Check out our comprehensive guide to using the STAR technique to ace the following 18 behavioral interview questions in freelance job interviews.
The freelancing universe is competitive, and standing out from the crowd is critical when countless talented individuals are vying for the same opportunities. While an impressive digital portfolio and in-depth subject matter know-how are essential parts of the puzzle, nailing the job interview often determines if you land the contract. As an independent contractor, articulating your skills and experiences in response to behavioral interview questions can make or break your candidacy. This comprehensive guide will take you through the most important behavioral interview questions with answers to prepare for your next role. We'll also dive into the nuances of these powerful queries, including the STAR technique for answering them, common behavioral interview questions you may be asked, and practical tips to help you secure your dream project.
What are behavioral interview questions? 💭
Clients use behavioral interview questions as critical assessment tools. These questions zero in on how you've handled a range of past work situations to predict your future situational performance. Instead of asking hypotheticals, interviewers ask about real-life situations to evaluate your fit for their current project.
Thoughtfully answering these questions enables you to showcase your self-management and multitasking skills, adaptability, teamwork, and many more qualities interviewers seek. The qualities, which can be hard to evaluate by browsing an online portfolio, shine when you can use a past situation as an example to demonstrate them effectively.
And if you’re wondering how to effectively answer behavioral interview questions, remember the sweet spot is 1–2 minutes — long enough to highlight the essential points without rambling on. Answering well is a balance of conciseness and detail –– explain what you did and how you did it so you don't leave the interviewer in the dark about important information. But don’t forget to keep it succinct.
18 common behavioral interview questions 👂
Behavioral interview questions come in many different forms. The goal of each one is to assess an aspect of your skills, experience, or personality. Here are 18 common behavioral interview questions spanning six popular categories:
Teamwork questions 🔥
- "Tell me about a time you had to work closely with someone differently abled than you." One of many tell me about a time interview questions, this query evaluates your ability to collaborate with diverse individuals.
- "Describe a situation where conflict took place within your work team. How did you handle it?" This looks at your conflict resolution skills within a group setting.
- "Can you explain when you helped a team achieve an objective?" This question explores your willingness and ability to contribute to the team and company goals.
Customer service questions 🙋♀️
- "Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond to serve a customer." This assesses your commitment to providing excellent customer service.
- "Describe a situation where you had to handle an irate customer; what did you do?" This evaluates your ability to prioritize discretion and composure while solving customer issues quickly.
- "When and how did you positively impact a customer?" This examines your ability to create meaningful, productive customer experiences, encouraging consumers to be loyal to the brand.
Adaptability questions 🤩
- "Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to unexpected changes at work." This question demonstrates your flexibility and resilience.
- "Describe a situation where you had to learn something new quickly." Quick learning and adaptability are what the interviewer seeks with this question.
- "Can you share a time when you tackled a drastic change in project scope?" This behavioral interview question probes your ability to respond effectively to significant changes.
Motivation and values questions ⚡
- "Tell me about a time when you went out of your way to make a client happy." This question assesses your dedication and drive to go above and beyond in your role.
- "Describe a time when you felt truly rewarded by your work — what made you feel like that?" This query examines what you value and what makes you happy in your work. The interviewer typically is looking for something that stood out to you in your previous job profile.
- "Tell me about a goal you reached and how you achieved it." This question measures if you're goal-oriented and how you work toward those short- and long-term milestones at work.
Communication questions ☎️
- "How did you explain a complex issue to a client or coworker?" Through this question, the interviewer wants to know how you communicate complex information and handle coworker and client relationships.
- "Describe a situation where you had to persuade someone to see things differently." One of many scenario questions for interviews, this looks at your ability to negotiate effectively.
- "Can you provide an example of a time when you were criticized? How did you handle it?" This question explores your receptiveness to feedback and ability to have open discourse.
Ethics and integrity questions 🙌
- "Tell me about a time when you experienced an ethical dilemma at work and how you handled it." This assesses your moral judgment and integrity in the workplace (fundamental character traits).
- "Describe a situation where you were asked to do something you believe to be immoral. How did you react?" This question looks at your willingness and ability to set and adhere to ethical boundaries in the workplace.
- "Can you share an instance when you took a stand for something you believe in?" This question probes if you can uphold your values in the face of opposition.
The STAR technique ⭐
The STAR method is a powerful technique for answering behavioral interview questions. This strategy is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
- Situation: Describe the position you were in.
- Task: Explain the goal you were working toward.
- Action: Detail the specific steps you took to address the situation.
- Result: Share the outcome of your actions (don't be shy!).
The STAR method is an excellent outline for providing well-structured, coherent, and complete answers to job interview questions. It helps a recruiter or interviewer understand your thought processes and the results you've achieved.
Here's an example of how to answer a question during a STAR interview:
- Question: "Tell me about a time you had to work closely with someone whose personality differed greatly."
- Why: Interviewers ask this question to evaluate your ability to collaborate successfully with diverse personality types.
- What: Interpersonal skills, adaptability, and conflict resolution are just a few things interviewers assess via this question.
Here's how to answer this question using the STAR technique:
- Situation: "In my last role, I worked closely with a detail-oriented client. I am more of a big picture kind."
- Task: "We had to collaborate on a project requiring macro and micro perspectives."
- Action: "I scheduled regular meetings to reconcile our approaches through open and honest discussion. I communicated my appreciation of their attention to detail and explained how my approach could complement their mindset."
- Result: "We collaborated effectively, resulting in a successful project with a broad strategy and meticulous execution."
Prepare for success 🥳
Being prepared helps you feel more confident and deliver compelling responses to highlight your career accomplishment and showcase your potential. Here are six tips for mastering the art of concisely answering interview questions:
- Research is key: Understand the role and company culture. Figure out the skills and behaviors they value most, and tailor your responses accordingly. But don't get too carried away –– be truthful with your responses.
- Study the STAR technique: Remember, this strategy helps you give comprehensive and structured answers that paint a clear picture of your past experiences and competencies. Leverage it to highlight your strengths.
- Prepare examples: We can’t stress enough the importance of anecdotes. Have specific examples from your past experience ready that demonstrate the behaviors the interviewer might be looking for.
- Rehearse your answers: Practice makes perfect –– stand in front of a mirror and speak your answers aloud. The more you go over your responses, the more confident you'll feel during the actual interview.
- Stay positive: Even if you're sharing a challenge or conflict, focus on the positive outcomes and what you learned from the situation.
- Be authentic: Honesty is crucial. Avoid fake answers; instead, be yourself and let your genuine experiences and skills shine.
Land your dream role on Contra 🌙
Learning how to navigate behavioral interview questions is critical for freelancing success. It empowers you to showcase your unique personality, skill set, and work experience — after all, there's no one quite like you.
Join the Contra platform to put your interviewing prowess into action. As an online hub for Independents, Contra allows you to manage and promote your freelance services and connect with ideal clients, all commission-free. Your dream project is just a successful interview away, and don’t forget to ask them your own questions.