Answering behavioral interview questions effectively is a matter of practice- just like with traditional questions. The difference comes in the goal of the questioning- and understanding how to deliver behavioral answers that clearly communicate what your listener is evaluating is the key to an effective- memorable- and job-clinching performance.
The first step is understanding what behavioral questions look for- and that is your process and attitude. Since the questions are almost always multi-part and reflective- they give your interviewer an opportunity to see where you set your standards and how you communicate with others. The tactics you employ also give insight into your style as an employee- and your results speak to your effectiveness. Putting them all together into a big picture allows the interviewer to use a single question to make a complex evaluation of a prospective employee.
For this prompt- which asks you to talk about a time when someone else did not contribute their fair share- the key is to understand that the questioner is looking to see where you balance between the poles of delivering the project at all costs and holding each individual fully accountable. An ideal answer will be able to deliver on both- showing how the labor was divided in a way that satisfied the needs of the project while also ensuring that the right people received credit. Structuring with the STAR method ensures you are able to highlight both aspects of your answer clearly- too- providing the framework you need when preparing.Build My Resume
How to Answer the ‘Tell of a Time When You Worked With a Colleague Who Was Not Completing His or Her Share of the Work. Who- If Anyone- Did You Tell or Talk to About It? Did the Manager Take Any Steps to Correct Your Colleague? Did You Agree or Disagree With the Manager’s Actions?’ Behavioral Interview Question
Structure Answers Effectively: There is a reason that the STAR method is universally recommended as an approach to answering behavioral interview questions- and that is because it works almost every time. It provides an organizational approach that ensures you are focusing on everything an interviewer is trying to hear. STAR means:
- • ST: Describe the situation or task clearly- so your listener understands the context of your decisions and the impact of your decision-making. Make sure they also understand the other people involved- and the goals of the project or the direction of the situation.
- • A: Make sure you clearly relate the actions you took- including how they interacted with the actions taken by other employees.
- • R: Narrate your results clearly- with a focus on explaining how the cause/effect relationship between your actions and the results functioned.
Tell All Sides of the Story: Remember- the goal of these questions is to understand your contributions in context. That means that you do want to show how other people contributed and how results derived from your participation with others. That way- the process you narrate communicates effectively about what kind of a team player you would be- and what kinds of teamwork styles you would be likely to be compatible with. The interviewer wants to hear about what you can offer at the company where you are interviewing- and teamwork is a huge benefit that can help set you apart from other interviewees who may not answer this question as well as you.
Preparation Means Practice: You want a smooth delivery- and ideally something no longer than an elevator speech in length if you are balancing between being memorable and being complete with your answers. To deliver this consistently and comfortably- you will need to make sure you practice your answers and prepare to deliver them with the STAR organizational focus in mind. When follow through with both composition and delivery consistently- then you know you are ready.
Remain Positive: This question could naturally lead you towards answering in a negative way- effectively throwing former or current coworkers under the bus. However- it is important to stay as positive as possible to avoid putting off any attitudes of superiority. Make sure that you state the issue you dealt with clearly- but instead of focusing completely on what another person did not do- place your focus on what you did to make the situation better for everyone involved.
Sample ‘Tell of a Time When You Worked With a Colleague Who Was Not Completing His or Her Share of the Work. Who- If Anyone- Did You Tell or Talk to About It? Did the Manager Take Any Steps to Correct Your Colleague? Did You Agree or Disagree With the Manager’s Actions?’ STAR Interview Answer
During my first job experience out of college- I was on a creative team that was tasked with coming up with the ad copy for custom radio advertisements at a local station. There was one person on the team who just consistently missed pitching or who seemed to always pitch last and use mostly overlapping ideas- so nothing he said was really original. I tried to talk to him about it- but he swore it was coincidental. When I went to the manager- I was taken seriously- but I did not see any particular action come from my discussion. Eventually- that team member was rotated into a sales position- though- and at that point they found another new hire who contributed more- and the workload evened out considerably.
The key the answering behavioral interview questions like these is to be as neutral as possible about the motives of the other participants- and to acknowledge things that might have happened outside your immediate range of visibility.