How to Answer Behavioural Based Questions Like a Ninja in Heels!!!

01 Apr 2014 | Naomi Marshall

It’s no secret that interviewing for a new role can be nerve wracking! This can mean that even the most basic behavioural based questions can throw you for six if you’re not prepared.

The biggest tip I can give is to know your work history inside out! Mentally prepare by thinking about various scenarios that you have experienced within the workplace. For example;

  • Closing a sale
  • Dealing with a difficult customer/client
  • Going over and above to please a customer/client
  • Meeting a deadline
  • Managing a project

Take the time to think about how you would explain each scenario succinctly, without missing crucial information. Practice explaining the scenarios out loud in front of a mirror and you may find that they are initially not as easy out loud as you thought. Without practice you could end up making one of the following key mistakes;

  • Missing crucial information, or explaining the situation out of order and being forced to backtrack (which could result in the interviewer being confused)
  • Stumbling over the explanation of the situation because you can’t remember the details
  • Generalising e.g. “we did that all the time” or “I did that every day”
  • Being stuck on the spot trying to bring the best examples to the forefront of your mind

Remember, if an interviewer is asking you to give them an example, they are looking for a specific example! They want to know what YOU did within the scenario and YOUR part in making it a success!

The mind thinks in pictures not words, therefore, you really need to paint a picture for the interviewer. Certain tasks and responsibilities may seem basic, or implied in your eyes, but you need to spell it out for the interviewer.

So…. to answer behavioural questions like a ninja in heels I suggest the S.T.A.R method;

SITUATION – Outline the scenario (what you/your team) was hoping to achieve.

TASKS – How did you decide on what tasks would rectify the situation (e.g. brainstorming session)?

ACTIONS – How did you roll it out? What actions did YOU specifically take?

RESULTS – What was the result? Was it positive/negative? What was your part in it? Would you have done anything differently if you had your time over?

It may sound logical, but I can’t tell you how many times clients come back to us rejecting candidates that are very capable, simply because those candidates failed to give detailed examples!

Prepare well and answer with S.T.A.R and you’ll be nailing those behavioural based questions in no time!


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