Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interviewing is a questioning technique that asks the interviewee to give real-world examples of how you have handled specific events and challenges in your academics or the workplace. You will be asked to provide evidence that you have the skills required for the position. Behavioral interviewing is based on the belief that past behavior predicts future performance. Using the STAR technique will help you highlight relevant pieces of your example and give structure to your answer.

STAR TECHNIQUE

Situation: Describe a specific situation.

Task: Describe the problem that needed to be solved or the task that needed to be completed.

Action: Explain the steps taken to complete the task and the skills used. Be sure to keep the focus on you, even if you are discussing a group project.

Results: What happened? How did the situation end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?

TIPS FOR THE STAR TECHNIQUE

Come up with three to five different situations that could answer a few of the questions below. Practice talking through these situations. This way, you will have a bank of a few situations to choose from, rather than every situation you have ever experienced and you'll know what to say. Don't forget the RESULTS part of STAR! Your interviewers will want to know how your story ends. Practice, practice, practice! Have a friend ask you some questions, practice in front of the mirror, write out your answers and don't forget to make an appointment for a mock interview with Career Services!

SAMPLE BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS

  • Describe the biggest challenge you've had in your last job or internship and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about a situation when you had to learn something new in a short time. How did you do this?
  • Give us an example of a situation in which you had to use your leadership skills.
  • Summarize a situation where you had to generate a new idea or suggestion at work or school and tell me about how you got this idea implemented.
  • How have you most constructively dealt with disappointment?
  • Describe a situation where you had to work with a difficult boss, professor or co-worker. How did you successful interact with this person?
  • Can you recall a time when you delivered more than was expected of you?
  • Tell me about a time when you used logic to solve a problem.
  • Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
  • What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give us an example of how you handle it.
  • Have you had a chance to convince a team to work on a project they weren't thrilled about? How did you do it?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked effectively under pressure.
  • Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses at work that tested your coping skills. What did you do?
  • Give an example of a time when you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
  • Give me an example of an important goal you had to set and tell me about your progress in reaching that goal.
  • Describe the most creative work-related project you have completed.
  • Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job and tell me how you solved it.
  • Tell me about a situation in the past year in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or coworker.
  • What accomplishment has given you the greatest satisfaction?
  • Tell me about a time when you made a poor decision and how you corrected it.
  • Tell me about a time when you worked as part of a team and one team member wasn't carrying his/her weight.

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