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Don't get STUMPED by tricky interview questions! Instead, learn how to answer them effectively. In this video, career expert J.T. O'Donnell reveals her SECRET to answering behavior interview questions so you can crush your job interviews every time.
A behavioral interview questions is an open-ended questions, meaning it doesn't result in a one-word answer like “yes” or “no.”
Instead, it requires the interviewee to elaborate and give a more personalized answer. Hiring managers use behavioral interview questions to help determine if candidates have the skills or experience to do the job.
The best way to answer these types of questions is to structure your answers using the Experience, Learn, and Grow model.
Experience + Learn = Grow.
- Explain your experience. Share a situation you dealt with in the past. What was the problem or challenge that had to be overcome?
- Talk about how you overcame it and how you accomplished it.
- Explain how you’re going to take this lesson and use it to keep growing as professional so you can add even more value in similar situations in the future.
Here are some common behavioral interview questions you could get asked in your next interview:
- What's your greatest accomplishment on the job?
- Tell me about a difficult situation you encountered and how you overcame it.
- If I was to ask a co-worker about you, how would they describe you on-the-job?
- If someone came to you with an enthusiastic, yet unrealistic request, how would you handle it?
Take these three questions and start practicing structuring your answers using the Experience, Learn, and Grow method.
If you’re having a hard time even getting interviews, check out our free resource that could help address some issues that could be holding you back.
And, if you want J.T. and her team to help you become a pro at interviewing, negotiating and more, then you need to check out our Premium Subscription:
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Thank you so very much for your videos. I prepared for my interview using your tips particularly on follow-up questions and behavioral questions and they were so impressed with my answers they hired me on the spot. I admittedly struggle in interviews and I believe your advice really helped me polish my presentation. I was able to land the dream job I have been waiting for for over 4 years. So thank you thank you thank you!!!! I cannot say enough good things about your resources!
I was told by a few of my teachers I have a good cv and I templated some of my cover letters but I get very few reply’s I have experience in the administration, hospitality sectors but still no reply’s. When I was on work experience o got good feed back from the colleagues i worked with from answering the phone at reception to learning the computer system, I don’t know what else I can do I don’t want to do another 3 to 4 years In colleges.
Honestly hating this contrived interview style that employers ask.. the question should go something like this.. “explain to me how well youve researched behavioural interview questions on the internet, guessed which ones we might ask and then how you came up with a few answers for each.. and then how you rehearsed them until they flowed well and seemed natural, even if they were completely made up. Tell us about that..”
I find J.T.'s experience hard to believe. I mean, she got yelled at then she calmly explained to the customer then the customer gave her a 4 star rating??!?! In the real world, maybe in mine, that customer wouldnt event bother yelping with a 4 star.
In this context "greatest accomplishment" seems like a misnomer...or a precursor to even greater accomplishments down the line--because you learned, and after that experience could apply the learning/technique with ease, and get an even better result. I'm going to have to really think about this one!
The experience plus learn equals growth is great and it seems this question pops up on more interviews. More examples are needed though. one of the more difficult situations i have experienced has been applying for warehousing positions with dekalb and fulton counties in georgia. There are at least 12 behavior scenarios from work conflicts to crowning achievements. Worst still, that blank, lifeless expression on their faces. more examples are needed as in a battery of them for a variety of jobs.
I recommend to also review the STAR (Situation, Technique, Action, Results) technique. This is pretty much similar to the model that she is talking about. She is absolutely right, recruiters actually want you to answer questions following this model. Usually if you deviate from that, there is little chance they will call you back.
I subscribed, thank you. I'm interviewing for a pretty awesome position (2nd group interview) this Thursday, I've watched a few videos to brush up as I haven't interviewed in 3 years. I'm taking notes like crazy so I can remember these key tips. You're a GODSEND.
Use an event from your college experience or workshop or any other education or training you've had. You could even tell of a conflict that happened when you and your buddies went to the beach / concert/ dinner/ etc., just frame it appropriately, e.g. Once when a group (that I was a part of) was trying to decide on a course of action (read: what to order for desert / which movie or video game to pick etc) and had a hard time selecting an option that would satisfy everyone, I stepped in and suggested a compromise / suggested listing pro & contra of each option / suggested a creative way to do both/ etc. In the event your buddies didn't go along and dismissed you, say: Unfortunately, the group eventually went with someone else's solution, and that taught me to compromise / to be more open-minded / to learn to accept the group's decision, etc. Hope that helps.
fantastic videos, thank you. I would add that job seekers need to add at least 2 answers to each of these questions ... you can get a sneaky interviewer who asks - right after you gave a perfect answer by the way - .."ok good, tell me another example":
I will be having a job interview today and I’ve been polishing up on the company’s history and stats. I’ve also been watching tons of videos on interviewing and what to wear etc. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and keep up the good work!!
Great knowledge and insight being offered on this channel! Your videos are definitely helping to prepare me and showing me what I need to be aware of during this process. What seems like such a daunting experience actually isn't meant to be!
