March 20, 2023
Knowing what type of questions you’re going to face in a job interview is a great way to prepare for whatever they might throw at you. The fear of the unknown is often why individuals struggle with pre-interview nerves. But when you’ve prepared for a wide range of questions and know your CV inside out, it becomes a lot easier to feel relaxed and at ease in an interview setting. And this is when you’ll be able to show your best side.
Behavioural questions ask you to think about how you would respond to a workplace situation. They commonly start with “tell me about a time when…” This type of question is classified as a behavioural query, as it looks at how you respond to specific and general situations, allowing the employer to get a better idea about who you are as a person.
The best way to answer this type of question is with a specific example to help illustrate your point. You can begin your answer more generally but then move into a specific example. This helps you to highlight your work experience, show that you have been in this type of situation before, and backs up your statement about how you handle specific situations.
If you’re preparing for an interview, try answering some of the following questions. We’ve included example answers to help you focus on the information that matters the most.
“I recently contributed to a white paper that was picked up by our local council and the recommendations were implemented in a local scheme. I got involved with this voluntarily as it would be outside of the remit of my usual job description, but I was really happy to help shape the project. I took on the role of project manager, as we didn’t have anyone on the team with these skills. We had some bumps along the way, as we were all from different departments and had never worked together before, but the end result was certainly worth it.”
“As a team leader, I often have to step in to resolve conflicts between my colleagues. I’ve learned to remove the emotional side and get to the heart of the conflict, which is usually just a difference in working styles. When both sides can recognise that neither is wrong – they just have a different approach and perspective – we can usually work together to find a way forward that respects all working styles.”
“In my previous role, we had very regular appraisals that I felt were damaging to team morale. Instead of being framed in a positive light, they were seen as a time to pick apart performance and make individuals feel like they weren’t working hard enough.
I raised this issue with my line manager during one appraisal and he said that he wasn’t aware the team felt this way about the feedback. Initially, he took this as a sign that I was trying to dodge scrutiny, but after a few other people raised this issue, he conceded that he wasn’t approaching the appraisals in the right way.
They were then reduced to annual appraisals with a monthly opportunity for employees to check in, but this wasn’t mandatory. After this, the team used the time to offer suggestions and were able to work together more effectively as a team once they stopped feeling like they were only working towards the next appraisal.”Back to Blog