Situational Interview Questions And Tips for Answering
Like a behavioral interview, a situational interview is when you’re asked super specific questions about some event that might or might not happen on a job. Hiring managers like to ask these kinds of questions to evaluate how quickly you can assess a situation and provide a solution. Examples of these kinds of questions include the following:
Describe a difficult challenge you faced in your previous position. How did you handle it?
Give an example of a time when your workload was heavy and how you managed your tasks to meet deadlines.
Each of these situational interview questions can easily be answered because you’ve spent time in situations just like these. Fortunately for you, assessing and solving problems is one of your hard skills, since you’ve just spent the majority of the time in the military doing just that. But in case you’re not sure on how to answer a situational interview question, this easy to follow guide will help you prepare.
Many situation based interview questions include how to handle challenging situations that you might encounter in the workplace. The best way to answer a situational interview questions is to provide a specific and concrete example of how you’ve handled similar situations in the past. For transitioning service members, this is where it gets a little tricky since it’s often challenging to translate your military job into civilian language that can be understood.
But with a little practice, it’s easy to have a few answers at the ready. The best approach for you is to use the STAR technique. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. When you think about it in terms of STAR, then it will likely be easier for you to find a simple answer that is rooted in real-world experience.
A situational interview question is going to have four parts. Each part is integral in providing a comprehensive answer for the interviewer. It’s not a bad idea to have one well-formed and carefully planned answer for these kinds of questions.
What was the situation? Before you talk about what you did, make sure you explain the situation well. Include what was at stake in the situation so the hiring manager gets a clear idea of what was happening.
What went wrong? Describe the problem here and make sure you explain whether or not it was avoidable or if it was unexpected.
What action did you take? Detail the actions you took and your reasoning for making the choices. This is a great time to discuss how you identified solutions.
What were the results? Highlight the success of your accomplishment and how your choices and decisions helped alter the outcome of the situation.
Remember that the hiring manager is using your answer as an evaluation to determine if you’re going to be a good fit. If you’ve done your homework and understand the company culture of the firm for which you’re interviewing, you could tailor your response to lean on what’s important to the organization.
Most importantly, make sure your answer isn’t full of a lot of military jargon, unless you’re interviewing with a company that speaks the military language. Keep your answers clear and easy to understand, but make sure you show that you’re a good fit for the company.