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Answering Behavioural Questions

Interviewers tend to focus more on general, open-ended questions rather than questions regarding your résumé and accomplishments. These questions have no right or wrong answer; you are presented with a real-life situation, and the interviewer evaluates you based on your response.

The most common type of behavioural question is the interviewer asking you to explain how you handled a certain situation, event or problem in the past. Your answer will demonstrate how you will perform in day-to-day situations at work. It can be difficult to prepare for behavioural questions in advance because there are so many possibilities, but there are a few things you can do to help yourself prepare.

Start by analyzing your past performances; review your previous jobs and consider the skills and tactics you utilized. Did your approach lead to a successful outcome? Why or why not? Evaluate how these experiences can help the company and prepare examples.

Always make sure that you are honest in your answers to behavioural questions. Present your past experiences in a way that emphasizes your strengths, but don’t add untrue embellishments; employers want to see you for who you really are.

Detail, Understanding and Depth

You will be asked questions that require you to go into detail. These questions will test your understanding of a particular situation, and the interviewer will look for depth in your answer. For example, when you are discussing a specific event or project, he or she might ask another question, such as “What were you thinking when that happened?” or “Can you go into more detail about how you handled that incident and why you chose to handle it the way you did?”

It is unlikely that you will have prepared for this type of question in advance. So what should you do? Simple: just be honest. Remember to go into detail; your enthusiasm will reflect your passion for your work and show your confidence in your decisions.

Collect Your Thoughts

Before you answer any question, take a minute to think about your answer. Consider which events or situations you want to discuss, and think about the key strengths you want to highlight. Your answer should be to the point and focused on the question asked. Avoid giving unrelated details; the facts are what the interviewer is interested in.

Goal of Behavioural Questions

The goal of behavioural questions is not to see if you can answer a question correctly; the interviewer wants to evaluate how you react to certain situations in order to see if you are the right fit for the job. Being honest and straightforward is essential. Stay confident, collect your thoughts and answer the question as best you can.

Preparation

Below are some common interview questions you can prepare a response for ahead of time:

  • Why do you think we should hire you?
  • Why are you the best fit for the job?
  • Why do you want this job?

Even if interviewers do not ask these specific questions, they will likely ask something similar. Prepare a few general answers that highlight the skills and experience you would bring to the company. Other common questions you can prepare for include:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • How would you handle stress on the job?
  • Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Almost every interviewer will ask a few of these questions, so make sure to prepare a quality response to each one. Following these strategies in your next interview will help you succeed!

If you need help preparing for your next interview, or if you are interested in upgrading your technical skills to better market yourself for employment in the IT field, please feel free to contact us. We provide intense Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Cisco, Linux and Red Hat courses. We are located in Mississauga near Toronto, Milton, Hamilton, Oakville and Brampton and offer courses to students looking to change their careers or improve their professional skills.

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