During interviews, it’s very likely that you will be asked behavioural questions. You will know that it is a behavioural question because the interviewer will ask you to give an example of when you demonstrated a particular skill or how you handled a situation.
Why do employers use behavioural interview questions?
Employers use behavioural interview questions to predict your future behaviour based on your past performance. When answering, your job is to prove that you have the necessary skills and abilities for the job by talking about your past experiences.
Behavioural interview questions usually begin with the following phrases:
“Describe a time …”
“Give me an example of…”
“Tell me about a situation when …”
Answering Behavioural Questions – The S.A.R. Method
The best way to answer a behavioural-based interview question is to use the SAR method. SAR stands for:
S – Situation
Begin by describing a situation, challenge or opportunity you faced related to the question. Be clear when describing the situation so the interviewer can understand your actions and the outcome. Some questions to consider when you think about how to describe a situation are:
- What was the issue?
- Where did it happen?
- How were you involved?
A – Action
For action, describe each step that you took to deal with the situation. This will show the interviewer how you handled the situation and give them an idea of how you will handle similar situations in the future. Some questions to think about when explaining your actions are:
- What job did you do?
- How did you solve the problem?
R – Result
Always complete your answer by telling the interviewer the result of your actions. The interviewer wants to know if your actions solved the problem. Some questions to consider when describing the result are:
- How did the situation end?
- What was your role in the end result of the situation?
Here is an example of a behavioural interview question and an answer:
Question: Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an angry customer.
Situation: I was working as a Server in a busy restaurant when a customer became very upset, because he had to wait a long time for his meal.
Action: I listened to his concern, apologized and advised the customer that I would check on the order. I asked the kitchen to put a rush on his order. When I took it to the table, I offered the customer a free dessert, as was our policy.
Result: He was happy and left a comment card stating that he would return in the future because I had taken his complaint seriously.
Resources for behavioural interview questions:
Need more help?
Attend The Centre’s Interviews that “Impress Workshop” and learn how to answer behavioural interview questions. You can also book an appointment with one of our Employment Advisors for one-on-one interview coaching.