork behavioral interview questions include:

Examples of adaptability behavioral interview questions include:

Examples of communication behavioral interview questions include:

Examples of time management behavioral interview questions include:

Examples of values and motivation behavioral interview questions include:

As you can see, behavioral interview questions need a little bit of thought and time to answer. This is why it’s crucial to prepare before the interview. We’ve put together other interview-specific insights to help any jobseekers currently looking for a new opportunity. If you haven’t already, submit your details with us today to start your job search.

Angela Lopes Author Angela Lopes Tiger Recruitment Team