Behavioral interview questions are used to evaluate a potential employee’s past experiences, behaviors and reasoning in order to determine if they will be a good fit in a company.
The easiest method to use when responding to behavioral interview questions is the STAR Method.
Question: Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills. Situation: Describe exactly what, when and how an event or situation happened, preferably one that had a positive outcome. Result: Describe what happened, how the situation ended, what was accomplished, what you learned, how you grew as a professional and any financial growth. The key to mastering interview questions is to practice your responses, listen carefully, think before you answer, be honest and remember the STAR Method. See our earlier post, Interview Questions Explained: Situational interview questions, for more interview tips from Spencer Reed Group. If you answered yes to either question, our Behavioral Interview Question Library is for you!
Designed to help managers make better hiring decisions, the Behavioral Interview Question Library offers a treasure trove of proven interview questions that help you measure more than 60 skills, competencies, and areas of knowledge that play a critical role in matching the right candidate to the job. You’ll also learn a four-step process for planning and conducting more effective behavioral interviews. If you struggle to create good interview questions, or just want to improve your interviewing skills, then get the guidebook that pays real dividends every time you use it: the Behavioral Interview Question Library by best-selling author Holly G. Instead of allowing the interviewee to theorize or generalize about events, the interviewer expects the interviewee to narrate four details for each experience: (1) what the situation was, (2) what the challenges were, (3) how the interviewee dealt with the situation, and (3) what the outcome was. In behavioral interviewing, every answer should specifically address the skill in question. First, examine the question: what is its purpose; what specific skill is the question addressing?
Question on working effectively with others: “What was a constructive criticism you received recently? In answering interview questions, the best way to impress an interviewer is to discuss your credentials and accomplishments in terms of personal success stories. Thanks for the excellent information about answering behavioral questions which have become very popular with interviewers the last ten years. This is very informative and a measured step-by-step approach for being a good interviewee. This is my first time that I read the STAR interview methodology to get ready for my probable job interviews on the next coming month, it is sounds good.
Thanks for the info as I have an interview on March 22, 2016 with a Electric Utility Company in the Chicago area. Prospective employers love to ask you behavioral interview questions (or situational interview questions).


One of the problems with these kinds of interview questions for you is that it can be all too easy to get caught up in the story and miss making your point.
The way to be the most effective with any interview story you tell is to always frame your story in a particular structure, called the STAR technique.
Talk about your thought process or decision-making process that led to your choosing an Action to take.
All the stories you can tell that show how you approach a problem or task, think critically about it, and make good, solid decisions that benefit your company will help you stand out in the interview and get the offer. Career Coach – Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Related PostsJob Seekers: 4 Ways You Can Reinvent Yourself5 Ways To Make The Right Impression In A Group InterviewAre Your Listening Skills Your Job Search Problem? Subscribe to our NewsletterJoin 103,000+ readers and receive daily career tips in your Inbox!
Get our handy reference book for a treasure trove of behavioral interview questions so you can uncover the data you need to make great hiring decisions every time.
Would you like to dramatically improve your chances of hiring the right person for the job every time? In doing so, you’ll uncover the hard data you need to determine the ideal candidate for every job. This variety of interviewing is based on the premise that past performance in comparable circumstances is the best predictor of future performance. Your response should relate an experience from a previous job assignment, project, academic study, or community work. The interviewee’s response illustrates their ability to listen to feedback, adapt as a manager, and lead teams well. When I worked as a product development consultant at Indigo, a team of Acme Medical Systems designers hired me to develop the plastic prototype of a new Computed Tomography (CT) scanner.
One of the primary challenges with prototyping this keyboard was that it was too large to fit into any standard manufacturing machine.
I used a finite element model to reassure them and confirm that the assembly would be sufficiently robust. In addition, my modular design lowered manufacturing costs by 20% when the CT-scanner went into production. You have a lot of answers to the questions from your experience but you never now how and what you would be asked. Your point, in any story you tell (or in answering any interview question), is to give them one more reason that you’re wonderful and they should hire you.
Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. What did you do?” For further details and sample questions, see my earlier article on behavioral interviewing.


Interviewers appreciate this break and could use the time to drink some water, review their notes, or rest their hands from note taking. Three minutes is long enough to relate a story completely and short enough to hold the interviewer’s attention. By sticking to your planned details and structure, you can provide a consistent, concise, and well-reasoned answer. Supplementing each question with a distinct experience will help you portray a wide range of skills and interests. Acme wanted to display their new cardiac scanner to their vice president who was visiting the following week. In addition, based on the design’s complexity, I originally estimated that developing the prototype would take at least two weeks.
Since my clients were busy working on the rest of the CT-scanner, I offered to work with the suppliers.
For more questions to practice with, see my compilation of job interview questions categorized by personal attributes, career performance, communication skills, team skills, managerial skills, and leadership skills. By following this simple technique, you can narrate direct, meaningful, personalized experiences that best demonstrate your qualifications. The answers reveal how you have handled real-world situations in the past, which predict how you will probably behave in similar situations in the future. Numbers provide hard evidence that you did what you said you did, and put your achievement in context.
Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! Do not, however, ask the interviewer to repeat every question—the interviewer may doubt your ability to listen.
In preparation, I was asked to help develop the prototype of the CT-scanner’s new keyboard. Even more, they show how you think—how you approach and solve problems, which is a valuable thing to know about a potential employee. After my budget was approved, I chose two suppliers and spent three days supervising the manufacturing process.
On the first day, after studying the design, I proposed a modified, simpler version, which my clients accepted. Then, I worked with a third supplier to have the prototype carefully assembled, painted, and delivered the day before the vice president’s visit. The next day, I used my advanced CAD skills to digitally split the complex design into smaller components that could be manufactured individually and then assembled.



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