Identifying and Answering Behavioral Questions
Behavioral interview questions usually start by stating one of the following, so use these as clues to help you recognize this type of questioning:
- Tell me about a time…
- Give me an example…
- Discuss a time…
- Describe a recent situation…
- Walk me through a situation…
Once you have identified that it is a behavior based question, refer to your “Key Career Accomplishments/Challenges” notes that you created to start pulling together your STAR response.
- What is a STAR response?
- Situation: Describe the Situation
- Task: Explain Task or Problem
- Action: Describe the Specific Action You Took
- Result: Give Specific Consequences
- By answering a question using STAR, it will help ensure that you completely describe your answer and will “paint the picture” to your interviewer.
Notes on Behavioral Based Responses:
- Think specific
- Don’t say “usually, always, or never”
- Say “I” (this is your personal story you are sharing)
- Be prepared for negative questions
- Was the result positive? Measurable?
- Be concise – Train your internal clock to give a one to two minute response, at that point wrap up your answer. This will allow your interviewer to ask follow-up questions while still fresh in their minds with the limited interview time available.