Behavioral Interview Questions

What They’re Really Asking

Interview questions are a challenge. It can be difficult to understand what is really being asked, which makes them difficult to answer properly. Knowing what the hidden meaning is allows you to focus your answer and provide better responses.

It can be confusing when you are presented with a behavioral interview question. These may seem more personal than they need to be, but you should be confident that there is a good reason behind it. They may be checking about a specific issue in the past that they want to ensure will not apply to you, gauge your enthusiasm for the position, or simply try to gain general information about how well you will perform.

Points to Emphasize

Because the specific question is unknown, any number of answers could be appropriate. When asked about your behavior, your attitude and tone when answering may be more important.

· Be honest. Do not think about what they want to hear. In actuality, they want a truthful answer more than anything.

  • Be open. You should not be afraid of answering. It can be uncomfortable, but it is best to tell them what they are wondering about. Being closed off will not give a good impression.

  • Be positive. Maintain a good attitude and be confident in your answers.

  • Be friendly. Your communication and self-reflective abilities are also on display with these questions. You will want to show that you can connect with others.

    Mistakes You Should Avoid

    There are more pitfalls you can fall into than points you should emphasize. Be especially careful you do not make any of these common mistakes.

    · Do not be embarrassed. Confidence goes a long way with these questions.

  • Do not exaggerate. Hiring managers hear answers to these questions often. They can usually spot when the truth is being stretched.

  • Do not read too much into them. Just answer the question that is asked.

  • Do not be too nonspecific. Examples from your work history inspire more confidence.

    Sample Answer

    You never know what behavioral interview question you might be asked. You will need a specific answer to match your question, but a strong answer will be similar to this one. This example answers the question, “Are you a team player?”

    When I was working at my previous job, I was part of a very tight team. We worked together on numerous projects, which were usually very successful. Even in the rare instance where the project failed, our teamwork was never compromised. We all accepted responsibility together and worked harder to fix our shortcomings as a unit.

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