25 Behavioral Interview Questions
Interviews are a great way to gauge one’s abilities and skills. Lately, interviewers are shifting to the idea of behavioral interview techniques where they try to measure the confidence level and approach of the interviewee. In behavioral interviews, recruiters put a situation before the candidate and ask his viewpoints or solution for the same. It is also known as targeted selection and is based on the concept of situational questions rather than hypothetical questions.
Over the years, HR recruiters are favoring this technique of interview because it helps them find the most promising candidate for the vacant job position. Behavioral interview questions focus on how you’ve handled various work situations in past. It gives an idea to the recruiter about your method to handle different things and also speaks about your abilities, skills, and personality.
Lately, behavioral interview techniques have gained a lot of popularity. While the traditional technique is somewhat deceptive, behavioral interview questions allow for better job fit. This blog brings you top 25 behavioral questions that you should be aware of before going ahead with your next interview.
1- Tell me about yourself.
Ans- As cliché as it may get but this question never fails to take the center stage in an interview. To ace your interview, it is imperative that you answer this question with ease and not brag about yourself. Do not recite your whole life story and sound robotic. Instead, follow the recipe of present-past-future. When the recruiter asks you to tell about yourself, start with your present designation. Then, dig into your past and tell him about your past experiences. Gradually, move to your future dreams and tell him why you’re excited about this job position. While you’re telling the recruiter about yourself, be careful to connect your skills and expertise with his requirements of the job position. This way you can convey a lot without being boring or dull.
2- From where did you get to know about this job position?
Ans- This is a simple yet a very tricky question that can take you a step closer or distance you form your dream job. You can answer this question in multiple ways. For example- if you’re up for the interview through your friend’s reference, tell the interviewer how you found about this job through your friend. Avoid being intricate and answer in a very simple tone. Another alternative to this question could be telling the interviewer the source of information about the job opening. Do not get over-enthusiastic as this could be a total turn-off. Be short and crisp and add your personal spin.
3- Tell me about a recent situation where you moved out of your comfort zone to accomplish a task.
Ans- Interviewers ask this question to check the problem-solving skills and candidate’s reasoning ability. This is a very generic question asked almost in all the interviews. Do not sound boring by saying answers like I worked in a situation that demanded pressure or circumstances have made me a multi-tasker. They are a big no-no. Instead, measure all the aspects of the issue and answer smartly. You can tell the interviewer about a situation where you had to make data-driven decisions and how it affected other colleagues.
4- Tell us your ideas about our company’s mission.
Ans- this question checks whether you’ve done your homework or not. Read the “about us” page of any company before taking the interview. But, that doesn’t mean you will vomit the same thing that you’ve read in the mission section of the company. Through this question, the recruiter wants to know whether you care about the company’s mission or not and are willing to participate in fulfilling the company’s mission. Start your answer in a formal tone like “I’m drawn to this mission because..” or “I loved the fact that..”. This way you can easily leave an impact on your interviewer and enjoy rule the roost.
5- Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Ans- Unless you’re not sure about your own goals, you would never be able to fulfill the organizational objectives. This question should be answered genuinely and with transparency. Through this question, the interviewer wants to know whether you’re willing to walk the extra mile for their work or not and your commitment level. If the job position you’re applying for is exactly what you aspire to be, then go ahead and answer with utter honesty and simplicity. However, if it doesn’t exactly coincide with your goals, tell the interviewer that you’re not quite sure what the future holds but you see this job position as a vehicle that will help you reach your destination. Accompany your answer with points like qualities and experience you will gain while working in this job position. This will make you sound more confident and mature.
6- Tell me a situation where your actions made your colleagues upset.
Ans- This question is a direct invitation to your interpersonal ability and your approach to stressful conditions. It checks how you solve conflicting situations. So, follow this formula- stop playing the blame game. If you have made your colleague upset, admit it and take the responsibility to rectify it. A good employee always learns from their mistakes and takes it as learning in disguise.
7- Have you ever motivated your colleagues?
Ans- this question taps your leadership skills and checks your potential to stay motivated at work. Satisfy the employer by telling that you’re a team player and that you’ve helped your colleagues in the past when they lacked the spark to carry on work. Give examples where you’ve actually helped people get back to work and stay motivated. Motivation is something employer looks for in the potential candidates.
8- How do you handle challenges?
Ans- This type of question focuses on how you handle different situations. It is a good chance to show your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You could answer by telling the interviewer a situation where you faced challenges. Tell him how you solved the problem rather than telling what you did. Also, conclude your answer by telling what your learned and what experience you gained from that challenge. It highlights your ability to handle challenges.
9- Tell me how you set your goals?
