Answering Interview Questions: How to ace behavioural questions
Health employers often use behavioural questions to assess skills and attributes. Unlike situational questions which revolve on hypothetical situations, behavioural questions focus on your previous record and practice. Because they are based on real-life examples, these questions provide employers insight on how you would perform in a given scenario, not just how you would theoretically perform.
As with any question, you should take a moment to think about what the interviewer is really asking or looking for. Here are some example questions on how these questions might be asked.
Example question 1: Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a change in the workplace over which you had no control.
How to answer: Adaptive people stay calm under pressure, think on their feet, follow procedure and produce results despite the scenario presented to them. Therefore, the interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate how you would approach a problem like this. You should use the STAR technique [hyperlink] to help you structure your answer.
Example of a good answer: While working as an Assistant-in-Nursing at an Aged Care facility, I was first at the scene for a resident who had fallen in the shower unwitnessed and was unconscious. After calling for help and considering my personal safety, I then sought the instruction of a Registered Nurse, under whose supervision I was working under. She instructed me to call for emergency services, and then asked for my assistance with positioning the resident in a safer manner. The resident was able to receive further medical attention at our local hospital, and has since returned to the facility.
Example question number 2: Tell me about a time when you supported a colleague who was struggling.
How to answer: Again, use the STAR method to help structure your answer. This time, your response should demonstrate your empathy, communication skills, and ability to work in a team.
Example of a good answer: “A colleague who had only recently joined the team was having some difficulty with using a new piece of equipment. I offered to assist them with operating the equipment, as well as provide them with some ongoing training and support. After a few issues, they have since been using the equipment proficiently, and they have been able to improve their practice using the knowledge they have gained.
Remember, these competencies and behaviour vary from job to job, so familiarise yourself with the job description before the interview. Having examples off the cuff will enable you to answer these questions more confidently and will allow you to really showcase your skills.