Membership & Fellowship: 30 Behavioral Interview Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer

This article reprinted courtesy of The Muse and HealtheCareers, the managers of ACOG’s Career Connection online job board. Find your next job and career resources at ACOG’s Career Connection.

Interview prep 101 dictates that you should have your elevator pitch, a few stories, and a good sense of what you have to offer at the ready. So how do you get there? Lots of practice, ideally out loud.

To help you better prepare for your next interview, here are 30 behavioral interview questions that you can practice, sorted by topic.

Teamwork

For questions like these, you want a story that illustrates your ability to work with others under challenging or stressful circumstances. Think team conflict, difficult project constraints, or clashing personalities.

  • Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
  • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
  • Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?
  • We all make mistakes we wish we could take back. Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
  • Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive. What did you do?

Patient-Care Skills

If the role you’re interviewing for works with patients, definitely be ready for one of these.

  • What do you like about working directly with patients?
  • Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a patient’s expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
  • Tell me about a time when a patient was pleased with your service.
  • Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult patient. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
  • When you’re working with a large number of patients, it can be tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your patients’ needs?

Ability to Adapt

Times of turmoil are finally good for something! Think of a recent work crisis you successfully navigated. Even if your navigation didn’t feel successful at the time, find a lesson or silver lining you took from the situation.

  • Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
  • Describe a time when your department was undergoing some change. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
  • Tell me about the first job you ever had. What did you do to learn the ropes?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to delicately extricate yourself from a difficult or awkward situation.
  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with this situation?

Time Management Skills

In other words, get ready to talk about a time you juggled multiple responsibilities.

  • Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities.
  • Describe a long-term project that you managed. How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?
  • Sometimes it’s just not possible to finish everything on your to-do list. Tell me about a time your responsibilities got a little overwhelming. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
  • Give me an example of a time you managed numerous responsibilities. How did you handle that?

Communication Skills

You probably won’t have any trouble thinking of a story for communication questions, since it’s not only part of most jobs; it’s part of everyday life. However, remember to also talk about your thought process or preparation.

  • Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
  • Describe a time when you were the resident technical expert. What did you do to make sure everyone was able to understand you?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to rely on written communication to get your ideas across to your team.
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to a patient. How did you handle this delicate situation?
  • Tell me about a time there was a miscommunication with a coworker or patient. How did you resolve it?

Motivation and Values

A lot of seemingly random questions are actually attempts to learn more about what motivates you. Your response would ideally address this directly even if the question wasn’t explicit about it.

  • Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.
  • Describe a time when you saw a problem and took the initiative to correct it rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
  • Tell me about a time when you worked under close supervision or extremely loose supervision. How did you handle that?
  • Give me an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
  • Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied in your work. What could have been done to make it better?

 


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