Behavioral interview questions inquire about how you handled past difficult situations in the workplace. Interviewers use your answers to determine if you have the suitable skills for the job. More than ever, successfully answering behavioral questions is a major determinant for getting to the next round of interviews.
Different from questions about facts such as what your college major was, behavioral interview questions delve into your how you think and act. It may be uncomfortable to talk about things like disagreement or conflict in the workplace, but the truth is that these things do happen. Giving the interviewer an example of a past problem in the workplace and what you did to solve it shows that you can constructively resolve a situation.
When interviewers ask a question such as ‘Tell me about a time when you had to create a presentation to change someone’s opinion,’ what they really want to know is how you engage others to persuade them. They also want to know that you will want to share your ideas with others on a team and not just go along with others. Alternate ways they might ask this question are ‘How did you handle differences of opinion in a committee’ or ‘How do you let a coworker know that you disagree with their decision?’
As tough as these questions sound, by using the STAR method you will be able to power through to interview success.
How to Answer The ‘Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Create a Presentation to Change Someone’s Opinion’ Behavioral Interview Question
1. Try the STAR Method
The STAR method is a great way to organize an answer for a behavioral interview question. It is an acronym for:
- Situation or Task – Identifies the potentially negative situation or project
- Action taken – Gives an explanation about what you did to address the situation or task
- Results achieved – Shows the positive tangible result of your actions
By following the STAR format, you will be able to completely answer the question at hand and turn a possible dilemma into a success story. Even though you are preparing interview answers, remembering the acronym can help you know where you are at in your answer if you get a little nervous. The linear progression of this format allows an interviewer to easily follow your presentation and clearly see the positive results of your actions. Make sure that the positive results of your actions are as assessable as possible for maximum impressiveness.
2. Think of Applicable Scenarios
Come up with scenarios that could address the question, and pick out the best one to develop into a full answer. When you have had to do a presentation in the past, were there some that you needed to persuade to your point of view? What did you do to overcome that? Do not be afraid to show that you have had differences of opinion with supervisors and coworkers in the past, but be sure to show how you can work within a team to achieve a positive result for the company. Highlight the results of your efforts in regards to financial gains and increased productivity.
3. Show That You Can Harness Credibility, Reason and Emotion in Order to Persuade
These are the three mainstays of a persuasive presentation. Your interviewer will want to know that you can research credible sources to back up your opinion in order to change how the audience looks at a situation. An appeal to reason naturally follows. You need to show that you are not afraid to make a logical appeal after presenting your opinion and the facts to back it up. Show that you can use emotion not as a weapon, but as a tool to identify with what your listeners find challenging and appeal to their sense of teamwork.
4. Highlight Your Organizational Skills
Do not pass up the opportunity to show your organizational skills. Putting together a persuasive presentation necessitates organization. Formulating a cogent proposal requires it. In your answer, make sure that your interviewer sees the process you followed to assemble a logical argument and then communicate it to your audience.
Sample ‘Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Create a Presentation to Change Someone’s Opinion’ STAR Interview Answer
Our dementia unit had nursing aides that were trained at several different vocational schools. Consistency is important when dealing with dementia patients, but aides were using several different approaches when dealing with an agitated dementia patient. Many aides actively disagreed with each other on what approaches to use with certain patients. That lack of consistency resulted in even more agitation and disruption of the unit’s workflow.
What I did to address this disagreement and the resulting chaos was to develop a training session using everyday patient scenarios. I demonstrated the correct approaches to agitated dementia patients and backed it up with credible nursing training references. I empathized with the situations they found themselves in and appealed to their sense of pride in their work. Because I trained the aide staff together, there was consistent education and no one felt singled out. This training established the accepted methods at the facility. As a result, there were fewer behavioral outbursts, and the aide staff could get their work done in a timely manner. This positively impacted our vacancy rate because our organized unit gave a positive impression on family tours.
Successfully answering behavioral interview questions like this can reveal your ability to interact positively in the workplace. Practicing these tips will help you formulate winning answers.