Perhaps you have been in an interview where you were asked a question that began with “give me an example when you…” or “tell me about a time when…” These are called behavioral interview questions and seek to probe into how you respond in certain work situations. They are based upon the idea that the best way to predict future behavior is through past behavior.
Behavioral interview questions can seem tough, but a cool (and well prepared) head can prevail. To answer a behavioral interview question, use the STAR method:
Situation/Task: Describe a situation or a task from your work history that best corresponds with the question asked. For example, if you were asked “tell me about a time when you disagreed with a supervisor,” discuss a situation where you had a disagreement. If you have never disagreed with your supervisor, try describing a time when you disagreed with another co-worker.
Action: Illustrate the action you took in this situation, emphasizing skills that would benefit a future employer such as being proactive, teamwork, solving problems, technical knowledge or anything else that you gather from your research.
Result: Finally, tell the result of your actions and what you learned. The result does not need to be favorable if you took something away that positively impacted your performance.