Ans- this could be a really tricky one and it tests your commitment and sincerity towards your goals. Start by telling the interviewer a situation where you had set goals to accomplish a particular task. When it comes to doing a work, go for short-term goals rather than trying to follow your long-term objectives. It is the derivative plans that lead you to the path of accomplishment. So, focus on your short-term goals and try achieving them.
10- Recall a time when you found a new way of doing a particular thing.
Ans- For any job position, creativity is a must. This question directly appeals to your creative side and your approach to various things. Answer this question in an ingenious way. You can answer this by telling what changes you brought in the workstation, what new solution you found to do a task or how you used the existing resources in a new way. This gives an insight as to why you should be chosen as a perfect fit for the job.
11- Tell me about the time when you failed to achieve the goal?
Ans- Failure is an inevitable part of success and it is obvious that you would fail on your path of hard work. But, this doesn’t mean one should stop. This behavioral question targets your commitment, how you deal with disappointment, failure, and adversity and how you get back on track. As an ace interviewee, you should answer in a way that it creates an indelible impact. Tell your recruiter about a situation where you had set a goal or where you had to fulfill the goal set by others but you failed to do so. Tell him what the root cause was; how you managed to make things right and what were the ramifications. Also, a good answer consists of learning and experiences that you gain from different situations. Conclude your answer by telling him the takeaways of a situation where you failed to achieve the goal. Failure only makes you smarter, receptive and confident so don’t be afraid, to tell the truth.
12- How do you work under the situation that demands huge pressure?
Ans- this is the most common question asked in an interview and the interviewer doesn’t want to hear the same boring answer. Skip the mainstream way of answering this question and tell him how you’ve handled stressful situations in your previous job. Give him an example of the situation so that the recruiter has a clear idea about your approach to stressful things. Do not tell that you never feel stressed because this is something impossible to believe. While answering, focus on how you dealt with the stress rather than telling how it affected you. Avoid mentioning the time when you were in stress because of your own behavior. For example, don’t tell them that you were stressed because you delayed your work. So, be very careful while answering this question and also keep in mind the position you’re applying for. In past, if you were stressed because you had to do multiple projects, avoid mentioning the same if your current job position demands the same.
13- How would you justify that you’re a team worker?
Ans- An employee with high team spirit and ‘esprit de corps’ is an asset for any organization. They can be a great fortune for any business as they can direct and motivate the individuals towards the organizational goals. This question checks your interpersonal skills and your responsibility as a team player. It is the right opportunity to tell the recruiter why you are better than your opponents. Prepare your answer based on teamwork skills like active listening, conflict management, communication, etc. Tell a story from the past where you’ve worked in a team and achieved the goals.
14- How do you work with people with conflicting nature or someone who is difficult to get along with?
Ans- Not everyone is the same and not everyone has the same approach as yours but that doesn’t make them less respectful. This question checks your empathetic and sensitive side. Tell the recruiter how you are able to select the right approach to the situation and how you deal with people. Tell him that you focus more on the situation and less on the person. Acknowledge the differences and embrace the flaws. Display empathy and answer the question accordingly.
15- Describe a situation when you were not satisfied with your outcome. What did you do about it?
Ans- this question explores your standard of work whether you set high standards for yourself and your endeavor to achieve the goals. It focuses on what is your definition of the high standard. While answering this not-so-easy question, make sure you show what you do to attain high-performance standards. Also, tell the interviewer what measures you have taken to upgrade the quality of your work. For example, you can tell that you were rated quite low during the rating session in your previous job. Then, tell the efforts you made to improve your ratings. Tell the recruiter that you met your manager, chalked out a plan of action and worked to achieve the same. Also, mention the results that you got after setting the goals and working for it. This will demonstrate your determinant personality in front of the recruiter.
16- How has your education helped you apply for this job?
Ans- Education is a fundamental part that influences all the decisions you make in your life. Applying for a job position that suits your skills and expertise is an imperative part of education. This question explores your educational qualifications so align your behavioral answer with the skills that the job position demands. You can relate your answer to one of the situations in your school life where you’ve worked on a project and the skills you learned at that time were used again by you in the corporate world. For example- tell the recruiter that you were the head and played a lead role in one of the projects in your school life and what strategies you used to achieve the results. Tell him that you used the same strategy in one of the projects in your professional career and what results it brought. This gives a glimpse about an aspect of your multifaceted personality to the recruiter.
17- What was the toughest decision hitherto you’ve made in your professional career?
