Situationally Based Interviews

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The main purpose of this interview type is to assess interviewees on their problem-solving skills and how they would react in a specific work related situation. Situations used in such interviews are often similar to those you would encounter if you are accepted into the position. Types of situational questions may differ depending on the type of job, but a good strategy is to think about past experiences with dealing with difficult situations in leadership, working in a team, making mistakes, etc. Although it is difficult to anticipate the types of questions you may get asked, drawing on your personal experiences and answering the question like a behavioral interview question, or explaining what you would do using the same STAR format would help you clearly structure your response.

Preparation

Research the organization and job you are applying for thoroughly so that you can think about what they may consider key roles of the job. You can then proactively think about possible situations you may have to deal with given the important roles of the job. Practice a few such questions so that you can apply a similar structure for other questions.

Some example questions are;

  1. Describe a situation where your team had a tough time working with each other. How did you deal with the situation and overcome it?
  2. Describe a situation where you had to address a work-style related concern with your boss/mentor. How did you handle it?

For additional information on situational interviews, see “Situational Interview Questions and Tips for Answering” by The Balance Careers.

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