Behavioral Interview Questions

by on March 23, 2011

The very first question that comes to the mind is about the behavioural interview. A behavioural interview is an interview process. It is used to discover the interviewer’s action in specific employment-related situations. The logic behind this is how much you behaved in the past and predict the future performances.

Difference with Traditional interview

In a traditional interview, straightforward questions are asked. However, in a behavioural interview, an employer decides on skills that are required in the person they want to hire. Instead of asking how you would behave, the interviewer will ask how you did behave. The interviewer will want to know how you handled a situation, instead of what you might do in the future.

Behavioral Job Interview Question

In a behavioural job interview, the company decides what skills are needed in the person they want to hire. The interviewer will ask questions to find out if the candidate has those skills.

Behavioural interview questions are more focused than traditional interview questions. You will need to respond with special examples of how you handled situations in the workplace.  You may also be asked review examples of the questions during a behavioural job interview and think about how you would answer them.

This way you will be prepared ahead of time, rather than having to think of a response on the spot during the interview.

Some Sample Questions

  • Give an example on an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
  • Give an example of a goal you reached in the past and tell how you achieved it.
  • Give an example of a goal, which you did not fulfill, and how you handled it.
  • Will you be able to handle a stressful situation at work?
  • Have you ever worked effectively under pressure?
  • Do you handle challenges?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you did not have enough work to do?
  • Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
  • Describe a decision which you made was unpopular and how you handled implementing it
  • Did you ever make a risky decision? How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever postponed making a decision?
  • Did you ever deal with company policy you were not in agreement?
  • Did you go beyond the call of duty?
  • How did you prioritize, when you worked on multiple projects?
  • Have you handled a meeting a tight deadline?
  • Give an example of how you set goals and think to achieve them
  • Have you ever not met your goals?
  • What did you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it
  • Did you convince a team to work on a project they were not thrilled? How did you do it?
  • Did you handle a difficult situation with a co-worker?
  • What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers
  • Do you listen? Give an example of when you did or when you did not listen
  • Did you handle a difficult situation with a supervisor?
  • Did you handle a difficult situation with another department?
  • Did you handle a difficult situation with a client or vendor?
  • What do you do if you disagree with your boss?

These are some of the sample questions which the interviewer may ask during an interview. You must be prepared with both traditional and behavioural queries to be on the safe side. You should not think much during the interview but listen very attentively and carefully to what the interviewer is speaking.

Preparation Stages

It is very important to remember that you never know what type of interview you will face. You should prepare for both the interviews. Since you do not know exactly what situations you will be asked about if it is a behavioural interview, refresh your memory and always consider some special situations you have dealt with or projects you have worked on.

You will be able to use them to help frame responses. You should always prepare stories that illustrate times when you have successfully solved problems or performed memorably. These stories will be useful to help you respond meaningfully in a behavioural interview.

Finally, review the job description you have applied. Review it from that job posting or ad. You may also get a sense of what skills and behavioural characteristics the employer is seeking from reading the job description and position requirements.

During Interview

If you are not sure how to answer the question during the interview, ask for clarification.

Always be sure of including these points in your answer:

  • A specific situation
  • The tasks that needed to be done
  • The action you took
  • The results i.e. what happened

It is very important to keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. You should always remember that the interviewer is simply trying to understand how you behave in a given situation. He is analysing the way you are responding. He also will determine if there is a fit between your skills and the position the company is seeking to fill. So, listen carefully to what he is saying, be clear and detailed when you respond. The most important part is to be honest. If your answers are not what the interviewer is looking for, this position may not be the best job for you anyway.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Juzzy March 26, 2011 at 5:08 am

Great Lens on behavioural interviewing.

I’ve recently found the STAR strategy really helps in preparing for these types of interviews. I blogged about it on my behavioural interview site at take a look if your interested!



c interview questions April 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Awesome!!! U are sharing your knowledge and it is increasing by your sharing to others. keep on and u are helping thousands who are visiting your blog.


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