Situational Interview Questions and Answers

Situational interview questions and answers say a lot about a person, because they strive to show how someone reacts to real world situations. It’s therefore important to know how to answer situational interview questions, since a lack of preparedness could make you see unworthy of a job. For this reason, we’ve compiled some examples of situational interview questions and answers.

Q: How would you respond if you knew that one of your fellow workers was planning to take a week’s vacation using sick days?

A: You would tell them that they need to be honest and respect their team: taking days off hurts the business.

The interviewer wants to see that you’re responsible.

Q: Describe a time when you got criticized for job performance.

A: I was told I let a customer swear at me for too long. I took the criticism and learned to call my manager over sooner.

The interviewer wants to see that you can recognize and learn from your mistakes.

Q: What would your ideal workplace look like?

A: I like having to deal with a lot of moving parts. Multi-tasking is ideal.

The interviewer wants to see that your ideal workplace matches the actual workplace.

Q: A person you’re leading has stopped doing good work. How do you respond?

A: I try and get at the heart of the problem. First, I ask them if anything’s wrong. Then I inform them of the problem with their work performance. We talk and come to a conclusion as to how to resolve things.

The interviewer wants to see that you have good management skills.

Q: Describe a boss you had who you found to be difficult. How did you handle him?

A: I always tried be honest and respectful. We didn’t see eye to eye, but I strived to maintain the working relationship.

The interviewer wants to see that you don’t have a problem with authority.

Q: You’re working on a time-sensitive issue, and a fellow employee isn’t able to give you an answer on a critical question. How do you respond?

A: I ask the person why they’re having such trouble. Then I try and solve the problem.

The interviewer wants to see problem-management skills.

Q: Name the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in the workplace.

A: I once had to deal with a team member whose spouse died. He took it very hard, and I managed to console him and pick up a lot of his work. He came out of his funk and was able to go back to work.

Once again, the interviewer wants to see problem-management skills.

Q: Tell me about a goal you set. Did you achieve it?

A: I wanted to make $200,000 in sales in 2013. I did.

The interviewer wants to see ambition and success.

Q: Have you ever had an idea that changed the workplace?

A: Yes, I got rid of cubicles in the office. People loved it.

The interviewer wants to see creativity.

Q: You make a suggestion, and your fellow worker tells you it’s bad. What do you do?

A: I provide concrete examples of the idea’s worth.

The interviewer wants to see problem-management skills.

We hope you enjoyed these examples of situational and engineering interview questions. If you did, you’re sure to have a leg up on the competition, since you prepared. And preparation is what separates the professional from the dilettante.