How To Ace Behavioral Interview Questions

If you’ve recently begun job-hunting, you may have already encountered the competitive streak that exists within the corporate world. To secure a Business Analyst role of your dreams, you will have to work extra hard, commiting to creating a top-notch CV and passing the job interview with flying colors.

However, interviews have become a little more in-depth and complicated these days than they have been in the past. Currently, business analyst firms have introduced new and challenging questions into interviews in order to get a sense of the prospective candidates’ skillset. These are known as behavioral questions.

Behavioral questions can appear quite daunting at first. But once you begin to understand the logic behind this questioning, answering them will start to seem a lot easier than it initially did. 

In this article, we’ll explore all you need to know about the infamous behavioral questions, including details concerning the standard interview procedure, and tips that will help you answer these strategically tricky questions.  

So, are you ready to unlock the secrets to answering behavioral questions and acing your interview?

If yes, keep reading!

What Are Behavioral Questions?

Behavioral questions are questions used to assess a Business Analyst’s problem-solving skills. This is done by placing the interviewee within challenging hypothetical situations and asking them to find a solution to the problem or by asking them to recount past challenges.

The interviewer will always ask questions that allow them to analyze the interviewee’s behavior, which is why these questions are also known as “behavioral questions.” 

Your interviewer may give you answer prompts starting with these phrases:

  • “Give me an example of…”
  • “Describe a situation where…”
  • “Tell me about a time when you…”
  • “What would you do if…”

Sample questions may include:

  • “Tell me about a time when you employed teamwork skills to solve a problem at work.”
  • “How did you handle a stressful situation at work?” 
  • “Give me an example of a creative solution you came up with for a problem at your last job.”

Your interviewer wants to see how results-oriented you are and will take note of how proactive your approach is. They also want to understand how strongly you care about things like teamwork, creativity, and maintaining a logical approach. 

Asking behavioral questions can help employers accurately analyze your work ethic, attitude, and general approach by using your past behaviors as a guide. Once the interviewer has a fair idea of what you will be like as an employee, they can make an informed decision about whether or not you will be the right fit for the role and the organization.  

How to Ace the Problem-Solving Round

As noted above, potential employers want to see how well you can tackle workplace problems – which is why they ask behavioral questions in the first place! To do this, they will give you questions that demand you to show traits including, but not limited to, leadership, creativity, logical thinking, determination, and a positive attitude.

Here is a detailed list of key behavioral traits employers are looking for from a Business Analyst:

Leadership and Taking Initiative

Employers are keen on recruiting Business Analysts who display strong leadership skills. Of course, everyone isn’t a born leader, nor do they have to be. After all, leaders are only useful when they have a set of followers to guide. However, if you do have strong leadership skills, be sure to flaunt them during the interview. 

If you’re more of an introvert, you can instead show signs of taking the initiative to solve problems instead of showing leadership-style skills. Where leadership typically calls for you to gather and lead your teammates towards fulfilling a goal, “taking the initiative” points to finding ways to independently solve problems without needing to be told twice.

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is key to finding innovative solutions to challenging problems, which is why employers value Business Analysts that can think creatively over those who have a more mundane approach toward workplace tasks. 

When asked behavioral questions, you will be presented with hypothetical challenges, some of which simply cannot be solved without using an unorthodox, fresh, and original perspective. So, don’t worry about giving the “right answer” during your interview. Rather, you should appear confident and use a more creative approach instead of giving a traditional solution to the problem.

The more creative and effective your answer, the better your chances of being hired. Giving unconventional answers will help you stand out to your interviewers, giving them a memorable impression and a greater reason to hire you instead of the next person with the same academic qualifications as you.

Analytical Skills

Succeeding in the Business Analyst world requires expert analytical skills. That being said, your interviewers want to understand just how strong your analytical skills are. These skills include the ability to be able to identify problems in any given scenario. While these are skills are a bit challenging to acquire, you can check out my course for some excellent tips!

Analytical skills go hand-in-hand with creative thinking abilities. Solutions to problems should never be rooted purely in logic nor solely within creative measures. In fact, an effective solution can only be reached when both logic and creativity are paired together to be employed collaboratively on creating solutions. 

Determination

Employers seek Business Analysts who show a keen interest in their work and are determined to solve any problems they may encounter in the workplace. People who display determination are more likely to overcome harsh challenges and often have better answers to behavioral questions.

Determination goes hand-in-hand with having a positive attitude. Nobody wants to hire someone who is always dwelling on the negative! So, try your best to remain calm and adopt a positive approach during the interview.

Some Final Thoughts

Behavioral questions can, frankly, make or break your interview! So, be sure to prepare for them beforehand, or else you might find yourself flustered and confused when you need to answer these questions. 

Remember that your interview questions will be tailored to your Business Analyst position. So, not only do you need to be ready for some critical thinking, but you should also be well versed in what the duties of a Business Analyst are.

Try to prepare for your interview by honing the values I’ve identified and using the sample questions given above within this guide. But, most importantly, you should try and maintain a positive, driven attitude during the interview if you want to ace it!

Happy learning!

– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, The BA Guide

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