How to answer Behavioural Interview Questions

It’s time to learn how to answer Behavioural Interview Questions.  In addition to the basics from arriving on time for your interview to being confident and friendly, we can address the dreaded Behavioural Questions.

Photo by: Vadim Sherbakov

Some preparation and practice in answering these difficult by design behavioural questions will put you in contention for the job you are applying for.

The purpose of behavioural questions are to asses how you have handled set situations in the past.  In other words giving an indication how you will handle situations in the future.

Note that you need to describe a situation where you faced a challenge and rose above it.  The interviewer wants to find out if you are a good fit for the position and for the company.

Practising your answers to Behavioural Questions, will set you apart from your competition.

Interviews aren’t really about finding out who you are as a person.  It’s all about the if you will be a good fit for the position at the company you’ve applied for. Remember to answer the questions with this in mind.

Interview prep for dummies
Interview Prep for Dummies


The challenge comes in when you are interviewing for your first job.  Your experience is lacking and in addition have no relevant work stories to refer back to. Don’t worry, any personal situation you can describe will do. For example a reference to how you rose above in a school or social setting.

Put yourself in the mindset to formulate a good answer that will show off your skills and strengths to your advantage.  Show the the interviewer that there is only one strong candidate for the job. Once again being prepared will do this, you will seem polished and confident without looking distracted or nervous.  As a result this will prevent you from fumbling around for a good answer. We are aiming for Calmness.

Interview tips

The S.T.A.R. Method is very popular and effective

1. Situation: Open with a brief description of the Situation and context of the success story (who, what, where, when and how).

2. Task: Explain the Task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraint (eg deadlines, costs, other issues).

3. Action: Describe the specific Actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc)

5. Result: Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible.

The S.T.A.R. method seems like a lot of work but just think how much work you put into preparing for your matric exams. It’s definitely worth the effort to master one of the trickiest parts of taking an interview. Just think of the good impression you will make.

Have a look at a text book answer laid out below.

STAR Method

Behavioral Interview Questions And Answers 101

Classic examples of Behavioural Questions:

  • “Tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment.”
  • “Do you feel you work well under pressure? If so, describe a time when you have done so.”
  • “Tell us about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem.”
  • “Describe an incident of conflict at work and how you handled it .”
  • “Tell us about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.”
  • “Provide a detailed account about a time where you had to delegate tasks during a project.”
  • “Give us an example of a time when you motivated others.”

Working through these types of questions is good preparation and will take the discomfort out of answering them. Knowing how to formulate your answers will help you succeed brilliantly.



    1. Thanks so much for your positive feedback, it means so much to me, I am also trying to find my way in the blogging world

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