How to succeed in your JOB INTERVIEW: Situational Questions

How to succeed in your JOB INTERVIEW: Situational Questions


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video, I am
going to teach you about job interview questions; specifically, we are going to talk about a
type of job interview question called “a situational interview question”. “Situational” is quite a large word, and you
know, it’s nothing to be afraid of, if you get this type of question. What we are going to learn today is how to
recognize a situational interview question, and how to answer one. Okay? And I’m going to share a whole bunch of tips
on the best ways to answer these types of questions. All right, so to get started, I’ve shown some
examples of a situational interview type of question. So, let’s read these together. The first question: “You hear someone making
a racist joke in your office. What would you do?” “You disagree with the way your supervisor
says to solve a problem. What would you do?” “You have been placed in charge of a team
for a new project. What are your first steps to get the team
going?” Okay? So, I want you to think about these questions,
and: What do they have in common? Okay? If you said that these questions were talking
about an imaginary situation or a hypothetical situation, you’re correct. When we answer these types of questions, we’re
talking about something we would do if a situation happened. So, this is not based on our experiences;
this is based on, you know, what we might do if this situation happened to us. Okay? So, again, there are many different types
of interview questions; this is just one type that you might get. And these are just some examples; there are
many more examples of situational interview questions. So, how do we know these questions are situational
interview type questions? Well, there’s a couple of keywords which can
really help you recognize and identify these types of questions. If you hear the word: “If”; if you hear the
word “would”, these are really good hints. So, for example: “What would you do?” That’s a… right there, we know: “Okay: ‘What
would you do?’ it’s a situational question.” Again: “What would you do?” Another common clue or another way we can
tell that a question is situational is they often start with the word: “You”, because
they want you to imagine yourself in this situation. So, for example: “You hear someone making
a racist joke in the office.” Or: “You have been placed in charge of a team
for a new project.” This hasn’t actually happened to you yet,
but this is something that might happen to you in the future at this job. So, the interviewer wants to know: “If this
happened, what would you do?” Okay? Okay, so now what we’re going to do is we’re
going to look at some more examples of situational interview questions, and we’re going to do
a practice listening activity to help you practice recognizing these types of questions. Okay, so now that you know a little bit more
about situational interview questions, let’s practice listening for them. Okay? So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to say
some different types of interview questions, and I want you to decide: Are they situational
or not? Are they situational or something else? Okay? So, I want you to take out a piece of paper
and get your pen or pencil ready, and I want you to make a picture on your paper that looks
like this. Okay? So you can write: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, a column
for yes and a column for no. Okay? And when… so, you can pause the video, and
then when you’re ready, you can unpause it and we can begin. Okay. So, now that you have your piece of paper
and your pencil ready, and you’ve put this on your paper, let’s get started. I’m going to say a question, and if it’s situational,
I want you to put a checkmark under “Yes”; if it’s not situational, I want you to put
a checkmark under “No”. Okay? And to help you with this, remember: Situational
questions usually have keywords in them, like: “If”, “would”, or they might begin with a
sentence that starts with “You”. Okay? So, let’s… let’s practice. Question number one: “What would you do if
you knew your boss was absolutely wrong about an important work-related issue?” Okay? So, again, the question is: “What would you
do if you knew your boss was absolutely wrong about an important work-related issue?” So, which one do you think? Do you think it’s situational or not situational? This question is a situational question. Okay? How do we know? Well, I said: “What would you do?” So this question is an imagination question. You’re not talking about your past experience;
you’re talking about: “If this happened, hypothetically, I would do this.” So it hasn’t happened; it’s something you
imagine in your head that you would do. Okay. Question number two: “Tell me about a time
when you made an unpopular decision at work. Tell me about a time when you made an unpopular
decision at work.” Okay? So, what do you think? Is this a situational question? This one is not a situational question. This is a different type of interview question. Okay? We didn’t hear the words: “If”, we didn’t
hear: “What would you do?” and we’re not asking you to imagine what you would do; we’re actually
asking you for a past experience, so this is not a situational question. All right. Question number three: “If you found out an
employee was stealing from the business, how would you talk to this employee? What would you say to this employee?” Okay? So: “If you found out an employee was stealing
from the business, what would you say to this employee?” All right, so think about it. Is it situational or not situational? Well, we said the word: “would”. We said… and we also said the word: “If”. “If you found out an employee was stealing,
