Situational interview questions, also known as behavioural questions, are asked in an interview to know about a candidate’s way of tackling uncertain moments in their professional life.
The hiring managers ask situational questions to get an insight into your soft skills like leadership, positiveness, communication, teamwork, and others. Also, it defines the strengths and weaknesses along with getting a better understanding of the interviewee.
Moreover, answering the situational interview question adds an opportunity for you to present your skills distinctively. It helps to raise the chances to get hired for your desired job position.
This article will provide tips and tricks to tackle situational questions, and answers asked during an interview. It will help you to understand and speak with your hiring management confidently.
How to prepare for situational interview questions?
‘Patience and Understanding Can Overcome Any Uncertainty ‘
Even in your personal life, there might be a situation when you have to face hardships. You may be angry and struggling to find a way to deal with it for a certain period. But with a positive approach, you overcome that obstacle with flying colours and learn to master them.
Likewise, only with experience and exposure can a person handle uncertain situations in their professional life. All one needs is patience and understanding to deal with uncertain situations.
To overcome any challenges, we always first analyse the situation, predict the possible alternatives, and select the best option for call-to-action.
Likewise, we use the S.T.A.R method- an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result- for answering any situational question.
The situation in the STAR method refers to the position you were in when the problem occurred. It is essential to have a background or the starting point for any story to reach a proper conclusion.
A task defines the work you were assigned while the situation happened. Here, it would help address the challenges, deadlines, or issues you were dealing with when the problem was about to start.
It defines the action you performed to overcome the challenges. Here, you can highlight the teamwork efforts, leadership qualities, and necessary measures to win the obstacles.
The result talks about the outcome after the implementation of the action plan. Here, you can highlight your learnings and achievements from this uncertain situation.
In the following section, we are providing you with 21-situational questions and answers for your reference. With the help of the S.T.A.R method, we have answered every question for your better understanding.
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How to answer situational interview questions?
- Situational Questions Related to Failure and Achieving Success
In this scenario, a candidate needs to tell the interviewer about their hardships in a given situation. As a fresher, there are times when you fail to deliver your best and end up feeling low.
While answering such situational questions, always highlight the mental status and confidence to complete the given task.
Situation Interview Questions and Answers: Failure and Success
- Tell me about a time you failed. How did you handle it?
- Tell us about a time you demonstrated seriousness and achieved after falling in the first attempt?
- Narrate us about a time you learned from your own mistakes?
- Tell us an incident where you failed to perform the given task. Would you mind explaining to us your overcoming strategy?
- Have you ever failed to deliver the expected results? How do you overcome such situations?
During my internship as a Content Writer, I was assigned to write a 1000-word article for a digital marketing agency.
Due to a lack of my experience, I copied some data and texts from other websites. Also, without understanding the client’s requirement, I draft my first copy in an informal tone.
After my submission, my senior writer confronted me with the draft. I was very nervous, but he kept his cool. Firstly, he asked me about my writing process and my research methods. After listening to me, he explained the pros and cons of my writing procedures. He taught me about plagiarism, target audience, and other essential factors lacking in my draft.
On the same day, I wrote another draft keeping all the pointers in my mind, and submitted it to him with the necessary changes. And guess what, it was approved in the first go!
It was one of my best experiences working in my initial days.
- Questions Related to Working With Hard-to-Get-Along With People
There are times when one has to obey and work under people who mismatch your preferences. Due to their unfavourable and unprofessional behaviour, one might find it very difficult to work with them.
However, it’s part and parcel of professional life. Sometimes, working under such people is fruitful for one’s career, as it helps build their reputation and good-learning experience.
Situation Questions And Answers: Getting Along With Hard People
- Narrate us about a time when you had to work with a person you couldn’t get along with?
- How do you work under a hard-going person?
- How do you handle a disagreement with a team member you work closely with?
- How would you take control of a client and rude colleague/partner behaviour at the same time?
- What will you do when you know your manager is not able to understand a client’s requirement?
- How well can you get along with your boss or working colleague?
A few months ago, the higher management reshuffled our sales departments. Due to my good performance, I was promoted as a Branch Sales Manager. However, our earlier Zonal Sales Manager resigned after a reshuffling of the departments.
Mr. Abhay was our new zonal sales manager, and I had to report to him every day. Initially, he was arrogant and outspoken to every employee. One day, I had to visit a client with him to crack a huge deal.
Everything was going well, but somehow, the client wasn’t convinced and asked us to give him time to think about the deal. After leaving them, Mr. Abhay was furious, but I kept my cool and calmed him down. I explained to him the client’s needs and requirements, which he affirmatively understood.
The next day, he arranged another meeting with the client and took me along with him. Surprisingly, he asked me to take the lead. I outperformed my best, and we cracked the deal. The client was happy and agreed to consult us for his business.
- Questions Related to High-Pressure Situations
Work and pressure are two sides of the same coin. In uncertain circumstances or unexpected deadlines, there are higher chances that an employee will be stressed. An interviewer will like to know how you deal with work pressure.
It will help them know your skills, behaviour, and approach to overcome these untimely situations and perform your best.
Situational Questions and Answers: Working Under Pressure
- Tell me about a time you were in a high-pressure situation. How did you get through it?
- How do you overcome a pressure situation?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, How much will you rate yourself for handling work pressure?
- In your resume, you have mentioned you are a quick learner. How will you justify working under pressure?
- In your internship period, have you performed under pressure scenarios?
- How do you stay calm in a stressful situation?
- Tell us a time when you had to work on a completely different task than your usual routine?
In my internship period, I was assigned a task to complete the statistical information of different campaigns of our company. With minimal briefing, I had to submit the report by the end of that day.
Honestly, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I kept my calm, surfed the net, and approached my seniors for some help. Slowly, I understood the gist of the project and duly started to fill the reports.
I sipped some coffee in between to keep my cool and finally completed the task before the given timeline. I approached my seniors with my reports. However, some campaigns were missing, but they appreciated my efforts and understanding of marketing campaigns.
Within one month, they offered me a permanent job in their company with a new designation.
- Questions Related to Accomplishments and Achievements
The feeling of accomplishment is extraordinary. The hiring department will be thrilled and all-ears to know a story related to your success, especially after you faced challenges or hardships to achieve them.
Here, you can stage your experience in a beautiful narration to captivate the hiring managers. They ask these situational questions to see your behaviour and test interpersonal skills.
Situational Questions and Answers: Accomplishments and Achievements
- What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career? How did you achieve it?
- What has been your greatest accomplishment?
- Tell us a story where people had to depend on you. Guide us on how you overcome that challenge.
- Your CV shows you are flexible and adaptive to changes. How well can you relate to them?
A year ago, I was teaching commerce and accountancy to graduates and under-graduating students. I was passionate and thrilled with my teaching.
One day, our school accountant was on leave, and I was requested to prepare Financial Statements for the previous year. It was the last day to file some essential documents. Hence, our principal approached me, as I was the only accounts teacher.
I knew accountancy, but doing it on Tally ERP9 was a different thing. However, I searched some online videos and followed all instructions carefully. There were even some missing data, which I deliberately recorded in the software.
By afternoon, I successfully submitted the Financial Statements to the principal. She was delighted and offered me a new position as an accountant. But, I respectfully refused that position, but I was glad to be a help.
When you tell compelling stories in an interview, you are creating a connection with your interviewer. Situational questions help you to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and seriousness towards your work.
It would be best if you were well-prepared with every question that the interviewer is asking over. Try to answer every situation question by having a story related to your past professional life. Stories are engaging and trigger our attention, and stay in our minds for a longer period.
GOOD LUCK AND GIVE YOUR BEST!