After any job interview, most of us leave wondering if we said the right thing. Did you answer the questions well? Or did you do or say something wrong?
But there is a way to prepare in advance for some of the tough questions you get in an interview.
- Tell me about a time when…
- How would you handle a situation like…
- Describe an instance where you had to…
You know, the kind of question that is completely open ended and can be taken in a million different directions.
“…behavioral questions evaluate how you’ve handled situations in the past and what you would do if faced with a similar situation again in the future.” – The Interview Guys
You can ramble on about “that one time” until you forget what the actual question was OR you can take initiative and answer with the STAR Method.
What is the STAR Method?
STAR stands for Situation–Task–Action–Result:
- Situation – An event, project, or challenge faced
- Task – Your responsibilities and assignments for the situation
- Action – Steps or procedure taken to relieve or rectify situation
- Result – Results of actions taken.
How to answer behavioral interview questions
You know it’s a behavioral question when it is a question about how you acted in a particular instance in the past.
When an interviewer asks you a question like, “Tell me about a time you had to deal with a challenging customer,” you build your response like this:
Situation – Discuss the instance in brief detail.
Task – What was the task at hand?
Action – What actions did you take?
Result – What was the result?
“Pro Tip: When answering in the STAR formula, use the first person singular – “I did such-and-such” rather than “we did such-and-such” – it will keep the focus on you.” – The Balance Careers
These are usually tough questions! Try to keep your answers positive and show how you succeeded with whatever the situation was.
Ask questions too!
When it comes to interview time, don’t let the hiring manager be the only one who asks questions. Don’t forget to ASK questions too!
For more info on what to ask potential employers, read our post 21 Questions to Ask a Remote Employer at Interview.