how would you talk to the employee?” Okay? So we used the words: “If” and “would”, so,
situational. All right. The next question: “Why do you want to work
for our company? Why do you want to work for our company?” So, this question, is it situational? No, it’s not situational. This, you’re just talking about your reasons
for wanting to work for a company. You’re not talking about… you’re not really
pretending or imagining a situation; you’re just talking about what you like about the
company and why you want to work there. Okay. And the last question: “Imagine you have a
deadline and you are running out of time. What would you do?” So: “Imagine you have a deadline and you are
running out of time. What would you do?” Okay, so I think you probably heard this word:
“would”. “What would you do?” So that, again: “Oh. ‘What would you do?’ Situational.” Okay? So, again, listening for keywords is very
important during an interview because they help you to decide what and how you’re going
to answer the question, and what the interviewer… how the interviewer wants you to answer a
question. Okay? So, we’ve looked at some examples of situational
interview questions, and there’s many different ones and many different types; now what we
are going to do is we are going to practice answering a situational question. Okay, so we’ve learned about how to identify
situational interview questions, so now let’s practice answering situational interview questions. Okay? So, I have here an example of a situational
interview question. And, again, there’s many different examples,
and depending on your work, you might see different types. But imagine you’re applying to be the leader
or the supervisor at a company. Okay? “You are the team leader for a new project. What are your first steps to get the team
going?” Okay? So, again, this is an imaginary situation. You haven’t gotten the job yet, so this is
more about what you would do in the future, or like, if you could imagine this: What would
you do? So, how do we answer a question like this? Well, you have to say, first off, what you
would do; and then you can also, if you want, talk about: Why would you do it? Okay? You can give some reasons, if you want to;
but the most important thing is to talk about what you would do. So, don’t talk about past experiences, don’t
talk about, you know, what your friend Paul would do – talk about what you would do in
this situation. And also very important: Be specific. Okay? Very important. So, I have here two example answers, and I
want you to think about: Which is the better answer? So: “You are the team leader for a new project. What are your first steps to get the team
going?” First answer is: “I would make sure we work
together.” And the second answer is: “Firstly, I would
meet with my team and find out what people’s areas of expertise were. Next, I would provide a clear timeline for
the team and discuss our goals.” So, which…? Which answer do you think is the better one? In this case, the second answer is the better
one. Why? Because, first of all, we gave a lot more
detail; we were more specific. Okay? And that’s what’s very important in these
types of questions. You want to give a couple of examples in your
answer. “Firstly… next…” Okay? So we’re giving multiple things we would do. And if you want, you could talk about why
you would do them. Why do you think this is important? For question number one: “I would make sure
we work together”, that’s too short of an answer. You’re not really giving much detail, and
you’re not really explaining: How would you make sure you work together? Okay? That’s what they really want to see. They want to see specific steps, like: What
will you do, specifically? Okay? So, again, these questions, a lot of students
get really nervous about them; but if you really take your time and you think about
it, they’re not that difficult once you actually know what the interviewer is looking for. Okay? So, be specific. And a lot of the times you’re pretty much
either solving a problem, or you’re talking about maybe how you would make an ethical
decision. Okay? So, once you see a lot of these types of questions,
you start to notice a pattern and they become a lot less scary. So, now what we’re going to do is we’re going
to look at some common tips that can help you with these questions. Okay. So, how can you best answer a situational
interview question? Well, number one, which is probably one of
the most important things to know, is you really need to listen carefully to the question. One of the biggest complaints interviewers
have is that the person who’s doing the interview doesn’t know what the question is, and answers
a different question. Okay? So you always want to answer the question
the interviewer is asking you, so you must listen very carefully. And that’s why it’s so important to get used
to recognizing situational questions, because it helps you to understand what the interviewer
is looking for in their answer. Okay? Or in your answer. Okay? So listen very carefully and answer what the
interviewer asks you. Okay? Now, for a lot of students or people who are
learning English, this can be really hard because, you know, listening is a tough skill. It’s difficult sometimes to listen, especially
when it’s not your own language. So, what you can always do is: If the interviewer
asks you a question and you just have no idea what the interviewer asked, ask them to repeat
it. Okay? You can say: “I’m sorry. I didn’t catch that. Could you please repeat the question?” This is better than just, you know, answering
something else. Okay? Now, of course, you don’t want to say this
