Best Situational Interview Questions To Ask In An Interview
Asking the right interview questions is critical as an interviewer. For most job pipelines, interviews are (likely) your only chance to interact with a candidate, learn about them, learn about their work, and get a peek into their thought processes. Situational interview questions are a good tool to help you achieve those goals.
First, just what are situational interview questions?
A situational interview question is one where the candidate is given a situation and asked questions around that. That can help you assess a variety of things: how a candidate reacts to different situations, their ability to think on their feet, and their problem solving abilities.
For example: you're working on project for a long time and just as it's about to finish, the scope or the goals change, and you have to rework. What would you do?
The answer to that question can tell you a lot of things about a candidate: their ability to ask good questions, their ability to collaborate with a team, and their ability to deal with tricky situations. Similarly, there could be a lot of other situational interview questions that you can ask, depending on the position you're hiring for.
Situational interview questions are a great way to assess a candidate because, unlike behavioural questions, they give candidates a situation to think about. They can draw from their past experience, but they force candidates to think too.
Here are some situational interview questions you can ask:
- You've been managing a project with a small team for a long time and it seems like it's taking forever to ship. What would you do?
- You're working with a team where you're close to shipping a project but you don't believe it's up to standard. What do you do?
- You're supposed to manage a team for a critical project and you don't have any experience working with that team in the past. How do you start in such a situation?
- You disagree with the direction a project is taking and you're a key part of it. How do you handle that situation?
- You're working within a team and one of the team members isn't very responsive which is negatively impacting the rest of the team. How do you react?
- You're managing a long-term project with a team that has seen a lot of churn. How do you ensure that the team stays motivated and you ship on time?
Working with clients
- You're dealing with a client who is proving to be hard to please. How do you work with him?
- You have just shipped a feature that has garnered a lot of attention and therefore a lot of feedback from customers. How do you manage and prioritise all that feedback?
- You are working on a client project and you've made a critical mistake a few weeks in. How do you handle that?
- You're just starting on a project with a small team where the goals are clear. How do you communicate that to your team and make sure everyone is aligned?
- You're replacing someone else on a team that hasn't had the best time communicating with each other. What's the first thing you do?
- You're pitching a project that some people on your team don't see the value in. How do you react to that?