Landing an interview for your dream job is something worth celebrating. It’s the first step towards your ideal career move, but preparing for what might be ahead in the interview is crucial to grabbing the opportunity.
Behavioural questions are a popular method in interviews to dive deeper into your experience, skills and personality. They help interviewers determine your suitability for the role as well as assessing whether you’d be a good fit culturally.
Being prepared for what might come up in an interview helps to keep you calm and impress your interviewer. By practicing and considering your answers for common behavioural interview questions, you can put yourself in a great position to best express your suitability and secure the job you’ve been dreaming of.
Here are eight of the most common behavioural interview questions you might hear in an interview and some tips on how to best answer them.
1. Tell me about a time you were asked to do something you had never done before.
From this question, the interviewer is trying to determine your adaptability. You want to think of a situation in which you responded quickly and efficiently to a request and most importantly, how you learned from it.
Break down your experience into the STAR format. STAR stands for:
By doing this you easily showcase your skills and attributes to the interviewer and how adaptive you are.
2. What would attract you to our company over others?
This question is both an examination of your knowledge of the company as well as their culture. By understanding the company’s culture, you are able to explain how you will seamlessly fit into the organization.
Research the company’s mission, vision and values via their corporate strategy before your interview. Not only will this help you prepare for the interview by seeing how you fit into the culture of the company but you’ll be clearer on what attracted you to the position and company in the first place.
3. Give an example of when you have had to work on a project with someone who is difficult to get along with.
It’s almost impossible to get along with every co-worker all the time. Therefore, companies want to know how you deal with this.
By expressing your collaboration and people management skills through an example you successfully prove that you will be able to collaborate across the whole organization. Remember to use the STAR method when giving your example to really express your collaborative skills.
4. Tell me about a time you needed to persuade someone to see things from your point of view.
Leadership is an important skill for many employers. In asking you about your ability to persuade, a company is looking for a step by step breakdown of how you did this.
Hopefully you can think about an example in which you succeeded, but what is important here is the way in which you persuaded your colleague. Rather than forcing them over to your point of view, explain how you expressed your point of view with evidence and patience.
5. Discuss a time you were managing several projects at once.
Everyone gets busy from time to time. For employers, they want to know that you’ll be able to prioritize and organize yourself when these times do come along.
The company will want to know what techniques you used to manage your time. They may also want to know how you dealt with any stress that came along with this. Before your interview, it would also be good to consider the results of these projects.
It’s fine to admit that things didn’t always go well. What is important is showing how you have learned from these events.
6. What motivated you to move from your current role?
By asking what motivated you to move from your current role, the interviewer wants to uncover your career goals and potential for growth.
Take time to think about where you want to be in the next few years and what it is about your current role that is making it unfulfilling. Are you wanting something with more responsibility? More creativity? Better promotion opportunities?
Your answer to this question helps the interviewer understand your needs in order to retain you for the coming years.
7. What is something interesting about you that isn’t on your resume?
Unorthodox questions can throw you off during an interview and are often the most difficult to answer because it is unclear what the interviewer is looking for.
Interviews can be very tense and as such, we close up our personalities into a shell. By asking this question, the interviewer is looking to discover a bit more about your personality to determine if you are a good cultural fit.
Be honest and tell them something you like to do in your spare time or maybe an achievement you were proud of when you were younger. This is a chance to be lighthearted or express your passion for a hobby.
8. Discuss a time you made a mistake.
Everyone makes mistakes. It’s human nature. One way in which we can succeed is how we deal with making mistakes and resolve them.
By asking this question, an interviewer wants you to explain how you took ownership of the mistake and how you rectified the situation. It is important to not portion blame on a colleague in the situation but rather focus on the solutions. It shows great leadership and adaptability by giving a strong example of appropriately dealing with a mistake.