Of all the types of questions you may be asked in an interview (from "Why do you want this job?" to "What kind of tree would you be?"), behavior-based questions are the most telling. Unfortunately, they’re also the questions applicants bomb the most.
You definitely know a behavioral question when you hear one, and chances are, they fill you with dread. The interviewer has pitched you a few softballs about your previous experience and your strengths and weaknesses; then she hits you with, "Tell me about a specific time you had to adjust your communication style to get through to a co-worker." Sound familiar? Then to find out how to answer, read more.
The most important thing to remember when you’re hit with a question like this is to be as specific as you can. That’s the point of behavioral interview questions; the interviewer wants to know exactly how you’ll act in specific situations. Giving a vague or hypothetical answer doesn’t give the interviewer any insight into what you’ll be like as an employee; on the contrary, it just tells her that you weren’t prepared and can’t think on your feet.
Even if all you can think of is a hypothetical answer, or a situation that happened to someone else, tweak it and make it your own. Just remember to keep the details professional, stay on point, and avoid going into overshare territory.