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Master Class "Interview in English: Behavioral Interview Questions"

The main idea behind behavioral interview questions is that looking at someone's past behavior is a good indicator of how they will behave in the future. Typically these questions require a candidate to recount a past experience so that interviewers can assess their likely future performance. Many candidates have a general idea of how to answer these questions. However, answers often come out, long, unfocused and do not put the candidate the best light. As a candidate, it is important to prepare interview «stories» which are clear and concise and which you believe match the skills and competencies that you believe your potential employer is looking for in a candidate. Many of these questions involve telling stories – which means that is it always a good idea to follow the STAR formula when thinking about your answers – describe the Situation or Task that you faced, the Action that you took, and the Result which followed. Other types of behavioral questions might also attempt to see how you react to hypothetical scenarios in the workplace setting or in your life generally. These questions will provide some evidence about who you are as an individual, your personality and your ability to think quickly and analytically and be creative and original.  

Questions for discussion:

  1. How do you handle pressure? Tell me about a time when you responded to pressure.
  2. Tell me about a time you failed / made a mistake. How did you respond?
  3. Tell me about a time you made a big / difficult decision.
  4. Tell me about a time you have been in a position of conflict/difference of opinion? How did you handle it?
  5. If you knew your manager / supervisor was unequivocally wrong about something, how would you respond?
  6. Give me an example of a situation when you showed initiative or took the lead.
  7. Tell me about a time you motivated others.
  8. Tell me about a time you convinced someone / changed someone’s mind.
  9. Tell me about a time you faced an ethical dilemma.
  10. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?


Additional Exercise: Lateral thinking questions                        

Turning the Tables: Questions for your interviewer

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