Most hiring managers rely on behavioral interview questions to help them screen applicants. They give the interviewer insights into your personality, which can be important for determining cultural fit.
Often, these inquiries focus on more than your skills and general work experience. Instead, they aim to dig deeper, providing valuable context regarding the reasoning behind your workplace approach.
From a job seekers perspective, it can be hard to figure out precisely what companies want to hear when they ask behavioral interview questions. Luckily, there are a few ways to get an idea of what sort of response they hope to find. If you’re wondering how to respond to behavioral interview questions, here are some tips to get you started.
While you can’t always predict which behavioral interview questions will be asked, one thing is practically for certain: the hiring manager is expecting a “story.”
Behavioral interview questions can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead, you’ll need to provide examples of how you performed on the job.
For example, “Tell me about a time where you experienced conflict in the workplace and how you resolved it,” is a behavioral interview question. You have to provide a thorough description of the situation as well as any actions you took to work through it. Finally, you let them know the result of your efforts.
The easiest way to prepare for these questions is to research commonly used inquiries. Then, you can find suitable examples to provide should the need arise.
Highlight Soft Skills
Many behavioral interview questions are designed to learn about your soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, and leadership. These are typically harder to assess from a resume alone, hence the need for these specific kinds of questions.
When you respond to a behavioral interview question, make sure to highlight the soft skills you used along the way. Often, this provides valuable insight into your workplace personality, mindset, and similar things that are otherwise challenging to measure.
If you aren’t certain which soft skills to highlight, look to the job announcement for clues. Often, the most desirable soft skills will be listed in the description, giving you an idea about the company’s priorities.
You can also research the organization’s website for information. In some cases, you’ll find out what they are hoping to find by reviewing their Mission or Values statements. You can also read bios for senior leadership, as these may contain statements regarding their priorities in these areas.
As with any other interview question, it’s critical that you are honest in your responses. The hiring manager is trying to determine if you are a good fit for the role and the company’s culture, and skewing your answers based solely on what you think they want to hear, and not what you’ve actually experienced, can hurt you, particularly if it means you end up in a job or environment that you aren’t actually able to handle.
While answering behavioral interview questions can feel challenging, by following the tips above you can ensure that you are properly prepared.
If you are looking for a new job, the professionals at Career Options can connect you with exciting opportunities with some of the area’s leading companies. Contact us to learn more about our services today.