Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Law of 3 – behavioural interview questions and how to prepare

By | The Law of 3 | No Comments

Got an interview? Fantastic! Check our our own Rebecca Toth’s blog on what to do next, found here: http://www.altrecruit.ca/2016/04/30/so-youve-done-it-youve-got-an-interview-now-what/.

Often as we gain experience in our professional lives, we assume interviews are a ‘getting to know you session’ rather than screening for specific skills, but this is not always the case. Behavioural interviews are a way of gauging a potential new hire’s ability to handle pressure and determine whether you will be a good fit with the organization. These interviews tend to be more probing and specific than conversational-style interviews. Behavioural interview questions can be off-putting if you’re not prepared.

So how do you prepare for this more intense interview style?

1- Review a list of commonly asked behavioural interview questions like the list below. A simple Google search will pop up many different lists for you to use.

2- Brainstorm answers. Close the door to your home office and write bullet point answers to each question. They don’t have to be long answers but you need to have specific facts to back them up. Writing out the answers to each question helps focus your brain on answering this style of questioning.

3- Practice, practice, practice. Preparation is the key to interviewing well. Now that you have ideas for answers to each question, try answering them out loud without any notes in front of you. Some people like to walk through the conversation out loud in the car, others prefer to have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview with them. Either way, practice your answers out loud and pretend you are in the interview room. The more you practice, the more you will solidify your answers in your head.

Sample Behavioural Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time you had to make a quick decision.
  • Give an example of a time when you had a lot of work on your plate and were required to prioritize your tasks.
  • Tell me about a situation where you failed. Why did you fail and what did you learn from it.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client.
  • Tell me about an ethical work situation you had to deal with. How did it turn out?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to act in a leadership capacity.
  • What have you done in the workforce that shows initiative and creativity?
  • How would you handle a situation where you and your employer disagreed about an issue or course of action
  • Give me an example of how you have worked effectively under pressure.
  • Tell me about a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  • Tell me about a time when you went beyond the call of duty to ensure that a job got done.
  • Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
  • Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.

Good luck!

This article is part of an ALT Recruitment Partners series entitled The Law of 3. For more information, please refer to the Team section of our website at www.altrecruit.ca/team. Any of our 3 Partners would be pleased to share insight and references.