Throughout the interview process, one of the most common points that come up are situational interview questions.
Anyone that’s sat through an interview has likely had to answer one of these. Situational interview questions are designed to showcase how you solve problems. It’s an insight into your critical thinking skills.
With the right answer, you’ll showcase your aptitude for the job and rise above the other candidates.
The Situational Interview Question Formula
While there are typical questions you can prepare for, the way to approach every situational question is with this template; a problem, a solution, and a benefit.
- What is the problem within the question?
- What is the solution you can take to fix the problem?
- How does the solution benefit your employer?
Once you’ve got that in your head, you’ll be good to go.
So, what are the most popular situational interview questions?
Tell me about a time you had to partner with someone difficult to work with
We’ve all had to partner with someone that wasn’t easy to work with. It’s how we deal with it that matters. As you go into this, think about your solution and how it helps not just you, but your potential company as a whole.
What did you do to put that difficult employee at ease? How did you keep your cool during the situation? How did it help benefit the outcome of the project?
Tell me about a time when you weren’t satisfied with your job. What could have made it better?
For this one, keep in mind that you don’t want to speak poorly of a previous company or boss. Keep it focused on the previous job itself and what was lacking or overwhelming. Explain how you felt and what approach you took to try and solve these problems.
Maybe you went to speak to your boss about what you needed, but he wasn’t able to make any changes. Or perhaps you suggested a change in the protocol that wasn’t implemented. Remember, you always want to focus on situational questions on the solution.
Tell me about a time you had to work with an important customer. How did you make the experience exceptional?
If you’re doing anything customer-forward, you want to put your customer service skills in the spotlight. Was the customer high-maintenance? If so, how did you ensure they got the level of service they needed? What did you do to meet their requests?
Show the solution and the amazing benefits that came with going above and beyond.
Tell me how you deal with a heavy workload and tight deadlines.
Deadlines get tricky when you have a challenging workload. It’s how you navigate those deadlines and prioritize your work that matters. Showcase your organizational skills, so there’s no doubt that you meet and exceed your deadlines. Even when things are crazy.
The best thing you can do to prepare for these questions is to go over various scenarios before your interview. Once you get the hang of the situation, solution, and benefits template, you’ll be a standout candidate.