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How to prepare for a behavioral interview

July 5, 2022

Boundaryless Career Opportunities
Boundaryless Career Opportunities

The job-interview process can include an element that can seem daunting for some: the behavioral interview. But with a little preparation and the right mindset, you can be confident and well prepared.

Many roles at Accenture require working closely with clients. How you handle certain scenarios is critical to success. Different from assessing your functional or technical knowledge, the behavioral interview evaluates the way you manage and overcome challenging situations.

You’ll be asked a series of questions that aim to understand how you might respond to varying scenarios in the workplace. The insights help reveal your level of experience and potential to manage similar situations in the future.

Research, prepare, practice

Success in any interview is all about preparation, but especially in a behavioral interview. Most important is to be honest and respond in a way that communicates your experience and value proposition. And keep these five tips in mind:  

  1. Research the company, and review the job description and associate your knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics that are most critical for success in the position.

  2. Prepare one or two significant stories from past major projects that demonstrate your problem-solving skills, teamwork, collaboration, creativity and how you’re able to adapt to change.

  3. Provide one or two examples that show your ability to be agile, resilient and collaborate with others to get things done. Think about both positive and negative experiences in which you've worked with others, dealt with conflict, negotiated and/or compromised.

  4. Ensure your responses are well prepared with substance, structure and style. Confidence, humility and even humor can set you apart from other candidates.

  5. Prepare, polish and practice your answers, and take time to think before you respond.

Use the STAR method

We look for behaviors that demonstrate collaboration, leadership and problem-solving skills, ability to learn, business acumen and emotional resilience. There aren’t necessarily wrong answers; the questions are aimed at getting to know the real you.

Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to identify the problem, show which actions you took to correct it, and clarify the results.

S - Situation: What is the context of your story? For example: “We were working on a six-month contract for a high-value client when our agency merged with another, larger firm…”

T - Task: What was your assignment in this situation? For example: “It was my role to lead the transition for my group while also communicating with our client to keep the project on track.”

A - Action: What did you do? For example: “I set up weekly check-ins with the client to update them on the progress of the merger. This cemented an important level of trust between us. I also had regular one-on-one meetings with each person on the team, both to assess how they were handling the change and to make sure we would meet our deadlines.”

R - Result: What was the impact of your contributions? For example: “We ended up completing the project on time, meeting all of their specifications. It was incredibly rewarding to navigate a lot of change and succeed under pressure.”

Example questions

Here are a few examples of questions you might hear in a behavioral interview at Accenture:

  • Tell me about a time you had to manage a challenging project. What were the key challenges, and how did you overcome them?

  • Describe a situation in which you embraced a new system, process, technology or idea at work that was a major departure from the old way of doing things.

  • Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with—for example, a challenging client or colleague on your team.

  • Tell me about a time you learned a new skill. How did you approach it, and how did you apply your new learnings?

  • Tell me about a time when you overcame a conflict at work.

  • Tell me about a time you handled a stressful situation when you were under a lot of pressure.

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        WRITTEN BY

        Parin Mehta

        Lead – Recruitment Capability & Enablement, Bengaluru, India