The phrasing of these questions may vary from interview to interview; however, the general intent of the question typically remains the same. As a result, it might be helpful to prepare your answers with this in mind. Try to identify a couple of professional experiences per question that would highlight the strengths you will need to succeed in that job. Again, that is why it is important to review and understand the job description and required skills, so you can help employers envision how you might respond to challenges that might arise while you employed in that position.
- Share an example of a time when you faced a difficult problem at work. How did you solve this problem?
- Have you ever had to make an unpopular decision? How did you handle it?
- Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure at work. How did you react?
- Tell me about a mistake you’ve made. How did you handle it?
- Share an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision. What did you do?
- Explain a situation where you used data or logic to make a recommendation.
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss. How did you resolve it?
- Describe a time when you had to deliver bad news. How did you do it?
- Tell me about a time you worked with other departments to complete a project.
- Share an example of a time when you failed. What did you learn from the experience?
- Tell me about a time when you set and achieved a specific goal.
- Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to do something.
- Describe a time when you had a conflict with a colleague. How did you handle it?
- Have you ever had to motivate others? How did you do it?
Tell me about the last time your workday ended before you were able to get everything done.
- What was your relationship with the best boss you ever had?
- What’s been the toughest criticism you received so far in your career? What did you do with it?
Can you tell us about a time you took initiative on a project or a task at work?
- How do you approach a task that you’ve never done before?
- Can you tell me about the last time you had to act and there was no formal policy or procedure on how to do so?
- Can you tell me about a time that you let someone down? How did you handle it?
- Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone you work with. Did you overcome that?
- Describe a time when you had to manage numerous responsibilities. How did you handle that?
- Tell me about a time you had to explain something difficult to someone who knew little about the topic.
- Describe a situation in which you knew you were right about something but had to follow instructions from your boss.
- Describe your first job to me. How did you learn the ropes at the company?
Tips for Answering Situational and Behavioral Questions
Aside from using the STAR method and preparing ahead of time, the following are some tips and suggestions:
- Think of Examples for Every Responsibility Listed on the Job Description: Try to hight direct examples. If you do not have any direct experience, share examples that might relate to the situation or where you are highlighting similar skills needed.
- Draw From the Job Description: Craft your answers, using the job description. This will help you show how you are a good fit for the job
- Give Yourself a Moment to Respond: Take a couple of seconds to pause and breath before answering a question. This will help you think of an example before answering the employer's question.
- Tell a Story that Relates to the Question Asked: You need to show that you are focused and can pay attention to detail.
- Be Positive: Although the question, may reflect on a negative experience, limit your story from focusing all about the negative part. Only spend enough time so the employer understands the context and then quickly proceed to showing the positive outcome - how you solved the problem and the results achieved.
- What is an Internship and What are the Benefits of Participating in One?
- Overview of the Internship Program at SMC and Eligibility
- CPT Eligibility Information for International Students Studying on an F-1 Visa
- Orientation Schedule and Deadlines
- Internship Program Forms
- Schedule an appointment with the Career Services Center to help you with resumes, portfolios, cover letters, interview preparation, career exploration, internship assistance, etc.