When students appear for a job interview, they come across different behavioural questions. The purpose of these questions is to evaluate how a candidate would behave at the workplace.
Why Are the Behavioral Interview Questions Important for Students?
Employers want to evaluate your decision-making abilities. They want to know your capabilities about handling particular situations at the workplace. Every type of organization uses behavioural interview method. This method is in contrast to the conventional job interview questions that require you to explain how you performed a job or to describe qualification. The behavioural interview questions demand you to provide the concrete examples of your experiences and skills related to the job position directly.
Generally, interviewers present a situation in front of you and ask you about your line of action when you have come across a similar situation in the past. In response, you need to explain what you exactly did comprehensively. The logic or the line of action that you will provide may play an instrumental role in your selection.
Following are the important tips for answering Top 10 behavioural interview questions.
10 Behaviour-based interview Questions and Suggested Answers
You do not need to memorize the answers to the questions. However, you should keep in mind the possible responses and present them confidently.
1. Describe the situation when you worked successfully under pressure.
What they Aim to Know: If you are a candidate for a high-stress job, the interviewer would like to know how effectively you can perform under pressure. Provide a real example as to how you have dealt with pressure previously.
For example, you can quote a sample of your internship that you were doing as a student. You can explain that you were working on a project, and you needed to deliver that to the client within 60 days. Your supervisor approached you and instructed that you required to expedite the process and make it ready in 40 days. You considered it a challenge for yourself, and you worked extra hours to complete the project. Eventually, you succeeded in achieving the target within 38 days. This example would indicate your commitment and dedication toward your work.
2. How do you cope with a challenge?
What they Aim to Know: Through this question, the interviewer wants to know how you would react in a challenging situation. While responding to this question, focus on the instance when you have resolved a difficult situation.
Example: Once, your supervisor had to go out of the town for an essential piece of work, and you had to assume the role of the acting supervisor. Despite that fact that you were a student and new to the job as a sales associate, you worked overnight to make the presentation. To bring perfection in work, you consulted with other seniors and managers. Finally, you managed to complete the presentation on-time and presented in front of the client.
3. If you have made any mistake, how did you handle it?
What they Aim to Know: The interviewers want to have an idea of how do you handle mistakes. Professionals may make mistakes in their career, but the important thing is to rectify them in a timely manner.
Example for you: Once, you wrongly quoted the price of a product in the quotation that you made. You realized your mistake immediately and approached your supervisor to explain the matter. The supervisor appreciated your honest attitude, and then you prepared a revised quotation and sent it back to the client.
4. How do you set targets?
What they Aim to Know: Planning skills are always relevant in life and professional career. The primary purpose of this question is to get an idea as to how you plan and work to achieve your goals.
Example: As you are a student and your target is to pay your college fee for the next semester. For this purpose, you set a goal to earn a reasonable amount within four months to pay your fee for the next term. To follow this plan, you started looking for part-time work. In the daytime you attended classes, and in leisure time, you did job hunting.
5. Provide an example, how you achieved Your Goal
What they Aim to Know: The hiring staff wants to know the steps you take to achieve your goals.
Example: As a student, you were looking for part-time work. After a considerable effort, you succeeded in landing a job as a sales associate in an online marketing firm. Initially, the company gives you a target of selling 100 units within a month. Also, you have a personal aim of saving money to pay college fees after five months. You put in your effort, and you consult with your seniors.
As a result, you managed to complete the assigned target in the first month. For your achievement, you earn a bonus on top of your salary. However, you do not spend your amount lavishly. Instead, you start saving it. By the end of the fifth month, you had enough money to pay your college dues. In this way, you successfully achieved both your personal and company targets.
6. Describe an instance when you made an unpopular decision and explain how you handled it?
What they Aim to Know: Interviewers want to know how you make difficult decisions because in the management role. Often you have to make unpopular decisions. But, in the long run, they may prove to be beneficial for the organization.
Example: You were working as a sales associates, and the company required you to achieve 100% target by the end of the month. You were close to reaching your goal, but suddenly you realized that some of the units were slightly defective.
You immediately stopped your sales and forwarded those units back to the Quality Assurance department. From the sales point of view, you could have sold those units to complete your target as those units had a minor defect. You made an unpopular decision from the sales perspective, but ethically you were correct and safeguarded the company’s image.
7. How you effectively worked in a team?
What they Aim to Know: Many jobs require candidates to work in a team and make an effective contribution. Therefore, interviewers want to know if you are cooperative enough to work in a team.
Example: During your fourth semester in the college, you were working as a sales associate in a team comprising five members. One of your coworkers had to go for an urgent piece of work and left the office. Before leaving, he requested you to complete the task that was due on his part. You happily agreed to cooperate and completed the task for him even though you had to do any additional work for 1 hour after completing your shift.
8. How Do you handle a disagreement with someone at the workplace?
What they Aim to Know: At the workplace, different issues may arise. Keeping this aspect in view, hiring managers want to evaluate your abilities in dealing with any issue/disagreement.
Example: As a student, you were working in a team as a sales associate, one of your senior coworkers committed with a client about 25-day credit. This is against the company’s policies as the company only allows maximum credit for 20 days.
You gently rectified the mistake of your colleague, but he was not willing to listen to you and started arguing. You avoided the argument and softly asked him to check guidelines of company’s policies and consult with the duty manager. Your gentle attitude encouraged him to pay attention to your advice. Eventually, he managed to correct his mistake.
9. Share an instance when you successfully motivated your coworker?
What they Aim to Know: Interviewers want to check if you possess motivational skills?
Suggested Answer: You were working in a group of 5 people in an organization as a sales associate. One of your colleagues failed to achieve his monthly target for the month. As a result, he got demotivated and decided to leave the job.
You consoled your disappointed colleague and motivated him that with a little effort, he will be able to hit the targets. Also, you offered your full cooperation and helped him. Within a few weeks, your assistance and guidance enabled your colleague to get on track, and he regained his interest in the job.
10. How You handled an adverse situation?
What they Aim to Know: In an organization, circumstances do not remain the same all the time. At times, employees have to face difficult situations. Therefore, interviewers seek to evaluate candidates on how they handle tough cases.
Example: In your organization, you came to know that one of your colleagues became addicted to drugs. Coincidently, your colleague is also your classmate as you are studying in a college. You are working in a team, and it becomes difficult for you to handle this situation. If you pay attention to her, your work will suffer.
Finally, you decided to arrange a treatment and rehabilitation program for her during the weekends. On every weekend, she received treatment. After a month, your colleague and classmate recovered, and she actively started working and studying.
When students appear for a job interview, they have to deal with a variety of behavioural questions. To be successful, they need to prepare for such questions in advance and reply with full confidence during the interview. This article discusses the frequently asked behavioural questions and their possible answers to guide students in their professional careers.