Scenario-Based Interview Questions and Answers: In this article you will learn how to answer scenario based interview questions.
If you have an interview coming up soon for any role or company, make sure you read this article well because it will help you pass at the first attempt.
How to Answer Scenario-Based Interview Questions in an Interview
This article will cover the following things:
- Reasons why the hiring manager is going to ask you a series of scenario based questions in your job interview.
- Two important tips for answering each of those scenario based interview questions to get the highest scores achievable.
- Brilliant example answer to each of those scenario based questions to help you pass.
Reasons why is the hiring manager asking you scenario based interview questions?
They are asking you these questions for two reasons:
- Because they want to assess what you would do in certain situations you will likely encounter in the workplace.
For example, if they say to you, what would you do if you didn’t get on with someone in your team? And you respond by saying, “I’d ask my manager for advice on how to deal with the situation”, then you will probably fail your interview.
That is not the correct way to answer that common scenario based interview question.
- Because they want to see if you are willing to take ownership of difficult situations in the workplace.
For example, let’s say they ask you the question, it’s late on a Friday afternoon and nearly time to go home. All of a sudden the company website crashes. What would you do? If you respond by saying, “I’d leave it until first thing Monday morning and then get it back up and running again”. If you said that in your answer, you will fail your interview.
How do you answer these difficult scenario based interview questions?
Scenario based interview question: What would you do if you made a serious mistake at work?
Here’s two tips:
Tip 1: This common scenario based interview question is assessing how honest you are. Do not say you would simply rectify the mistake and then carry on with your work.
Tip 2: Whenever mistakes are made at work, it is important to own up to them and then share what you have learned with the other people in your team. That’s the correct way to answer this question.
Below are top scoring example response.
“I would immediately own up to the mistake and inform my manager. I would then take positive action to put things right and assess what I did wrong to learn from the situation so it doesn’t happen again.
Finally, I would share my findings with the other people in my team so they could learn from the situation too.”
That is a brilliant example answer the correct answer to that common scenario based interview question.
Scenario based interview question: It’s late on a Friday afternoon and nearly time for you to go home, the company website crashes, what would you do?
Tip 1: This next scenario based interview question is assessing your commitment to their company, what your priorities are, and your problem solving capabilities.
Tip 2: Although you are entitled to go home at 5:00p.m once your working day is complete, this doesn’t demonstrate loyalty or a commitment to the company.
How should you answer this question? This is how to response.
“The wrong thing to do in this situation would be to leave it until Monday because the company would lose sales and revenue over the weekend.
Therefore, I would quickly assess the problem myself to see if the website issue was an obvious one. If it wasn’t obvious, I would speak to the IT department if the company had one, or ask my manager for permission to hire an online contractor so they could fix the issue.
Once the problem was rectified, I would inform my manager before going home for the weekend.”
That’s how I would answer that question. That is a great thing to say because it demonstrates commercial awareness.
Scenario based interview question: What would you do if you had to collaborate on a project with a colleague with whom you disagreed?
This is a tough scenario based interview question. Below are two tips.
Tip 1: This difficult question is assessing your interpersonal and team-working skills. Can you build a good relationship with anyone?
Tip 2: The important thing to focus on in your answer is the outcome of the project. That is the priority.
Below is a brilliant example answer to help you:
“The outcome of the project would be my priority, so I would take positive steps to build a good working relationship with them and reach a compromise to benefit the project.
I would listen to my colleagues’ ideas, put my suggestions forward, and create a plan of action that included our best ideas and suggestions.
At all times, I would be respectful of my client but insist that we must focus on the project’s end goal and do all we could to achieve the best outcome possible.”
So that’s a great answer because you are working with your colleague even though you disagree, you are putting together the best ideas to reach a positive project outcome.
Scenario based interview question: What would you do if an angry customer confronted you with a complaint?
This is a really difficult one to answer correctly.
Tip 1: This is one of the more common scenario based interview questions, and it is assessing your understanding of good customer service.
Tip 2: In your answer, it is really important to show calmness, professionalism and the ability to solve the customer’s complaint quickly and decisively.
Below is a brilliant example answer:
“I wouldn’t take anything the customer said personally. Instead, I would remain calm, professional, let the customer speak, and use active listening skills.
At the right time, I would intervene and tell the customer I was here to help them and that I would feel the same if the situation had happened to me. I would apologize if the company was at fault.
I would ask the customer probing questions to clarify the issue and suggest a suitable outcome to resolve the complaint quickly and amicably.
Once the customer had confirmed they were satisfied with my resolution, I would seek to learn from the situation and share my findings with my manager and team.”
That is a really good answer.
Scenario based interview question: What would you do if your boss asked you to complete a task you’d never done before?
Tip 1: This question is assessing your initiative. Do you tell your boss you can’t do the task or do you take control of the situation and learn how to do it quickly?
Tip 2: In your answer show you have the desire to learn new skills and the investigative techniques to find out how to carry out a new task or responsibility on your own.
Below is a great example:
“I would see this as an opportunity for me to learn a new skill. So I would be excited about the opportunity. I would agree to do the task before going away and quickly finding out how to do it.
I would look at online training videos, blogs, read company training manuals, and do everything I could to learn how to carry out the task competently.
If I were still unsure how to do part of the task, I would ask experienced work colleagues for information and advice.”
That is a really good answer.
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