Behavioural Interview Question – Tell Me About A Time You Made A Difficult Decision
Hello there! In this post, we’ll answer the Behavioural Interview Question – Tell Me About A Time You Made A Difficult Decision.
In this post, we’re going to cover:
- Why is this question asked?
- What to say when you’re answering, how to answer it?
- And how to wrap it up gracefully.
So, stay tuned!
Behavioural interview questions around decision making come up a lot. So, why is this question asked?
The question is around how you had to make a difficult decision, and you didn’t have all the information that you needed, so a time when your decision was unclear, and there was no one around to ask, your manager wasn’t available.
So, what did you do? Basically, there is no way for you to be sure you were doing the right thing here. You had to make the call on your own and use your own judgment.
How did you handle it?
And how did you decide what the right call was?
What’s the point of this question?
It’s to see how resourceful you can be and to get an insight on your thought process. In most situations, people, when they have to make a hard decision, and there’s nowhere to turn, they panic, and that’s a normal response.
So, how could you answer this question better?
We’re going to answer it, again, by telling the story and using the S.A.R.I. formula. If you’re not familiar with the S.A.R.I formula by now, it is Situation, Action, Result, and Interesting features.
The S.A.R.I. formula comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s called S.A.R. Sometimes it’s called S.T.A.R., which stands for Situation or Task, Action, Result. It’s all the same.
So, you want to tell a memorable and interesting story that includes just enough detail to give the interviewer a good idea of the situation you were in. So, let’s get into it.
DON’T LOVE READING? Watch video here:
If you do love reading, let’s get back to it…
Step 1: The Situation – setting the stage
So, set up the situation, starting with what was difficult about the decision and how you stayed calm and were able to think your way through it. What was the outcome that you were focused on getting, and how did you go about getting it?
Step 2: The Action You Took
What were the actions that you took to get to the specific outcome that you were going for? You can talk about one to three actions here. This is the meat of your answer. You want to focus most of your time here. You want to focus specifically on what YOU did to get to the result you wanted.
Step 3: Results
What happened in the end? How did the situation turn out? A good story has to have a happy ending, so what you want to do is make sure that you wrap it up neatly with what happened and how you got there. Don’t leave them wondering.
Step 4: Interesting Features
So, this is a bonus step, but it really is the icing on the cake—interesting features. So, interesting features could be highlighting your learning, whatever it was that you learned, how are you different today from this experience what would you do differently next time…
There we have it the answer to Behavioural Interview Question – Tell Me About A Time You Made A Difficult Decision.
What’s your go-to response when you’re faced with a difficult decision?
How do you deal when there is nowhere to go, there’s nobody to ask, and there are no visible resources to call upon?
How did you proceed?
What logic or rationale did you use to come up with the result that you did? How did it turn out?
Thank you so much for reading. If you’d like more help with these types of questions, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide. You can click the link below and get free instant access, and it’s called The Guide to Situational Interviewing.
What you’ll get inside the guide:
Top-ten examples of stories that have proven to be impressive interview answers
The S.A.R.I. formula breakdown of how to answer these questions
The step-by-step of why it works
Fill-in-the-blank templates for each question so, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks and get going!
Now you’ll need to come up with your own stories! (You can steal the ones in the guide if they apply to you though too, I don’t mind)
If you are still getting stuck because you can’t think of your own stories…
I’ve included 25 questions that you can ask yourself to come up with your stories much quicker!
You’ll get all this in a beautifully designed workbook prepared specifically for you to prepare for your interviews.
By the end of working through this guide, you’ll be feeling confident and ready for any situational interview that comes your way!
Here is some feedback I’ve gotten from this guide, and I get new emails like this every day, and they NEVER get old!
By the end of working through the guide you’ll be totally ready for any situational interview question that gets thrown your way!
Click below and grab it now.
Do you know one person who could benefit from the information in this post? If so, do your friend a favour and share this info with him/her.
And remember, the current system isn’t perfect, but you can outsmart it. I’m here to prove to you that you do have what it takes.
So, thank you so much for reading, and I will see you next week here at my digital house of
In Work & Life