Thank you so much for your videos. I actually had an Interview today where 3 of those questions were asked. I couldn’t shake my nerves and got in my own way rambling a little but I can’t say i wasn’t prepared with the help of your vids.
I like your videos until you say "hit that subscribe button" up or down...well frankly speaking I think those who like your videos they'll do it immediately, no need to repeat it at the beginning and end of each video. Keep doing great job btw
Wonderful video!! However, how would you respond to someone who says that the answers need to be "short" ??? I thought your response to the customer service question was perfect, but I was advised a similar answer I gave was too long.
Question: as a recruiter: what do you do when you receive an amazing cv and cover letter, you call that person for an interview, passes, gets hired and after the person doesn't perform well or lied to you in every aspect of the recruitment process?
And have you ever asked yourself... What if a person who applied to a job, doesn't have the required experience, but it's a fast learner, and it's capable of doing that job... and you lost that person , instead hiring the one that has the experience but isn't motivated to work properly?
JT I have been getting a lot concerns from employees as to why I only stayed with certain companies for a little over a year...I had reasons not to be there...How would i go about answering this question better and not having them focus on just that reason? Thank you!
Does anyone have any advice of what to do once you get choked up in an interview? Sometimes I get nervous and stutter, or choke on my words. After that happens im not sure what to do because I get nervous. Any advice from anyone?
Acknowledge your feelings aloud, ask for a few moments, close your eyes, breathe in and out, then say, Ok, I'm ready to continue. By doing that you've just gave them an example of how you handle yourself in a stressful /emotional situation without falling apart. Trust me, they'll be impressed.
Try to breathe. Consciously breathe. Take a moment to focus on the question and how you would answer it, before doing so. You may be stuttering and nervous because you're focused on your performance in the interview. It's just an interview. Having a conversation with another. Recognize your own self worth, and move forward with inner confidence. Good luck.
Hi Jerry - YES! We highly recommend writing down these questions in a notebook and bringing it to the interview. This shows that you're prepared and really did your homework. You can also write down other questions that might come up during the interview or just general notes as well. :) If you haven't already watched our video on the 8 Smart Questions To Ask Hiring Managers In Interviews, we recommend watching it and bringing those questions to your next interview as well. You can watch that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y95eI-ek_E8 - Best of luck!
Hi there - My advice would be to practice your answers to behavioral interview questions. Practice makes perfect!. Also if you have a friend or family member who could sit down and help you do a mock interview, this could help as well.Practicing answering these questions in real time can help! - Best of luck!
9. What would your co-workers say about you if we asked them?
My university and work experience has allowed me to work with a variety of different people over time. I think if you talk to my current or previous colleagues they would say that I am dependable, hardworking, dedicated, and positive. These are things I have learned over time and not qualities I always had. Also the list of these qualities is always growing and evolving as I become a better version of myself.
8. Tell me about a difficult situation and how you overcame it?
The situation that comes to mind would have to be at **** dealing with customers at least a few times a day we get people that are displeased with the service or have an ongoing issue that still has not been solved. The main thing I have learned from these situation is that when someone is unhappy the best thing to do is listen to them and acknowledge there problem. After listening and dealing with these situations over and over I learned that to make clients happy and solve their problem the obvious thing to do is find a solution, however, what I have found is that giving them options to pick from really helps because clients feel that they are in control of the outcome. This has really helped me overcome difficult clients and reduced the # of calls that are escalated.
WHAT YA THINK???
I just want to say that you have been very inspirational to me with your practical approach to C.V's and interview techniques.
I went for an interview today that I really wanted and I got the job thanks to you. Deeply grateful JT for these words of wisom.
I had a question that got me off track and the rest of the interview didn’t go so well. The question was about sense of urgency. He wasn’t talking directly about me...but I took it personal and it messed me up. I didn’t even ask questions! I may have an opportunity to interview for this same position again and after watching these videos I think I can make a huge improvement over my last interview. Things I think will improve my chances are being dressed for success and some of the tips you specified in the resume video!
Thanks for the great feedback! Good luck next week on your phone interview. Here is our interview prep playlist. It can help you get ever more prepared :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y95eI-ek_E8&list=PLhrBmkjLNq1U9D_PVJpUNzh9qFxsNmEwo
I love the Experience + Learn = Grow. Easy way to remember how to tell your story! However, I have a question.... Because you never know WHICH behavioral question you will be asked, how can you think that fast on your feet? I seriously have been asked questions and I honestly cannot think of any particular story to tell that relates to the question!! HELP!!
The video makes so much sense! I've been asked similar questions and stumbled through the answer. Now I will practice and learn to lead the interviewer into what may become productive for me. Thank you. I look forward to learning more and have subscribed to the channel.
This question always perplexed me until I found it as a way to understand myself and identify an area that I needed to improve. My answer now is that I tend to over-commit and then my current projects suffer. My solution is that I maintain my calendar better and don't answer a request until I've checked my calendar and the status of my current commitments. What do you think?
JT, I don’t get much of a chance to watch the WID videos, but I caught a portion of this one. Loved it and especially the E+L+G tactic. Nice one. You sounded great and looked great! Lots of luck with the channel!
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