Ans- Questions related to difficult decisions don’t have any right or wrong answer. It all depends on how gracefully you handle such questions and come up with answers that leave the recruiter in awe. The interviewer checks your ability to handle cumbersome situations and what do you perceive as difficult. Everyone, at some point, finds themselves in weed but what distinguishes one is his ability to handle difficult situations. The interviewer explorers your decision-making skills so give examples of situations where you’ve actually faced difficulty at work. Discuss what the problems were and what remedies you took to curb the same. The main aim to ask such questions is to assess your past performance so as to determine your future course of action in difficult situations. Keep your answer in a positive tone, for example, recall the time when you had to allocate the resources among various alternatives and how you did that. Talk about the results.
18- Have you ever faced a conflict with your boss?
Ans- There exists no ‘perfect employee’ who has always followed his boss’s instructions and abided by his rules. In the professional realm, there are times when two opinions clash. The interviewer tries to explore how you react when you encounter someone with an opposite nature and are you willing to solve a conflict. Arrange your answer in a way that highlights your collaborative nature and your efforts to resolve problems. For example- tell him that you had minor conflicts in past but all of them have led to something positive. Give an example of the situation where the conflict has let you listen other’s perspective and understand their point of view. Elaborate by saying the takeaways of the situation.
19- Tell me your greatest weakness.
Ans- When an interviewer asks this question, most of the candidates hesitate to bring their weaknesses to the table. However, it is completely normal to have one. Give a behavioral answer by telling the recruiter about the weakness you’re currently working on. Do not present your strength as your weakness as this obscures the true essence of the question. Tell the interviewer about a weakness and what measures you’re taking to overcome it. For example, if you take a back seat in planning out things, tell him the steps you’re taking like maintaining pocket planners, etc. This depicts your positive attitude and your willingness to overcome things.
20- According to you, what qualities does a successful manager should have?
Ans- This question can either make or break your personality before the interviewer. It highlights what you aspire and whom you see as a successful person. Focus on qualities like leadership and communication. Blend your answer with these qualities and tell the recruiter that a successful manager is one who can envisage a future that is beneficial for both, the organization and the employee. Also, mention how a person with sound interpersonal skills can motivate and direct the efforts of the employees towards the ladder of success. Don’t forget to mention about the person who possesses such skills and what impact he has created on your life.
21- Have you ever walked an extra mile to provide a great customer experience?
ANS- Telling that you always walk the extra mile for your customers is a big no-no. This question taps your potential, dedication and whether customers are your priority or not. Tell the interviewer a situation where you’ve brought augmented services for the customers. Relate your answer with a situation in past to demonstrate that you care for your customers and their satisfaction is your happiness. Craft your answer around customer satisfaction to rule the roost and win the interviewer’s attention.
22-What you do in office when you are not working?
Ans- A very tricky question that needs to be answered in an ingenious way. When an interviewer asks this, he wants to know whether you waste your time or put it in some productive use. Generally, candidates answer it by saying that they exchange words but to stand out, you should amalgamate your answer with the values and interest of the company you’re applying for. For this, you have to do your homework and research about the company’s values and the leisure facilities. Then, answer cleverly by talking about your leisure choices in reference to the company’s leisure objectives.
23- Why should I hire you?
Ans- This question has dreaded interviewees more than any nightmare could ever do. To answer this question, take the most honest route and tell the recruiter why you think you’re the perfect fit for the job. One way to answer is to tell that you are better than other opponents. But, you need to back your answer with examples that prove you are the best. Tell him what differentiates you and what are your USPs that can bring fruitful results for the organization. Tell the interviewer that others can do the job but you can do it in the most effective and economical way. Suggest him the ideas to do a particular task so that they can believe what you’re saying is true. Back your answers with proof from your past job. Answer this question in a good tone to add bells and whistles to your skills.
24-What do you think your professor has to say about you?
Ans- this can be a signal to danger and you should be well aware of it in advance. Be prepared to answer this question beforehand with a letter of recommendation. You can also ask your prior boss for a positive feedback. This way you can create a safer zone for yourself before the interviewer.
25- Would you ever like to change anything about yourself?
Ans- when the recruiter asks you this question, he wants to know is there anything that you’re not satisfied with. He wants to explore the aspects of your personality that you’re not too open with. Answer this question with utter honesty and generosity. Show him your true side and tell me what you seriously want to change about yourself. Also, tell him about how you are trying to get over with that habit and what new habits you are adopting in that place. Be positive and receptive and have an open mind.
The above behavioural interview questions are asked to evaluate various aspects of the candidate. It is asked to gauge the emotional, analytical, problem-solving and thinking skills of the candidate. The interviewers try to evaluate the candidate on the basis of their answers and this tells them whether he is a perfect fit for the job or not.
Along with other factors, behavioural questions play an important role in judging the personality of the candidate. If you are planning to sit for an interview, be prepared with these interview questions and ace your interview. The answers to these questions will make you stand out and create an impact on your interviewer. However, these answers just act as a guide on which you should base your answer.