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How to Ace Behavioural Job Interview Questions

Step 1: Take a blank piece of paper and write down between 10-20 examples from your education, work experience, community work, charity etc of where you added value in a positive way.

Step 2: Now using the STAR format write out the Situation, Task, Action, Result

Example 1:

"Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it."

Situation:

My role as project manager was to ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget.

Task:

My last role involved combining three office spaces into one. With a tight deadline of 90 and dealing with multiple contractors from different companies I knew it was going to be a struggle to complete the job in time. I set the goal of having everything completed within 80 days to give us 10 days at the end to make final corrections.

Action:

By dividing all the different contractors into three main teams and having three project managers controlling the three teams I was able to create a more efficient and effective work timetable and ensure that downtime was kept to a minimum.

Result:

As a result of this more efficient working time we completed the job on time and reduced costs by 15%. This new way of dividing contractors into smaller teams has now been implemented into standard work procedure and seen a reduction in overall costs.

Example 2:

(Question is asked to a student or graduate)

"Tell me about a time during school when you displayed good leadership skills."

(Situation) "As a senior member of the debating team, (Task) I noticed that the team performance and moral was being deteriorated due to fighting between two members of the team. (Action) I decided to speak one on one with each individual away from the groups in order to create an environment where they could trust me and open up to me with the issues.

(Result) After speaking with both individuals I was able to convince them to meet face to face and sort out the issues with me as the mediator as opposed to getting teachers involved. As a result the two individuals were able to sort out their differences, shake hands and our team was able to function again as a complete team working together.

As you can see from both examples, the key to interviewing success is simply preparing for the questions and having a mental outline to follow when responding to each question. Preparing stories or examples that illustrate how you solved the problem or how you performed in an outstanding way will help you respond to any behavioural question that comes your way.

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