How many of you have faced a situation wherein you are in the interview room, the interview is going great, and all of a sudden the interviewer asks you a question and you cannot recall anything. You get nervous, start perspiring, and out of your nervousness, you start to speak anything… anything which does not even make sense?

Questions like these are called behavioural questions through which an interviewer tries to understand the behavioural traits of a candidate or how he/she reacts or behaves in a particular situation, and many times these can be the make or break questions.

Questions like ‘Tell me about a time when…..’, or ‘What do you do when……..’ are referred to as behavioural questions. These questions put a candidate under stress if he/she fails to remember about situations depicting the particular behaviour, hence, dropping the chances of him/her sailing through it.

Before appearing for an interview it is good to be prepared for such questions and the best way to handle these questions is the “STAR” method. When you face a behavioural question you need to calmly think about the particular situation and explain it to the interviewer in a systematic way. This is exactly what the STAR method helps you to do.

But what is the STAR method?

It is a technique through which one can put forth their answers in a systematic and presentable way. STAR stands for –

Situation: Talk about a situation wherein you have demonstrated the behaviour which the interviewer is asking about.

Task: What was the goal that was to be achieved?

Action: What action did you take?

Result: What was the outcome of your action?

Always take time to explain the situation you are referring to, to make your point, talk about the context, and the problem that was to be dealt with followed by what was being expected of you or what was the goal that was to be achieved to deal with the situation. Once the situation and the task have been explained, tell the interviewer about the actions you took to take care of the situation. Always focus on your actions, what you did to make the situation better. In the end, talk about the result that was achieved. Even if the result was negative, talk about your actions that will portray exactly what the interviewer wants to know.

How to determine what behavioural questions to prepare and how to prepare them?

One cannot prepare for every behavioural trait for an interview. To find what traits to prepare for, analyze the role that you are interviewing for and try to identify what behavioural traits might be needed for that role, and prepare your answers for those traits only. In most cases, the interviewer wants to understand how you will deal with problems at work or how do you analyze situations. So, try to present your answer properly and thoroughly. Never try to make up stories, because you might stumble on the leading questions the interviewer asks.

One question that freshers often ask me is how can they answer such questions when they don’t have any corporate experience. In such a case, the fresher can pick situations from college or even personal life (not too personal).

Some Examples of Behavioural Questions

Following are some of the most common behavioural questions:

  • How do you handle stressful situation?

  • Tell me about a time when you demonstrated good leadership qualities.

  • Tell me about a time when you helped the team to finish the work before the deadline despite unfavourable conditions.

  • Tell me about a time when you demonstrated good team spirit.

  • Have you ever faced difficulties? If yes, how did you tackle it?

  • Describe a situation in which you were able to persuade someone successfully to see things your way.

At ileadHR, we have been successfully training the students and professionals on how they can best prepare themselves for the job interview.

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