Situational interview questions provide you with the situation, and ask you for a solution. This type of interview question is effective in assessing applicants’ skills, knowledge, and experience.

Remember also that these questions have direct relevance to the job for which you are applying. One of your most useful sources of information for situational interview is the job description. Look at essential skills in particular. These are the skills which will be tested at the interview.

What you need to know about situational interview answers

Behavioral interview answers are problem solvers. The big issue is whether your answers solve the problems.

Situational interview questions

These are examples of classic situational interview questions:

  1. If you know your manager has incorrect information, what you do about it?
  2. Give an example of managing a difficult customer.
  3. How do you escalate a difficult situation to management?
  4. How do you manage a super urgent rush job, when you’re overloaded with work?
  5. How do you manage a dispute with a colleague?
  6. A person on your team has become ill, and you have to do that person’s work as well as your own; how do you handle the situation?
  7. You have two extremely important jobs to do. How do you prioritise the two jobs?
  8. A client gives you new information regarding their contract. How do you manage this information?
  9. How do you allocate work to staff?
  10. How do you manage your involvement in a dispute between staff members?

Each situation needs to be carefully considered, and you need to plan your response. Your response will define your ability to manage these situations.

Situational interview answers

Depending on the job, your ability to manage situations will vary. These are the issues you need to address to answer these interview questions:

  1. Providing information to managers regarding incorrect information, you will need to use appropriate in-house protocols. You also need to provide the manager with accurate, up-to-date information.
  2. Every employer has a standard set of guidelines for managing difficult customers. Your answer should include these processes, and an evaluation of the customer’s issues.
  3. When referring an issue to management, you also need to provide appropriate documentation and briefing.
  4. Urgent jobs have priority. This job must be completed ASAP, and you must also manage your other work.
  5. A dispute with a colleague must be managed according to employer rules for settling disputes.
  6. If you are required to take over the work of a colleague, you need to systematically plan to manage that work as well as your existing workload.
  7. Top priority must be given according to the requirements of management.
  8. If you receive new information from a client regarding a contract, you must advise management accordingly and you must have appropriate documentation.
  9. Allocating work to staff relates directly to business productivity. Your allocation of work will therefore be based on clearly defined goals.
  10. If involved in a dispute between staff members, you must act in accordance with the best interests of the employer.

Always remember – Situational interview questions relate to practical work issues. You do know how to handle these issues. Make sure that the interviewers see that you do.