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how to answer behavioral interview questionsHiring managers love behavioral interview questions, because these kinds of questions dig deeper into what kind of employee you really are.

Answers to behavioral interview questions must be in the form of stories, or examples of things you've done in your career.  They are projections from you about how you would handle everyday or stressful situations in this new job, based on how you've handled similar situations before.

To answer behavioral interview questions well, you need to know which questions are likely to be asked, and plan for a story you can tell.  Come up with real life examples of how you have excelled in your work.  Develop these stories for your behavioral interview.

A great way to organize the stories you come up with is to think about the STAR technique.

Begin with S, the “Situation”, or T, “Task”.  Give a little background into the problem you faced and set up the scenario.  Provide some details about when and where it took place and some general context as to why it occurred.  Explain what the situation required from you and what you decided to do to resolve the issue.

Then comes A for “Action”.  Tell them what your options were and which one you took to resolve the situation and explain to the interviewer what role you played in the outcome.

The last letter stands for “Results”.  This is where you emphasize the measurable results that wrapped up the situation in your favor.  Be very specific about the results you personally achieved, what you learned and how your organization benefited from your part in the resolution.

Walk them through your thought process to show that you are strategic, thoughtful, knowledgeable, can communicate well.  How did you approach that situation?  What did you think about it?  Why did you choose that particular plan of action?  How did you implement it?  What happened?  Did you have to adjust your approach?  How did it come out?  What did you learn from it?  If you had to do it again, would you do it differently, and why?

Here are articles you can read for great answers to 10 behavioral interview questions: If these help you, I encourage you to check out the entire series, How to Answer Interview Questions - 101 Tough Job Interview Questions and Answers.