The purpose of behavioral interview questions is for interviewers to understand how you have responded to certain situations in the past to gain insight into how you would act in similar situations in the new job.
When you hear this type of question, reflect on the company’s primary reason for asking it before you jump the gun. Your answer should address your communication skills and ability to overcome a challenging situation with a colleague. Think of an example where you can speak to the importance of why you needed certain information and outline what you did to receive it. The hiring manager is looking to make sure you understand your colleagues perspective (i.e., you can empathize with the fact that they might have a lot on their plate, etc.) — but you have figured out a way to strongly communicate in order to still solicit the information.
- Make it easy for the person to give you a quick answer.
- Schedule time on their calendar.
- Propose a course of action you’ll take if you don’t hear back.
- Try a different method of communication.
- Ask the person directly how you should handle it.
Example answer: “ I can think back to a time when I was working closely with an external partner on planning an event. I was trying to set the schedule for my team, however, it would sometimes take two weeks before the external partner would email me back. I could definitely empathize with this as I know they mentioned they were managing multiple events, however, I also had to recognize that it was slowing down the planning for my team. What I did was first I would set a reminder for myself to follow up to my initial emails two days after I sent my first email. Next I determined setting up phone meetings might help the external partner communicate more information at once. This really helped in our ability to meet the deadlines we each needed.”