Structured, well thought out and concise – that’s how it should be while answering behavioral questions. After a few general questions about educational and professional experience, the employers usually prefer to get into a bit of details that will give them an idea about how well a candidate can cope up to certain challenging situations. And, this is surely the trickiest part of the entire interviewing process.
But if you’re well prepared and confident of yourself then you will be able to tackle such questions with ease. If you wish, you can even prepare yourself for such questions beforehand. First let us try and understand the basic features of behavioral questions.
What are Behavioral Questions?
Past behavior predicts the future behavior – this is the basic premise of behavioral questions. The purpose is to get a clear picture about how the candidate reacted to a particular situation in past and compare it with a similar situation that may arise in the future. Apart from being widely accepted, this method of candidate selection is also time tested. Contrary to the popular belief these questions are basically specific ones and not hypothetical. So, it’s best to take a direct path while answering them as well.
How to deal with the Behavioral Questions
It follows that the best way to deal with such questions is to be clear and precise. One of the most popular ways that you can follow is the STAR approach, an acronym for Situation, Task, Action and Results. You need to start with a circumstantial answering style. This means that you relate a similar situation that have already faced in your previous workplace, give the details of it, especially the background. Next, you need to focus on the specific challenges that were faced by you while tackling such a situation. Remember that you should always have in mind the skill that needs to highlighted, and this will be clear from the question. It can be problem solving skills or leadership skills and the like. Then, you need emphasize on the action that you took to handle the situation followed by the results which you accomplished.
A little homework can do wonders as well! Don’t forget to do a bit of research about the key skills that form an integral part of your job profile because your answers will be based on how well you would incorporate such skills to the situation at hand.