Situational Interview Questions and Answers
While going for an interview you will face at least one or two Situational Interview Questions. Situational Interview questions are also called behavioral interview questions and give ideas to the interviewer on how you will solve problem-specific questions. They will give you some hypothetical situations and will check your soft skills like communication, leadership, and teamwork capabilities.
There is a tip for these types of interview questions and that is the problem-solution-benefit formula. While answering the situational questions keep these three things in your mind.
- A problem you faced
- Your solution
- The benefit to your employers
Most Frequently Asked Situational Interview Questions
During my Masters, I interned at a semiconductor company. Although I knew the basics of hardware designs, that was not enough to design electronic circuits. I took help from experienced colleagues with some tips and suggestions, and they were beneficial. I also took out time and learned on my own to implement those things practically. That helped me to keep ahead of the curve and as an employer, I made a good impression.
When working with a client or customer, always remember to put their needs first. Whatever requirements they have you must deliver.
Example- One of my customers wanted a table designed in a specific way with a particular kind of wood. I listened to all their requirements of him and adhered to them while doing construction. Keeping him up-to-date every day to know that we both are on the same page. After a few days, they delivered that table that met their criteria and we got many more orders.
To handle these situations, there is only one successful and smart way and that is to be calm and make sure you are not losing your patience. You can also opt STAR method to handle the situation.
- Situation: Listen to the situation from which the customer is going through.
- Task: From that situation identify your role. What you can do best for the customer.
- Action: Assure them that you will take the necessary action to resolve them.
- Result: Show them the result of it so that they always trust you and will come back again.
You can tell the interviewer about the situation which happened to you in the past and how well you have handled it.
You will leave a bad impression on the interviewer if you will sound like you had canceled some work plans. Instead, show them in absence of your boss you had managed well by rallied the team and focused on the things to get them delivered on time. Because of this, the client signed a good contract for the next five years.
In this interviewers want to see that you are self-motivated and if you have those skills which are required to meet specific goals. You can tell them that you set goals like completing a certification, doubling of sales, etc at the beginning of the year and how you attended training and asked for suggestions from successful people to meet those goals.
It goes well in answering this question. However, if that mistake is not affecting anything one need not address it but if that mistake could impact any other area and there are chances of risk one must not hide it. After addressing the mistake you will realize -
- People respect your honesty
- People will trust you more
- They will notice how quick I am to praise and accept my mistakes.
I had to work with a coworker who always complained a lot about our project but instead of pissing him off, I tried to find what’s wrong with him and then later came to know that he had some personal issues. I had a talk with him and after a few days, we both made a good pair of inefficient programming.
By asking this question they want to know if you are excited to take on new challenges and will also check your problem-solving skills.
- By collecting as many details as possible on that task to make sure that I had a clear understanding of it.
- If it would be a straightforward task, I'd prefer to search it on the internet.
- If finding it would be hard then instead of wasting time I would ask either the person who has assigned that task or another experienced employee.
We often heard that customers are always right in our training sessions but sometimes this is not true. There is a possibility of 2 scenarios where you might need to deal with them:
- If the customer is over the phone
- If a customer is physically present in front of you.
In the first scenario opt for these steps to calm them-
- Listen carefully: Just listen to them with all your patience. Listen to what concern and issue they are having. Don’t pre-assume anything.
- Commit to resolve and then apologize: After listening to them, commit them that you will resolve the issue and apologize to them for the inconvenience caused.
- Finding the best solution: Now it all depends on your solution that will make the customer comfortable.
In the second one, you only need to listen to the problem that customer faced just like in the first scenario, make them calm by doing -
- Make the customer seated first.
- Offer them a glass of water.
- First, apologize and then listen to them
Here is the best example you can use to answer this question:
About a year ago I worked with one of my colleagues whose personality is different from mine. I was more competitive and a bit aggressive than he was, and always got irritated by his relaxed style of working. But what was shocking to me, that he was delivering more excellent results. That day I realized we need different personalities in the team and have to change our mindset and should be more open-minded.
At the time of answering this question take care of your communication skills and ability to overcome a challenging situation with a colleague.
Example- I remember the time when I was working with an external partner on event planning. As we all know in event planning each team member has to be responsive but in that case, my partner was sometimes taking two weeks in replying to emails. I also had to take care that this was slowing down all the planning process. Instead of losing my temper, I had set a reminder for myself to check on all my emails. When the email thing was not working, I determined to set up phone meetings and that helped to meet the deadlines for that event.
So here you go. Some good and commonly asked situational interview questions for you to practice your own. Many of these are just examples that may not fit according to your designation but that you should build using your own words. Take these questions, practice them, answer them and apply them in your own real-world experiences and you will be better prepared for the moment when your hiring manager asks you “ Ready for a little role-play exercise?”