Five Common Behavior Questions in the Interview and What they are Evaluating

Landing a good job has never been easy, but applicants today often find themselves facing an evaluation method that is relatively new.

The basic process is still quite familiar, fill out an application or submit your resume and then wait to hear back for an interview. It is in the interview room that things have changed significantly with the addition of behavior questions. If you are about to embark on a job hunt journey, here are the five most common behavior questions you can expect, and what they are evaluating.

  • Give an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem.
  • Describe a decision you made that was not popular and how you implemented it.
  • Describe a stressful situation at work and how you dealt with the stress.
  • Tell about a time you did not agree with company policy and how you handled it. What did you do in this situation?
  • Describe a time when you reached a goal and the steps you took to achieve it.

Evaluation Method

What exactly is the interviewer trying to discover with questions like the ones above? Behavior interviews are meant to look at how you handled workplace situations in the past. With a look into past behavior, they get a good indication of how you will perform in the future. Regardless of the position applied for or the exact questions, your potential employer uses the star method to evaluate your answers.

  • S- is the answer specific
  • T- what task was completed, what did you do in a given situations
  • A- Action taken
  • R- what was the end result?

Preparing for the Interview

Understanding the reason for the questions and how your answers will be scored puts you several steps ahead of other applicants. It never hurts to go the extra mile to be prepared. Practicing the Q&A section of your interview can help you polish your responses, particularly in the area of specifics. Research all the potential behavior questions you could run into for your field of expertise. These are the five most common, but some positions may focus more on conflict resolution or leadership skills so you need to be prepared.

Take the time to become very familiar with your resume, particularly if it has been a while since you updated the information. By doing this you can be ready to answer behavior questions specifically by pointing to your position at company X.

Final Thoughts

Behavior based questions are the new normal for interviews. Even Walmart and Home Depot use a variation on these for their entry level positions. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you will face and keep the STAR scoring method in mind.

 

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