Are you up for a job interview that might test you on hypothetical situations? Here is how you prepare for a situational interview.

Situational Interview

“It is in the forethought of a problem, that the chances of you avoiding it lie”. Most organizations believe in this doctrine entirely and expect an employee to be adept in these skills. Every now and then a situation or two crops up that requires you to handle it with care, as mishandling it would mean serious repercussions. These situations are sometimes commonplace and sometimes erratically random, but reactions to them define a person’s behavioral traits; they are the choices that make you or break you. Most companies therefore indulge in what are called situational interviews, where a candidate is given a hypothetical situation and asked how he/she would react to it. Based on the candidate’s response to it his/her suitability for the candidature is ascertained. This entire process can be extremely stressful as the chances of the candidate being thrown off guard are very high. Every situation allows to it a hundred different reactions, resulting in effects, which could be in any part of the Diaspora of the good-bad spectrum. Here are a few tips on how to handle these situational interviews and some of the common situations that are used in such interviews.
Handling A Situational Interview
  • First things first, be it any interview it is important to go prepared for the interview. Do your research on the company; see where you fit into the organization. During the interview process, remain calm and go in with a cool head, devoid of any stress.
  • Reach the interview on time. If you cannot make it, reschedule the interview. Punctuality is of utmost importance; do not go late no matter what.
  • Apart from this incase of a situational interview, think carefully about your job. Try to think of the most difficult situation that you might face considering both your job profile and role in the organization. Think of the most earnest and logical solution to the situation. Practice the answers out aloud. Saying them over and over again increases conviction in the solution.
  • If you find the question incomplete or find anomalies in the question then it is ok to ask for clarifications. The clarifications will help you assess the situation better and give the most appropriate solution.
  • Be very precise with the solution. The employer will expect you to have definitive steps in order to handle the situation. You need to come across, as someone who has clarity of thought, do not beat around the bush. The employer is the one who has given you the situation in the first place therefore he will obviously know what to expect anything that sounds like a major deviation will only reduce brownie points.
  • Try to be innovative and think out of the box. However, it is important to note that it is not always possible to innovate and in situations like that, the employer is just looking for the protocol you need to follow.
  • Most of these situational interview questions revolve around company security and all they require is a display of common sense and a presence of mind. 
Sample Situational Interview Questions
  • A colleague of yours is making a mistake that is affecting the clients. The other members of the team do not work that closely with the colleague and haven’t noticed it. What action would you take?
  • You have a problem employee; someone who does not complete targets on time, and is extremely unpunctual. This employee is also rumored to be suicidal and prone to stress attacks how would you confront him and motivate him to work better?
  • Yours is a service-based company and you and a colleague of yours are in charge of dealing with problems faced by the clients. It requires at least one of you to be on the system all the time. The other person needs to relieve you after your shift is complete. Your colleague is always late and you end up spending longer hours at work. How would you deal with the situation?

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