Situational interview questions present a hypothetical scenario and then invite you demonstrate how you would typically respond to that situation if it were to arise. It’s very common to find lots of problem solving interview questions in a situational interview, because the interviewer is attempting to ascertain how you arrive at solutions to various organizational challenges.
Situational interviews tend to focus on the job relevant competencies and skills for the role. So the best way to prepare is by reviewing past projects you were involved in and recalling the steps you took to overcome challenges and resolve problems.
Below are several common situational interview question categories, the interviewer’s logic and suggested answers.
Situational Interview Questions on Problem Solving
Describe how you would handle a situation that appeared impossible to resolve?
With this question, the interviewer is looking for two things; first are you good at quickly gathering and analyzing information in order to make the correct decision? Do you tend to jump at the first option or do you explore a number of options to find the best solution?
To answer this question effectively you will need to demonstrate that you are really good at weighing up all the options and reaching a smart conclusion. The ability to recognize situations that are beyond your realm of expertise is also an important quality, so demonstrate you are also willing to seek creative solutions from others.
Situational Interview Questions on Results Focus
Imagine you had a tough deadline and you were running out of time, what would you do?
Successful candidates pursue their goals aggressively and tend to be solutions focused. The interviewer wants to find out – do you fold under pressure, or do you have a winning attitude?
Show you are someone who is highly committed to achieving results and are relentless in the pursuit of your objectives. Make sure your answer shows you are someone who effectively manages stressful situations and displays a positive, can-do attitude.
Situational Interview Questions on Communication and Influence
How would you go about persuading a difficult person or group to agree with your point of view?
With any question on communication and influence, a good candidate will make a compelling case for their viewpoints. The interviewer is also looking to determine your ability to adapt your style to different people and audiences.
Strong candidates will appeal to their audience on both a rational and emotional level and they have the capacity to adapt their style of persuasion to fit the interests and style of the group or person they are communicating with.
Situational Interview Questions on Planning and Organizing
How would you typically handle a heavy workload and what steps would you take to make sure it was completed on time?
The interviewer is exploring whether or not you are someone who plans their work or do you tend to default into fire-fighting.
Be sure to outline your plan of attack, ensuring that the tasks were completed, i.e. delegation, prioritizing daily tasks, using to-do lists, calendaring systems, etc. The more you can demonstrate in your answer that you plan your time and focus on what is important and urgent the better you will score with this question.
Situational Interview Questions on Managing Change
What would you do if suddenly part of your job changed and the company needed to use your skills in a different capacity?
Change is an inevitable part of any successful organization. More than ever companies are having to adapt quickly to an ever changing marketplace. Therefore, companies are in search of adaptable employees; those who can learn, mold and adapt to their surrounding environments.
Demonstrate in your answer that you can quickly and easily adapt as the situation requires. Show that you are on the side of the company and that you view change as positive and necessary for the company’s future growth and success.
Employers love employees who embrace change. Score big with this question by demonstrating not only how you are willing to adapt to the change but also that you are willing to participate in making the change happen!
Situational Interview Questions on Teamwork
How would you typically manage your team to ensure you create a positive, friendly and collaborative team environment?
The interviewer is looking to see if you have the ability to work in a team environment, adding value to the overall group and the underlying organization.
Ensure that you demonstrate an understanding that teamwork is about working in a way that means the whole becomes greater than the sum of it’s parts. This means that you are willing to go beyond the boundaries of your role, to share, knowledge, time and resources with other members of your team that will enable the team to achieve its overarching goals.
To score the big points with this question demonstrate you are willing to go out of your way to share your knowledge, skill or resources with a team colleague.
Other Typical Situational Interview Questions
How would you respond if your manager asked you to do something that was unethical?
How would you handle an angry customer, who demanded their money back on the spot?
How would you manage disgruntled employee, who was affecting team morale?
What would you do if you saw an employee stealing from the company?
Be careful not to confuse situational interview questions with behavioral interview questions. Remember the best way to prepare is to review your prior work history, accomplishments and other facts worth noting so that when prompted, specific examples will be fresh in your mind.
Originally posted 2016-09-07 18:58:44.