Companies are always looking for new ways to find out if an applicant is a good fit for the job. Standard interviews are useful, but they do not always tell you if the individual knows how to handle the specific tasks, or if they simply were able to come up with an answer that makes them look more impressive than they really are.
So companies started using behavioral interviews. Behavioral interviews worked under the assumption that the behaviors you displayed in the past will adequately reflect how you handle the same situations in the future. However, these are prone to problems as well, as the stories the applicant shares are going to be hand selected to reflect well on the candidate.
These deficiencies have caused hiring managers to seek out another type of interview – the situational job interview.
Situational Job Interview
Situational job interviews look at questions and answers from a forward thinking perspective. While most interview questions tend to focus on past behaviors and experiences, situational questions deal primarily with hypothetical situations. For example:
- The network is crashing. What are the steps you take to troubleshoot it?
- A client tells you they are no longer happy with the product. What do you do?
- You are provided a budget of $500 to run a marketing campaign. How do you allocate your resources?
These questions ask you to describe what you would do, rather than what you have done in the past. Presumably, this gives the interviewer insight into how the applicant will handle real life situations.
Effectiveness of Situational Interview Questions
Situational interview questions are an effective way to judge an applicant’s viability, because the answer they provide probably is the action they would take in a given situation. Applicants that know the “right” thing to do in those situations are just as likely to perform those correct actions. Situational interview questions are like putting you in the role, without actually forcing you to do any work. Currently not a lot of companies employ situational interviews, with the exception of one or two questions during the standard interview, however it would not be a surprise if this technique shows itself to be very effective and used more often in the future.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Situational interview questions may be used more often in the future.