CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hiring Managers Share Their Top Behavioral Interview Questions, And We Help You Answer

LinkedIn: Google 'behavioral interview questions' and you'll find no shortage of questions for job seekers. In fact, the sheer number of these "Tell me about a time when…" questions is enough to make your head spin.

With so many potential questions, it's hard to know how to prepare. That's why we went straight to the source for the inside scoop – we asked nearly 1,300 hiring managers from around the globe to rank their favorite behavioral interview questions*.

Use these to jumpstart your interview prep and get focused on the questions that matter.

10 comments:

Kelly Simons said...

1. I soaked up every word of this article. It’s incredibly helpful. I honed in especially on the question and answer: “Tell me about one of your favorite experiences working with a team and your contribution.
How to answer: Think about both positive and negative experiences in which you've worked with others, dealt with conflict, negotiated, and/or compromised. Come up with one or two examples that show your range of playing nice, holding your ground, and working in a team to get things done.” I know I don’t always get along with everyone I work with, and I’m very easily rubbed the wrong way. I think I can take this advice to heart, and be less difficult. But at the same I don’t want to be a complete push over. It’s such a difficult line to toe, especially being a woman, sometimes being too assertive can tint you as being difficult as opposed to assertive.

Cosette Craig said...

So I'm done with interviews for this season so reading this article was an inside look into exactly what interviewers were looking to get at when they asked me anecdotal questions. Some of these were word for word things I have been asked in the past month and I tried to rack my brain for what I answered me how it compared to the suggested reactions to these. I didn't go into interviewers with anecdotes prepared (it probably would've helped a little bit), but as I was asked questions about situations I found myself in, if a story didn't immediately come to mind, I knew that was a skill I had to work on. I liked this article because it showed the other side of the story when a company is hiring. Usually articles talk all about what to do in an interview, but none that I've seen have offered insight into the mind of the interviewer.

Emily Lawrence said...

In Basic PTM, we just finished our rounds of mock interviews that help us get accustomed for interviews and how to prepare for them. I find that when I prepare for interviews I make a list of common questions and try to answer them out loud. This article was extremely useful in this sense because I now have more questions to ask myself when preparing. I have had experience with some of the ones on this list, and I will have to say the most difficult ones are the “tell me about a time…”. I typically try to think of four to five different stories that can work for many different questions and use them so I am not struggling to find a scenario when the time comes. I also liked the part of this article where it listed the three key elements, substance, structure and style, because they can often be forgotten when put on the spot. I found this article to be extremely relevant and helpful, especially since interviews will continue to become more common.

Sarah Battaglia said...

I have a love hate relationship with interviews, and I have always felt like I am pretty good at them. Just recently I was asked if I was a food what I would be and why, which I thought was a stupid question but the women said my answer was one of the best she had ever heard. I am not gonna write it here because I am not giving away my secrets and interviews are serious business. Normally I try to hide my sarcasm, but it just comes out, and through my latest round of internship interviews I have found out that it is just better to present yourself well but be fully who you are. All that being said I found this article to be extremely helpful and I found that many of the questions that were in this article were questions that I had been asked or in a similar vein of those questions and the advice that they gave was very helpful and allowed me to think about myself and my experience a little more critically that I had before. I think interview articles are always helpful and I am happy to learn more about myself and how to present myself.

Annie Scheuermann said...

Interviews are always tough, because you want to present yourself well, but you want to be real and not fake who you are. I always find myself reading the articles on the green page that are about bettering your interview skills or resume, when I don't know if it actually helps me in the end, I do think the points in this article are good and would improve answers to interview questions. Recently I have had a few phone interviews, and the ones where I had a scheduled time, that I prepared for and had papers in front of me with lists and things to talk about did not go as well as the ones that employers call me randomly and I had the interview on the fly. It might just be me in the way I over prepare and turn into a robot of myself, versus just actually being myself, but I do think the most important thing is to be open and natural during an interview, especially for our field. So while all these are good tips and things to think about, over planning and thinking can - I know at least for me - have a worse effect than just taking a deep breath and be honest.

Megan Jones said...

Whenever I have an interview I always try to prepare for it by looking up common interview questions and answering them myself. Behavioral questions are my favorite type of questions to answer during an interview because they let you show the interviewer your personality and how you respond to certain situations. They also give you a lot of opportunity to connect with your interviewer and find out things that you have in common with them This article was very helpful to understanding the motivation behind these types of questions, as well in helping me think of possible responses. My parents both have to conduct a lot of job interviews for the companies that they work for, and they have both told me that someone's personality is what really determines if they will hire them. You can be very good at what you do but if your answers to these types of questions show that you're a jerk then chances are you're not getting a job.

Zak Biggins said...

This is a struggle I know all too well with interview season happening right now. Like Megan, I also try to prepare for an interview by researching common questions. I think it is important to really do thorough research before each interview. I mean, you want to be prepared for anything they could ask. I think it is just as important to prepare which questions YOU will ask THEM. I like to start by going on the theatre/company website and look at things like their mission statement or programs they offer. Before every interview I write down 3-5 questions to ask, because it is important to look like you've done your "homework" about the job. This article did a nice job of articulating why these questions are asked and why they should be answered a certain way. I definitely will be saving this article and coming back to it before my next few interviews.

Ali Whyte said...

I think this is a really great, relatively short article, with a lot of good points. I especially like the Structure, Substance, and Style point at the end of the article. I completely agree that it is important to have some sort of structure to stories and anecdotes so that you don't just ramble on for 5 minutes while the interviewer tries politely to interrupt you. In terms of substance, obviously you don't want to be off on a tangent that has little to no relevance to the conversation about the job for which you are applying. I think the style point, though, is one fo the best. I always try to avoid too much practice with the conventional questions to avoid sounding scripted, but I do make sure to have a few answers to choose from should one of those questions arise. When choosing answers, I do always try to pick something I think the interviewer hasn't heard before.

John Yoerger said...

I think this article has a lot of great points about getting ready for an interview. And I really love LinkedIn's community and blog series that frequently posts content like this. I've actually been asked both of those common collaboration questions in an interview before. Both of which I did pretty well on because I have collaborative experience with Theatre and it is easy to come up with good examples and how to make yourself shine as a result. Very thankful for my time with FIRST as well because it certainly has taught me the value of teamwork and their signature "gracious professionalism." One thing I was unfamiliar with is the triple "S" technique. I really like that and I've bookmarked this article for the future so I can prepare with that in mind for any future interviews. I also think you must me more likely to get the job if you are using substance, structure, and style. They are common things you need to do in everyday life or presentations, but you might forget about in an interview.

Claire Farrokh said...

Whenever I am about to have an interview, I have a list of stories in front of me that can be adapted to suit most common questions about behavioral situations. It's pretty crazy how many situations Rube and Arcade can be used for. It's really nice to read this article and see the most common questions. Any time a situational question is asked that I don't have a ready story for, it's a disaster. This will definitely be helpful in preparing for interviews in the future, so I can extend my list of stories accordingly. I also really liked that the article included the best ways to answer the question. Though these kinds of questions are kind of annoying, they are a really good way for the interviewer to get a better sense of who you are as a person, how you handle situations, and how you think. I remember when we did mock interviews last year in PTM, the interviewers asked us a riddle at the end of the interview in order to get a better sense of how we think.