Situational Interviews - Meaning & Definition

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: November 29, 2015

What is Situational Interviews?

Situation refers to a condition which we face in our day to day life. The term situational interview in the HR context is a technique in which a probable employee are asked to explain how they behaved in the past in a particular circumstance/ different scenarios whether it be workplace or any other field of life.


Difference between situational and Behavioral Interview:

In a situational interview a person is given some hypothetical situation & asked how he would respond under that situation. It looks to the future and expects you to come up with an answer. It is important from the employers point of view due to the fact that it gives them an indication of how the person will behave when under that condition. A person can prepare for the hypothetical/ situational interview by taking a guess at the questions which could be asked based on the prospective candidates knowledge about the job & the role for which he is applying. A person can prepare for the same by thoroughly going through the company’s website and by drawing experience from his past.

A behavioral interview deals with a person’s past. The candidate is asked questions like describe a time when you faced a decision where you had to make a choice between family and friends?. It helps the employers by giving the employers an inside knowledge about the candidate, whether he posses the core competencies required for the job or not. Preparing for this type of interview requires the candidate to introspect about themselves and learn how those experiences will help them in gaining an edge over other people. The most widely known approach used for the same is the STAR approach ( S-Smart, T- Task, A-Action, R-Result).


Situations interviews look at the future. You will be asked “What would you do if..”. You are given a potential real-life problem and you have to find solutions to tackle those. In this way, the employers are testing:

- Ability to solve problems

- Knowledge, intelligence and its application

- Expertise about the domain / job

It is also referred to the type of interview when an applicant is in the situation of conflict and he needs to make assessments and decisions to resolve the issue. It is a reliable indicator of how the person is going to handle situations in future.

Have the disadvantage that the candidate needs to search his memory to make sure he finds the right answer in the right context. The candidate may lie or hype the authenticity of the situation based on how he can impress the interviewer.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Situational Interviews along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 2000 business concepts from 5 categories.

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