Interviews are by no means easy to ace. Where questions aimed at job description are concerned, candidates can usually handle them with a little bit of research.
Since these questions are primarily aimed at finding out what a candidate knows about the position he or she has applied for, it is a given that candidates prepare for them beforehand.
However, where behavioral interview questions are concerned, many candidates fail to impress prospective employers. They concentrate on how much they know about their job.
We tend to forget that job knowledge is not all that an employer is looking for. How an individual will behave once he or she is hired is also of great importance since there are customers to think about.
So what do behavioral interview questions target?
They target many things including an individual’s ability to work with peers, handle customers and manage stressful situations. All these are ingredients of a good employee.
Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers
Tell us about a significant change that occurred in your previous job. How did you adapt? (Adaptability)
I was working as a customer services supervisor for five years. One day I was told that there were some “structural changes” in the present hierarchy and that a manager was being hired to whom I will be required to report to. Since all my reporting was done to the director, this made me feel very insecure. However, I managed to be adult about the situation and gracefully accept my new role. I did not take it personally and managed to work just as successfully as I was earlier.
Can you tell us about some project or idea that you were involved in which was successful primarily due to your efforts? (Ambition)
I was wholly engaged in this marketing project. Our challenge was to market a food product to an adult audience that was initially only used by children. It seemed almost impossible to come up with plausible ways to sell it. So I suggested a tagline which I believe helped in lifting it off the ground and making it successful. The slogan was “Enjoy It with Your Little Ones.”
Describe a project that you worked on which demonstrated your analytic abilities. (Analytic Thinking)
The company that I was working for was involved in a very complex project that required much research before the takeoff phase. While the research was handled quite well by the concerned project members, statistical data was not correctly analyzed so there was much delay in the takeoff. For the longest time, we could not figure out what we needed to look at to make things workable. After much deliberation, I managed to figure out that we were not incorporating information derived from a particular survey into the project planning.
Tell us about a time when you had to handle an angry customer. How did you handle the situation? (Relationship Building)
A regular customer had not realized that the carpet he was buying from us was not hand woven despite the tag explicitly stating “machine made”. He called me and complained. He was furious and wanted a refund. Since the company did not have a refund policy, I explained very politely that a customer is required to see all aspects of purchase before he makes payments. I promised him a good discount on his next purchase since he was a regular customer. He was satisfied.