How to Tackle Behavioural Questions

Behavioural questions are designed to check whether you have the desired skillset and how you have applied it in real-life situations. While they give you a chance to show your ability to act in certain scenarios, behavioural questions are also an opportunity to let your personality shine through and stand out.

It is essential that you answer this question concisely and not get side-tracked. The best way to answer behavioural questions is by using the STAR technique:

S: Situation (Set the context)

T: Task (What did you have to do, why did you do it, what were the challenges/opportunities)

A: Action (What did you do, how did you do it)

R: Result (What did you (or didn’t) achieve, what lessons did you learn)

Example: Tell me about a time when you reached a goal at work. How did you reach it?

At my current company, we’d been experiencing a low number of website enquiries about our services and therefore the sales went down by 23%. I suggested to my manager that I’d run a paid social media campaign to generate 50 strong leads and recover the losses. I planned, executed and monitored the campaigns on Twitter and LinkedIn. Thanks to aggressive MVT, I managed to adjust the targetting of the campaign. I ended up exceeding my target and generating 71 leads. I achieved an ROI of 2.5 and improved sales by 18% quarter on quarter.

Behavioural Questions: Interview Tips

The STAR formula is pretty straightforward. Without further ado, here are our tips on how to master your STAR answer!

  • Choose a relevant example – before you start talking, ask yourself – is this really the best example I can use? Don’t rush.
  • Talk about yourself – you should take ownership of your own actions and the outcomes you produced. After all, they are considering hiring you, not the team.
  • Keep it simple, stupid – each of the STAR components should be 1-2 sentences long. Keep it concise!
  • Be specific – you don’t need to go into every detail, but you can’t be too vague either.
  • Ensure the outcome reflects positively on you – even if you use an example where not everything went exactly as you wished, show that you learnt a lesson from failure.
  • Rehearse – Here are the most common questions that are asked in interviews. Think of situations you can use as examples.

Examples of Behavioural Questions

(via The BalanceCareers and BetterTeam)

Communication

  • What would you do if you misunderstood an important communication on the job?
  • Tell me about a time you had to relay bad news to a client or colleague.
  • What would you do if you there was a breakdown in communication at work?

Teamwork

  • What do you do if you disagree with your boss?
  • Give an example of how you’ve worked on a team.
  • How would you handle it if there was a problem with a member of your team not doing their fair share or work?

Coping in a high-stress environment

  • Tell me about a time when you had to meet an important deadline. How did you make sure you would deliver results on time?
  • What has been the most stressful situation you have ever found yourself in at work? How did you cope with it?
  • What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it?

Dealing with failure

  • Tell me about a time when you received negative feedback from your colleagues. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
  • Did you ever not meet your goals? Why?

Leadership

  • Tell me about a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you found our behavioural questions tips useful. If you are currently looking for a new role in Data, Digital or Tech, please get in touch. 

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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