Behavioral Interview Questions

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In a traditional job interview, job seekers will be asked a series of questions which often have answers that are straight forward and for which it easy to prepare an answer. These types of questions include questions like "What is your biggest strength?" and "In what area do you think you have the most area for improvement?".

Behavior based interviews are different. In Behavioral based interviewing the interview is focused on discovering how the interviewee acted in specific employment-related situations- most typically situations that the candidate will be likely to face in the position to be filled. The rationale behind these types of interviews is based on the fact that how you behaved in the past is a good predicter of how you will behave in similar situations in the future i.e. past performance predicts future performance. As a rule, you can expect that behavioral interview questions will be more specific and will probe more deeply than traditional interview questions.

In the behavioral interview the interviewer is trying to gain an understanding of how you behaved in a given situation. How you respond to the questions will determine if there is a fit between your way of doing things and the way that those hiring would like for things to be done. For this reason, behavior base interviews can be tough to prepare for if you don't have an understanding of the company for which you are interviewing. It's even more difficult if you haven't taken the time to prepare for the types of behavioral interview questions involved.

The purpose of this site is to provide job candidates and hiring professionals with the best collection of examples of behavioral interview questions. The collection is categorized according to varied professional fields and is focused on specific attributes on which hirers are often focused. In addition to simply providing the behavioral interview questions we also provide job seekers with advice and suggestions of how to answer these questions effectively to maximize the value of the interview for both sides.

We know you'll find this resource useful and we hope that if you experience an interview with behavioral based questions that you'll take a minute afterwards to post the questions along with any comments about your experience in order to help others in their efforts.


Categories of Behavioral Interview Questions

All Categories

This is every category all lumped into one. It's a veritable smorgasbord of behavioral interview questions and answers. Not for the faint of heart, but if you're really interested in the topic it's a great resource!
Ability to tolerate ambiguity
When certain aspects of a task are ambiguous, a worker should strive to clarify and balance out differing interpretations. This would include doing research and asking help from experienced professionals. A worker should tolerate criticism. It helps him grow professionally through due consideration of the criticism. He should not see it as an attack but should embrace it to improve in the future.
Achieving Results
Goal-oriented individuals are most likely to achieve desired results. In order to achieve something, one must be able to identify and understand what the desired outcomes are, knowing what needs to be done in order to create a path / plan, and be able to carry out a smooth flow or transition in achieving the specific result. Creativity and practicality will always come in handy when proper procedures are defined so that all desired outcomes are achieved within the required parameters (doing so ethically). Behavioral interview questions that focus on achieving results will seek to find instances where the candidate has met or surpassed the required standards and have made good use of resources. The candidate should also be able to discuss the success indicators that let them know whether or not the goal or the objective was achieved.
Business Accumen
Behavioral interview questions about Business Accumen
Communication Skills
The communication skills category includes linguistic skills, verbal and non-verbal skills and how they are used in building relationship with others, and even with himself (ex. Self-talk). It goes beyond words and includes what is communicated beyond what is said such as gestures, facial expressions and the likes.
Coping Ability Skills
The coping ability skills category, also related to the optimism category, shows how the person deals with different situations, usually hard or negative occurrences. This may also pertain to how the person sees the situation, how the person deals with the situation or, in a way, makes the situation better. If the situation is beyond change, then the person’s disposition while in that situation is being taken into consideration
Customer Service
Behavioral Interview Questions relating to Customer Service
Decision Making Skills
The decision making skills category pursues the person’s critical thinking, reasoning and logic, and the ability to stick with one choice, and to defend that choice, if need arises. Aside from that, it also tackles the weight put on the choices, even the existence of a choice and the knowledge that one decision leads to another, on to the next.

These types of questions will draw out the interviewees ability to predict possible outcomes of a decision and enable the successful candidate to really show off their history of good decision making.

