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Situational Interview Questions

Deepa Kartha
Situational questions are a common feature of job interviews. Our aim is to guide and prepare you to answer questions that may be asked by your prospective employer during your upcoming interview.
Most people concentrate so much on making their resume perfect, that they do not realize that it's also important to prepare well for the interview. This is because a well written resume can only get you a job interview, and to make sure that you get the job, you have to be prepared to face a challenging interview.
Though most of us get prepared to answer common questions that are asked to test our knowledge about a particular field, we may actually face problems in answering situational questions. During such interviews, the interviewee is given an hypothetical situation, and will be asked how he/she will react or handle it.
Sometimes, employers ask about conflicting or problematic situations which the other individual had experienced during the earlier job, and would want to know how he handled it. Such questions are asked so that the interviewer understands the individual's analytical as well as problem-solving skills.

Examples of Situational Interview Questions

Every person, whichever position he holds in an organization, will have certain responsibilities and will definitely encounter certain problems that he will have to solve. The purpose of these questions is to judge the individual's potential in handling a difficult situation and solving a problem. 
Though you may never know what kind of questions the interviewer may ask you during the interview, knowing the type of questions that could be asked will help you in preparing yourself to answer them.
  • How would you act, if one of your team members or your subordinate does not perform according to the expectations?
  • What would be your reaction, when the recommendation or suggestion that you made at the meeting is rejected by your colleagues?
  • While working on a project, you are asked to take an important decision, what would be the steps that you would take to make the decision?
  • What would you do, if you find that a colleague or one of your seniors is a difficult person?
  • Your superior has made a suggestion about something which you do not agree with. What would you do in such a situation?
  • If your colleague tells you that he is going on a holiday for a week by calling sick at work, what will you do about it?
  • Did you have to face a situation where you had to turn down the request of a customer for some good reason? Why did you do it and how did you handle the situation?
  • Describe a problematic situation that you had to encounter at your previous company and how you found a solution?
  • You made a mistake while doing an important project? What did you do to rectify the problem and how?
  • Describe a time in your previous job where you were overloaded with work, but could complete all the projects at the correct time. How did you handle the pressure? How did you prioritize your work?
  • One of your team members have been making mistakes that is affecting your work. What would you do in such a situation?
  • One of your colleague has a thick accent while speaking English as it is his second language. This is making it a little difficult for you to understand what he is saying. What would you do in such a situation?
These are some of the crucial situational questions that could be asked to you by your interviewer. If you have to describe a situation that happened to you during your previous job, describe the action you took as well as the result of taking such an action. On the other hand, if you are given an hypothetical situation, think carefully before answering.
You can give examples by talking about your previous experiences. Remember that along with the answer that you give, the way you say them also does matter. So, relax and answer all the questions confidently and you will definitely be selected for the job. All the best!