for every question in the interview. Ideally, that… you know, that would not
be good, but every once in a while, if you don’t understand the question, you can ask
them to repeat the question. Okay? And, again, listen for the keywords. If you hear the word: “If”, “What would you
do?”, “You are the, you know, head of a newspaper company”, anything like this – you know it’s
a situational type question, so you know how to respond. Okay? My next tip is about grammar. Situational questions are imaginary questions;
they’re hypothetical questions; they’re not based in the past; they’re more based in possibly
the future, but you know, we don’t know if this will happen – so your answer often will
have “would” in it. Okay? So, if somebody says to you: “What would you
do if, you know, someone in your company was stealing?” Your answer could start with: “I would”, and
then you have a verb. Okay? So, for example: “If someone in my company
was stealing, I would report them to, you know, human resources.” Or: “I would… you know, I would talk to
them and maybe find out more information. I would…” Okay? So, the key here is: Grammar – we often use
“I would” in our answer to these questions. So, here’s another example, you know: -“If
you had a lot of projects all at the same time, what would you do?” -“I would complete the hardest project first.” Or: “I would start with the easiest project
to get the ball rolling.” Okay? So, a lot of the times this is the type of
grammar we’re using here. But, that being said, the most important thing
is not usually… like, English is important, but your ideas are what’s the most important
thing. Okay? So if your English is not perfect, it’s okay. Okay? My English is not perfect; nobody’s English
is perfect. So, it’s okay if you make some English mistakes. The most important thing is that you have
good ideas. Okay? So, try your best with your English, but again,
the ideas are what’s the most important thing. Okay. Organizers. These can really help organize your answer. Okay? A lot of the times for situational questions,
you want to give a couple of examples of what you would do. So, this can be a reminder to you. “First of all, I would”, blah, blah, blah. “Secondly, I would do this. Finally, I would do this because of this.” Okay? So we often use these to organize our answers. You can also use: “Next… then… after that…
first of all…” So, these… there are many different organizers,
but they really help the listener to understand your ideas more clearly. Okay. Another tip, and this is also a very important
tip: Prepare before the interview. One of the most common mistakes I see for
both students… for people who are learning English and for people who are not learning
English, who speak English as their first language, is that they don’t prepare for interviews. Okay? They go to the interview. They’re very happy they have an interview,
but they don’t do any preparation, so then they get these types of questions and they
don’t know how to answer them, and they get really stressed out and they panic, and you
know, they answer a different question maybe because they don’t know what they should say. If you prepare and if you practice, you’re
going to do a lot better on your interview and you’re going to feel more confident during
your interview. Okay? So it’s very important to prepare before the
interview. Be specific. You know, they… they want to know specifically
what you would do. Okay? So, think about it, think carefully, and then
say something specific that you would do. You know, how would you deal with a co-worker
who, you know, wasn’t nice to customers? How would you deal with a boss who was very
difficult? Okay? What specifically would you do? Give details. Okay. Number seven is, again, a very important tip:
Practice makes perfect. When you first start doing situational interview
questions, they can be very difficult; but the more you practice, the easier they get. Okay? So, you know, they become very clear; you
can start to think about different situations. Practice makes perfect, and it’s very important
for situational interview questions to practice, practice, practice. So, how can you practice? Oh, I thought you’d never ask. There are many ways to practice. We have a lot of resources at our… at our
website, www.engvid.com. You can find the link to some of these resources
in our description. We have resources for situational interview
questions where you can actually see more examples, and you can use that to practice
maybe with a friend or your family, or you know, your dog. So, you can… maybe your dog’s not the best
partner, but yes, you can practice these types of questions. We have resources for other type of interview
questions; there are behavioural interview questions, there are standard interview questions. We have a lot of resources on the different
types of interview questions, so I highly recommend you practice these before your interview,
and you think about your experiences and your answers. Okay? You can also take our quiz. At www.engvid.com, we have a quiz on the video
that you’ve just watched. You can, you know, practice more and practice
even the English that you might have learned from this video. You can also subscribe to my channel; I have
a lot of videos on vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, all sorts of different things, and that can
also help you prepare for your interview. So, thank you so much for watching this video. Oh, okay, and I already talked about other
types of questions – good. Thank you so much for watching this video. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. And until next time, take care.

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