These types of behavioral interview questions will also show that the interviewer is not only able able to predict the consequences of decisions, but it also provides them a chance to show that they can be FAIR in their decisions. Both of these are crucial for success.
Emotional Capacity
The workplace is an extremely stressful environment. An employee should be able to cope with stress well and even accomplish his task completely and even beyond what’s required. It also entails separation and compartmentalization of problems from outside the work environment. If not, this would be a hindrance to productivity. In addition, the worker should also be able to have the capacity to create recreational and diversional activities to refresh himself and prevent burnout.
Evaluation / Measuring Results
After the completion of a task, evaluative procedures should be performed. To have this skill is as important as having planning skills. The person should have indicators to assess the success or failure of a plan. This would enable them to reflect back on their plan so that in the future, the outcome will be achieved as well as learning new interventions to have more productive outcome. The evaluation skill should include the entire process and the manpower and other resources to achieve it.
Fairness to Employees
As an employer / manager, employees look up to you as a standard – a model. This places a responsibility on managers to to be fair and fairness should be practiced all the time. There should be no biases, no favoritism and everyone should be treated as an essential part of a team. This would include being fair with task delegation. Studies show that employees are not as efficient when tasks are under or over delegated. Also, fairness also includes giving what is due to the employee. Behavioral interview questions about fairness to employees will draw out how much attention the candidate pays to actually being fair vs simply thinking of themselves as fair. As an interviewer, be prepared to discuss times where you had to consider an action / reward in terms of fairness specifically.
Flexibility
To be flexible is to be adaptable to differing changes in the work environment as well as being creative in the various ways to accomplish goals and profit from the outcomes. Transfers are at times unavoidable. Deadlines changes, shifting priorities from management, etc... all of these things are sometimes part of the culture. The ability to adapt to new people and environments allows people to perform well, and it gives managers more options in how to deploy their resources most efficiently.
Functional Skills
Each position has its own job description. Each worker, therefore, must have the requisite functional skills. To write and prepare for behavioral interview questions related to functional skills you should focus on creating performance-based questions that are directly connected to the selection criteria of the ideal candidate. Then ask how the candidate has exhibited those skills in the past. Many of these types of questions may need a follow-up question in order to gain performance-specific information.
Handling and Learning from Criticism
A worker should be able to accept criticism. They should have an understand that it helps him grow professionally through due consideration of the criticism. He should not see it as an attack but should embrace it to improve in the future. The behavioral interview questions in this section will focus on finding out how the candidate deals with criticism.
Individual Learning Style
Behavioral Interview Questions relating to Individual Learning Style
Leadership Skills
The leadership category of behavioral interview questions does not only tackle the personal aspect of leadership within a person like perseverance, patience, and open-mindedness, but also includes an examine about the person’s social skills, how he/she handles the group and manages to drive them, and if needed, push them to achieve their goals. Leadership is crucial especially when it comes to managerial and administrative job position.
Managing Projects
Behavioral Interview Questions relating to Managing Projects
Multitask Management Skills
Often times, multiple projects are assigned to workers. This requires multitasking in order for all requirements to be completed, and to hasten their completion as well. This also entails from the worker a clear prioritization of different tasks, their relevance, their affection to one another, and a timeline to guide the progress. Multitasking is challenging but if the right motivation and resources are available, there is no reason for a task to be left behind.
Negotiating
Behavioral Interview Questions relating Negotiating
Organizational and Planning Skills
Goals cannot be achieved nor will tasks be finished adequately if there is a weak organization or flawed plan. To have these skills is essential for task completion. To do this requires adequate knowledge to develop a plan that is relevant and within the institutions capacity and resources. Unexpected occurrences and how to address them should also be included. The budget should be taken into consideration. To organize the members will be hard but if the right people with the right skills will be chosen, task completion is near at hand with satisfactory results.
Presenting / Presentation Skills
Behavioral Interview Questions relating to Presenting and Presentation Skills
Problem Solving Skills
The problem solving category, although related to the decision making category, focuses on identifying the problem and creating solutions as answers to the said problems. It measures whether a person can make ways or not just solving things, but also creating more efficient and effective solutions. Similarly, it also employs logic, reasoning, critical thinking, but also includes creativity and innovation in creating ways.
Professional Priorities / Professionalism
Employers expect that your job is on top of the agenda. Everything about it should be the priority. The accomplishment of a task is a paramount to professionalism. This doesn’t just involve performing the job well but also seeking activities that will aid an individual in the practice of his profession and taking opportunities for the advancement of the entire profession. An individual should be professional at all times: in his work, appearance, and even with his relationship with clients and co-workers.
Resolving Conflict
Behavioral Interview Questions relating to Resolving Conflict
Software / Tools
Behavioral Interview Questions relating to Software Tools
Supervising
Supervisors should be knowledgeable of the varied activities of their constituents and they should be a good advisor to the employees. Supervisors play a critical role in employee development and quality improvement. A good supervisor knows not only the goals and objective of the group, but he should also know the people who he’s supervising. The feedback that a supervisor provides to his / her workers should be constructive and should come with suggestions of ways to improve. Finally, someone in a supervisory role should be visible to the other members of the team and should be aware of their needs while also keeping a professional distance.
Team Building
Behavioral Interview Questions relating to Team Building
Teamwork Skills
The teamwork category refers to the willingness and ability of the person to work well with other people and his/her attitude towards working with other people. This may also tell about the person’s social skills, how he/she interacts with others and to what extent is he/she willing to extend help when needed. Interestingly this also takes into account the ability to create harmony with others, maintain trust and keep an open mind.
Way of Thinking (Positive and Negative Thinking)
The optimistic skills, quite obviously, refers to the positivity a person has towards life in general, even in the bleakest and the most negative situations. It also pertains to how fast a person can recover from a failure, a fall, and how he/she can find good things in the darkest days. Although sometimes optimism is relative, since it isn’t always externally manifested.

Negativity would refer to the interviewee’s views regarding tasks at hand and various circumstances and situations. Their degree of negativity affects their participation and completion of goals. Simply put, a pessimistic attitude will constitute a poor worker. Seeing things as not worthwhile and already giving up are characteristics of negativism. What should be seen in interviewees is a sense of optimism but with a ground on realism.
Work / Life Balance
Behavioral Interview Questions relating to Work / Life Balance
Work Integrity and Ethics
The worker should have a sound set of values at hand that are integral in maintaining the integrity of the profession. To be familiar with the code of ethics of the profession and to abide by them should help the worker maintain accountability and responsibility. To have a good work ethic is essential in the work place. Even something as simple as punctuality is important. Honesty in every task should be practiced. Good relationship with clients and co-workers will allow adequate channels of communication. The worker ought to do what is good always.