How to Answer Scenario Interview Questions

Scenario based interview questions are often viewed as difficult to answer as they can be very unpredictable. However, there are certain formulas and tips that you can utilise to ensure that you are given the best chance possible to stand out from the crowd and prove that you are worthy of the position.

Use the STAR formula

The STAR formula is frequently used to answer scenario-based questions in the most efficient and effective way possible. In this formula, you need to complete four stages:

  1. Situation: This is where you need to give the setting to the problem. In this stage, you need to include what kind of companies were involved, what was at stake, and any existing process.
  2. Task: Here, you state what was the goal that you were trying to achieve. If the interview questions ask for a problem, then this is the place where you will describe the issue that had occurred.
  3. Action: After you had established the problem, you will then need to show the interviewer how you managed to solve it. It is important to not only talk about what actions you took, but also your rationale behind it. That way, your interviewer will understand your mindset and see that you are a logical and critical problem solver.
  4. Result: Highlight how your actions had solved the problem and the overall project. If possible, also underline how your solution had direct or indirect long-term benefits for the company so that your interviewer will understand the complete scope of your achievement.

It is important to establish all four points in chronological order, that way, your interviewer can understand them easily.

Prepare answers on common topics beforehand

Preparation is always important for interviews, and particularly so for scenario-based questions as they require more in-depth answers. So before going into an interview, have a list of possible answers you can talk about ready and practice going over them to make sure that you remember all the key points.

Categorise your answers

Now that you have sample answers ready, it can be very helpful have these answers categorised into distinct qualities to make them easier to identify. Every interview question is asked to get to know something about yourself, whether it be your personality, work ethics, values or skills. So have a few scenarios ready for each of these categories so that no matter what the interviewer asks you, you would be completely prepared. Here are the ten most asked topics listed below:

  1. Teamwork skills
  2. Client-facing skills
  3. Time management
  4. Communication
  5. Motivation and values
  6. Work ethics
  7. Work attitude
  8. Flexibility
  9. Work under pressure
  10.  Organisation