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What employers want to hear to their behavior based interview questions

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On January 2, 2019

What Employers Want to Hear to Their Behavior Based Interview Questions

An interview is an opportunity to convince the recruiter that you have the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise to handle the job. You should take your time and prepare in advance to increase the chances of securing the job. There are several components to a standard interview process. There is also a behavior interview which has a big bearing on whether or not you get your job. There are specific answers which potential employers want to hear when conducting the behavior based interview. As a potential candidate, there are some things you could do to be prepared.


Research the Organization

This should be the first thing you do. It will differentiate you from less-prepared individuals. There are platforms which can give your summary of the company’s profile. If it is a marketing job, you need to assess their products and services, the current techniques being employed and what you could do to improve the process. You may also need to look at the industry in general to get a bigger perspective of the company. An easy way of knowing about the company is by simply going to the about page on their website. You can then come up with a list of potential questions you’d like to ask.


Interview Preparation

When preparing for the interview, you should compare the job requirements with your qualifications. You will also need to analyze the description in terms of abilities, skills, and knowledge. If you’re looking for a promotion, you can determine the hierarchy of the position and where it fits in the organization.

Preparation shouldn’t be hard if the position you applied for requires specific skills set or expertise. The challenge will always be how you’re going to articulate yourself properly as much as you’re experienced in the job. Having to answer technical questions is one thing, but what do you do when other types of questions are asked?


Behavioral Interview Questions

With Behavioral interviews, the company is most interested in how you handle or have handled situations related to your job. The logic behind this interview is to determine how your behavior towards a particular challenge or task can be applied in future. The questions are mostly open-ended and you will need to go into detail in order to provide a satisfactory answer. The questions may appear simple but it can become confusing as you answer it. Below are some tips that could come in handy when answering behavioral interview questions.


  • Take It Easy

Take a deep breath before you start answering the question. The interviewers will also be looking for the ability to digest concepts, think analytically before coming up with possible solutions.


  • Buy Some Time

You may not have an answer immediately but you can preserve time by saying things like “that is a good question”. There is no harm in taking some time before you answer the question. It will significantly improve the chances of being considered if you can come up with a concrete and elaborate answer.


  • Nothing Like Awkward Silence

You don’t always have to talk even when you feel there is a need to. Provided you have answered the questions satisfactorily, the onus is always on the panel to ask the next questions.


  • Discuss out Loud

This is recommended if you’re explaining something in detail. There is a strategy called the STAR technique that breaks down the explanation.


(S) Situation: You should start explaining a similar situation in the past and where it took place.

(T) Task: What work were you tasked with to accomplish? This is also the perfect opportunity to mention the unique challenges that came with the task.

(A) Action: What action did you take in order to overcome the challenge or the task at hand? You can break down the actions into points.

(R ) Result: This is where you elaborate on the outcome that came about as a result of your actions. Did it improve the company’s sales, were you able to resolve the conflict? Interviewers are always keen on this part because they want to know if you can be trusted to bring the same level of impact as you did in the past.


  • Be Positive

Behavioral interviews will most of the time focus on the challenges you’ve faced and how you overcome them. Don’t focus on the negative too much when you’re describing the problems you faced. The focus should be on how you managed to solve the problem.


  • Redirect and Relate

There are situations where you may be asked a question which you may not be familiar with. You can relate the question to a similar experience in the past that is also relevant to the subject and how you were able to handle it.


  • Be Honest

You don’t have to pretend you know everything as that will only make you appear desperate. If you’re not in a position to answer a question, the best thing to do would be to apologize to the interviewer because you can’t adequately answer the question but you will be willing to do research about it.


Examples of Questions you Should Expect and How to Answer Them

In order to be adequately prepared for behavioral interviews, there are some questions you should expect:

Tell Us About Yourself?

In most cases, the interviewers are not asking about your personal life. They want to hear about what you have achieved in your previous jobs or career. This question is meant to assess the uniqueness of an individual and what makes them special. You can talk about your experience and why you’ve decided to take another step in your career.

How can you Describe Yourself?

The interviewer is looking for an effective and concise employee when they ask this question. They are looking for commendable traits that will come in handy in any organization. The traits you pick should be in line with the specific company values.

Have you Worked in a Similar Position Before?

The interviewer is indirectly asking if you have the experience to handle the job. They might also ask if the position is similar to others you’re applying for. Don’t be desperate but you also don’t want it to appear as if you don’t care about the prospects of a job with the company that is interviewing you.

What are your Strengths/Weaknesses?

This is always going to be a trick question and it is important to know how to handle it. Don’t list inability to meet deadlines or punctuality as your weaknesses. You can answer by talking about the fear of making mistakes or perfectionism. These are forgivable mistakes.

Why do you want to Join our Company?

The interviewer wants to know just how much you know about the company. You will definitely be in trouble if you did not research the organization. The answer may require specific details. You can talk about the culture of the company and how they do things differently.

Why are you Looking for Another Job?

The interviewer wants to know if you don’t get along with bosses or colleagues. It could also be a way of knowing if you like jumping from one job to another. Talk about outgrowing your position and the need for a better challenge.

Do you have any Questions?

This is also another opportunity to impress the interviewer on how much you’ve researched about the company. Ask about the pain points that are related to your work and if there are any challenges they’re facing.


Last modified: January 2, 2019

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