Behavioral interview questions are based on the theory that past behavior is a strong predictor of future behavior. The interviewer asks specific questions seeking information about candidate’s skills, character, and performance based on examples of past behavior. By using these answers, the interviewer can rate the candidate based on past actions, not “gut feelings” or “intuition.”

For an interview, it is important to practice how you will respond to common interview questions as well as behavioral ones. The key in behavioral interviewing is to “paint a picture” of the reasons on why they should hire you without bringing in unessential details.

Describe a time when you have improved procedures in your company. Be specific. 

Tell me about a high-stress situation when you needed to keep a positive attitude. What happened? 

Give me examples of how you turned an unprofitable branch and/or area into a profitable one. 

Describe a time you made an error. Why did you miss the mistake? How did you handle the situation?

Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?

Describe a long-term project that you managed. How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?

The STAR Method

  • star method example infographic for behavioral interview questions

A technique to help you answer behavioral interview questions is the STAR Method. This technique allows you to easily tailor your responses to the questions asked.

SituationDescribe the situation you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish.
Task – What goal were you working toward?
Action – What were the actions you took to address or solve the situation?
Result – What were the results or outcome of your actions?

STAR Method Examples

Example Question 1: Describe a time when you have improved procedures in your company. Be specific.

While my company’s recruiters would typically read resumes one-by-one, they also spent time interviewing and training candidates. This took a lot of time away from their day. I thought it would be a good idea to develop a method that manually scans the resumes. I created a software that would search for keywords relevant to the position needing to be placed. It then sorted the resumes based on keywords in a database. With the software in use, many of our recruiters spent more time working with top candidates increasing placements by 10 percent.

Example Question 2: Tell me about a high-stress situation when you needed to keep a positive attitude. What happened?

When there are high-stress situations, I always try to step up as a team leader. Stress usually affects the majority of our team. I think my communication skills not only make me a team leader but help everyone maintain a positive attitude. For example, when working on a large project, our manager pushed the deadline closer. Two teammates became stressed and initiated an argument on how to deal with the situation. I created weekly team meetings where everyone touched base on smaller goals and deadlines. This made us more productive and we met the new deadline.

Example Question 3: Describe a time you made an error. Why did you miss the mistake? How did you handle the situation?

When I worked as an intern, one of my responsibilities included ordering high-grade paper for finalized accountant proposals. I accidentally ordered the paper to an address across town where I was first interviewed. I immediately informed my boss of the mistake and apologized. I also suggested a way to rectify the situation. She agreed and I ended up taking an earlier lunch break, driving to the location, picking up the package and bringing it back to the office. I printed out all the proposals an hour before the accountants needed them. Everyone met the proposal deadline.

If you have difficulty with interviews, IT Resources can help you polish up your resume and interviewing skills as well as interview questions to ask an employer. Additionally, we can direct you toward a job suited to your interest. We work hard to place professionals with top companies nationwide. Our career counselors give your personal attention throughout your job search; you are never just a number to us. Contact us to get started today.

Check out our other Interview Resources: 

Behavioral interviewing is based on the theory that past behavior is a strong predictor of future behavior. The interviewer asks specific questions seeking information about candidate’s skills, character, and performance based on examples of past behavior. By using these answers, the interviewer can rate the candidate based on past actions, not “gut feelings” or “intuition.”

For an interview, it is important to practice how you will respond to common interview questions as well as behavioral ones. The key in behavioral interviewing is to “paint a picture” of the reasons why you should be hired without bringing in unessential details.

Describe a time when you have improved procedures in your company. Be specific. 

Tell me about a high-stress situation when you needed to keep a positive attitude. What happened? 

Give me examples of how you turned an unprofitable branch and/or area into a profitable one. 

Describe a time you made an error. Why did you miss the mistake? How did you handle the situation?

Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?

Describe a long-term project that you managed. How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?

The STAR Method

A technique to help you answer behavioral interview questions is the STAR Method. This technique allows you to easily tailor your responses to the questions asked.

SituationDescribe the situation you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish.
Task – What goal were you working toward?
Action – What were the actions you took to address or solve the situation?
Result – What were the results or outcome of your actions?

STAR Method Examples

  • star method example infographic for behavioral interview questions

Example Question 1: Describe a time when you have improved procedures in your company. Be specific.

While my company’s recruiters would typically read resumes one-by-one, they also spent time interviewing and training candidates. This took a lot of time away from their day. I thought it would be a good idea to develop a method that manually scans the resumes. I created a software that would search for keywords relevant to the position needing to be placed. It then sorted the resumes based on keywords in a database. With the software in used, many of our recruiters spent more time working with top candidates increasing placements by 10 percent.

Example Question 2: Tell me about a high-stress situation when you needed to keep a positive attitude. What happened?

When there are high-stress situations, I always try to step up as a team leader. Stress usually affects the majority of our team. I think my communication skills not only make me a team leader but help everyone maintain a positive attitude. For example, when working on a large project, our manager pushed a deadline closer. Two teammates became stressed and initiated an argument on how to deal with the situation. I created weekly team meetings where everyone touched base on smaller goals and deadlines. This made use more productive, less stressed, and we met the new deadline.

Example Question 3: Describe a time you made an error. Why did you miss the mistake? How did you handle the situation?

When I worked as an intern, one of my responsibilities included ordering high-grade paper for finalized accountant proposals. I accidentally ordered the paper to an address across town. I immediately informed my boss of the mistake and apologized. I also suggested a way to rectify the situation. She agreed and I ended up taking an earlier lunch break, driving to the location, picking up the package and bringing it back to the office. I printed out all the proposals an hour before the accountants needed them. Everyone met the proposal deadline.

If you have difficulty with interviews, IT Resources can help you polish up your resume and interviewing skills as well as interview questions to ask an employer. Additionally, we can direct you toward a job suited to your interest. We work hard to place professionals with top companies nationwide. Our career counselors give your personal attention throughout your job search; you are never just a number to us. Contact us to get started today.

Check out our other Interview Resources: