How to tackle Behavioural Interview Questions

The purpose of a behavioural interview question is for the interviewer/employer to predict your future behavioural pattern for the position you are interviewing for. Always pull from you past experiences when answering behavioural questions and remain positive throughout your response. Remember that the more you practice, the more comfortable you become answering such questions. Below are some tips and guidelines you should follow:


  • Read the job description and identify any special job requirements being sought, such as bilingual skills, licensure requirements etc.
  • Identify the key competencies that the company is seeking, this may be particular skills or personal characteristics
  • Draw on all the accomplishments that you have amassed, summarize those previous experiences that demonstrate your competencies
  • Determine 3- 5 required competencies, always link the competency to the organization’s needs
  • Once you have identified the key competencies required for the targeted position, identify a minimum of 2 achievement stories that relate to the competencies required (see SARS technique below)
  • Prepare at least 10 accomplishment stories, ensure adequate material for the interview (the more stories the better, this way you will not repeat your stories during the interviewing process)

When answering use the S.A.R technique

S = Situation

  • Describe to the interviewer exactly what happened in the situation
  • Be very descriptive, paint a picture of the environment/situation you were in
  • There should be no room for the interviewer to make assumptions or guess what you mean
  • This should be in a story format

A = Action

  • List for the interviewer all steps you took to complete and/or resolve the above mentioned situation
  • Be clear and concise

R = Results

  • Tell the interviewer what was the outcome of the situation or feedback you received (this is the most important piece and the piece that is most often forgotten)

Sample Questions

  • Give me a specific example of a time when you used logic in solving a problem.
  • Tell me about a time when you chose a highly creative approach.
  • Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative and took the lead.
  • Give me an example of when you initiated a change in response to customer feedback.
  • Tell me about a time when you dealt with an anger customer, how did you handle this situation

For further information, please speak to your Employment Counsellor to book a mock interview practice or to attend the next Interview Preparation workshop. You can also find more information under