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The Secrets to Answering Behavior Based Interview Questions

05 April
by Careerminds
3 minute read

Raymond Lee

Human Resources professionals often say “Past Performance is the Best Predictor of Future Performance”. Behavioral based interview questions are designed to get to the root of your past performance in order to determine if you are capable of addressing the problems and challenges of the company and interviewer.

These types of questions will require you to give specific examples of things you have done in your past experience that speak to your ability to do the job your applying to.



Example Behavior Based Interview Questions

  • Can you share an example of a time where you had to take on new responsibilities at a time when you already had a "full plate?" How did you react to the request? What impact did it have on your performance?
  • Can you give an example of a time when you had to deliver negative performance feedback to a subordinate or team member? How did you approach it?  What was the person's response? 
  • Tell me about a situation that required you to build relationships with people outside your functional organization or the company to accomplish your objectives. What was your approach?  Were you successful? How do you know?

Answering these types of questions can be very difficult in such a short period of time. It is important that you go to the interview ready with a few examples that can be tailored to the question the interviewer is asking.

The framework for answering these questions are called STARs, or sometimes referred to as PAR or CAR. STAR stands for “Situation, Task, Action, and Result”.

  • Situation/Task That You Faced

                  Describe the situation……

                  What were the circumstances surrounding…..?

                  What was your role in the task…..?

  • Actions that you took

                  What exactly did you do in the situation….?

                  What was your specific role or what steps did you take in the situation…..?

                  What did you do….?

  • Results or Changes Caused by these Actions

                  What were the results….?

                  How did it work out…..?

                  What problems/successes result from them…..?

Sample STAR:

  • SITUATION: Declining sales at a national ad agency with whom I was a senior sale executive
  • ACTION: Developed an innovative sales strategy that strategically targeted new markets in my region with very little initial investment
  • RESULT: Increased sales 50% in first six months of the strategy and doubled revenue in one year.



Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.

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