Friday, January 21, 2011

Difficult behavioral interview questions: how to answer them

The most difficulast behavioral interview questions force you to look at times where things went wrong, and how you handled that situation. Certainly it is easier to answer the questions where we triumphed with a certain amount of bravado and confidence but what about the times where it didn't go so well? I have found it is important to be honest. Use the STAR technique. But also add some information about what you learned, indeed how you would do things better. Try your hand at some of these:

1. Describe the most significant or creative presentation that you have had to complete.
2. Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
3. Sometimes it's easy to get in "over your head." Describe a situation where you had to request help or assistance on a project or assignment.
4. Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
5. Describe a situation in which you found that your results were not up to your professor's or supervisor's expectations. What happened? What action did you take?
6. Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the work. Who, if anyone, did you tell or talk to about it? Did the manager take any steps to correct your colleague? Did you agree or disagree with the manager's actions?
7. Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise.
8. In a supervisory or group leader role, have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee or group member? What was the nature of the discipline? What steps did you take? How did that make you feel? How did you prepare yourself?
9. Compare and contrast the times when you did work which was above the standard with times your work was below the standard.
10. Describe some times when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance. What
11. What kind of supervisor do you work best for? Provide examples.
12. Tell of the most difficult customer service experience that you have ever had to handle -- perhaps an angry or irate customer. Be specific and tell what you did and what was the outcome.
13. Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. Why was this person difficult? How did you handle that person?
14. Describe a situation where you found yourself dealing with someone who didn't like you. How did you handle it?

Bracing yourself for difficult behavioral interview questions will certainlty give you more dimension, and demonstrate resilience, if you can prepare for these curve balls in advance.

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