How to Handle Situational Interview Questions

Situational interview questions are used to test your problem solving skills. Hiring managers want candidates that know how to analyze and deal with all types of situations. There may be no right answer to these questions, but they provide a fuller picture of your experiences and capabilities beyond what’s written on the resume.

Being Prepared

Situational interview questions are impromptu tests of your people skills, your ability to organize production, your capacity to communicate, and, most importantly, to assess your penchant for finding solutions.When responding to a query, be positive, and when possible, use an example from your past, whether professional or personal. While you should keep in mind the job description, most situational interview questions will focus on your capacity to operate effectively in a professional environment. But if you can find a way to work the specific job into your answers, that would certainly highlight your skills.

Do not be afraid to ask for clarification of any question. It could help you get to a better answer.

Sample Situational Interview Questions & Answers

If you discovered a coworker was disclosing confidential information, what would you do?

I’d talk to the coworker and try to make her realize how her actions affect all of us. I would try to convince her she needs to stop immediately. If I were to discover later she was still divulging company secrets, I’d have no choice but to go to my manager.

If you had a great idea and management was resisting, how would you handle it?

I would try to understand what issues management had with my idea. Maybe they see problems that I don’t. If I still felt strongly about it, I’d rework the idea to fit their input and use concrete examples to demonstrate benefits. If management still didn’t buy it, I’d have to move on. No hard feelings.

How do you handle working with difficult people?

Well, I remember working on a project with someone I had trouble communicating with. I built a rapport with him by taking an interest in his grandson. I even bought him a small Tonka truck because the kid liked them. Because of this, the coworker loosened up and the entire team saw a change for the better in him.

Remember, LiveCareer has all the research you need to prepare for situational interview questions, as well as Resume Builder, an exceptional tool for creating your resume.


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