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Answering Behavioral Questions

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Rachelle Enns
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune 500 executives find success in their career.
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Tell me about the most competitive work situation you have experienced. How did you handle it, and what was the result?
Example #1
"(Situation) My current sales position is highly commission based, so my colleagues and I are quite competitive. (Task) Despite being competitive, we have a terrific work environment where we help each other when someone is struggling to meet their quota. (Action) We coach each other on sales techniques and share success stories. (Result) The result has been a positive work environment with healthy competition."
Example #2
"(Situation) There is not often a chance for competition, as an Administrative Assistant; however, our office does a fundraising challenge every Thanksgiving. (Task) This challenge involves raising sponsorship for an office-wide 5K race. (Action) Most years, I am in the lead for funds raised, as I have a very supportive network of friends and family. Also, this challenge is one of my favorite charitable initiatives. (Result) Every year, we donate 100% of the funds to sponsoring two families for their Christmas needs. It gets competitive, and all for a great reason!"
Example #3
"(Situation) In my current role, we have four department managers. (Task) Since our jobs are so closely aligned, we are always in a friendly competition. (Action) We compete to see who can save the most money on hours per quarter, follow procedures the closest, and have an accident free month. (Result) It's a fun approach, but we also take these KPI's seriously at the same time. In fact, since introducing this friendly competition, all departments have seen a boost in employee engagement and productivity."
Example #4
"(Situation) My employer recently introduced a 'friendly' competition between two agency locations. (Task) It turned into a fierce contest to see who could increase their productivity, decrease errors, and maintain the company's high-quality standards while earning the highest amount of positive client reviews. (Action) Our team worked tirelessly and harder than usual, spending weekends working extra hours and encouraging each other along the way. (Result) We won the competition, and all received a new iPad. The whole event was a lot of fun."
Example #5
"(Situation) In retail, Christmas time is very competitive. Numbers are high, and everyone is trying to outdo last years' performance while earning the most commission. (Task) This holiday season is the time when our managers introduce an incentive program to encourage even more hustle. This particular year, there were rumors of a promotion being at stake. (Action) The rumors of a potential promotion, coupled with the holiday sales incentive, made me and another employee want to prove ourselves worthy. We made a handshake deal that we'd play nice, but at the end of the day, each of us still wanted to win. (Result) I did not earn the promotion; however, I was a close second. I learned a lot about healthy competition and enjoyed my successes either way."
Example #6
"(Situation) The most competitive I've ever been in a work environment was when I was up for promotion against a sales executive in another region. (Task) The leadership team let us know that we were both the contenders and essentially pitted us against one another. (Action) I hunkered down, worked extra long hours, and got my team on board to create and execute a plan to surpass our quota. (Result) Our efforts worked, and I received the promotion! I was also so thankful to my team for supporting me in my career goals."
Example #7
"(Situation) Teaching environments are not openly competitive. (Task) With that said, as an enthusiastic educator, I am internally competitive when it comes to helping a student to improve their performance. (Action) I like to set goals for my struggling students and coach them in a way that speaks to their internal competitive streak. (Result) Throughout my years as a teacher, I have made a difference in the lives of students by exuding enthusiasm. It's gratifying."
Example #8
"I can give several examples of Insertion Sorts, but I think to give you a better explanation, it would make more sense to list in detail the characteristics of an Insertion Sort. Let's start with the first one.

1. There are two types.........Selection Sort and Bubble Sort algorithms.
2. They are efficient for smaller data sets, but very inefficient for larger data lists.
3. The stable sorting technique does not change the relative order of elements which are equal.
4. It doesn't take up much space. Unlike bubble sort, an insertion sort also requires additional memory space.
5. An Insertion Sort is adaptive, which means it reduces the total number of steps required for a partially sorted array to provide input."
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Our interview questions are created by writers, most of whom have a long history of recruiting and interviewing candidates. They do not necessarily have experience interviewing or working with the companies, careers or schools they may write for on We strive to match our experts' background and expertise with the appropriate question sets found on our website.