Just like answering a behavioural interview question, which is asked with the intention to understand how you acted in response to a specific employment-related situation, a situation interview question is asked to see how a candidate would handle certain situations within the applied job role.
Situational interview questions usually involve problem-solving circumstances within the workplace. You can share some information about how you would expect to respond to the given situation, but the best way to answer this style of question is to provide examples of experience handling similar situations in the past. That way you’re given concrete evidence to the interviewer on how you have dealt with similar situations successfully.
What to include in your answer:
The main goal when answering a situational question is to describe a similar past experience. To do this, we recommend you use the STAR technique, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. To start your answer, describe the situation and go on to explain the problem, instead of ‘Task’ of the situation, talk about the actions you took and why, and then the results it gave. Focus on keeping your answer to the point and concise, and remember back to the core skills that are required for the position and keep referring to them in your answers.
“If you knew your boss was completely incorrect about something, how would you handle it?”
“Describe a time at work when you struggled, and how you overcame it.”
“What problems did you encounter in your previous job, and how did you deal with them?”
“Describe how you handled a challenging situation.”
“Describe a time when you thought your workload was too heavy, and how you dealt with it.”
As with any interview, preparation is key for a successful interview. Consider both behavioural and situational style questions when preparing for one, and be sure to have examples of relevant and applicable experiences on the top of your mind.
If you have any questions about interview preparation or would like further advice, please get in touch or check out all the latest jobs right here.