Behavioral interview questions delve into how candidates handled past situations to learn about their ability to perform in a position. They often start with the phrase, “Tell me about a time when you…” Also known as STAR interview questions or behavior-based interview questions.
Additional Top Behavioral Interview Questions:
- How have you dealt with an angry or upset customer?
- Have you ever gone above and beyond to help a customer? What did you do?
- Tell me about a time when you had to fight for an idea at work.
- Talk about a time where you had to make an important decision quickly. What did you decide? What were the results?
- Have you ever been in a business situation that was ethically questionable? What did you do?
- Have you ever had a project that had to change drastically while it was in progress? Why? How did you do it?
- Talk about a time when a co-worker was not doing their share on a project. How did you handle it?
- Tell me about a major setback you’ve had. How did you deal with it?
- What have you done when colleagues have been stressed out by a project?
- Talk about a difficult problem you’ve had to solve. How did you solve it?
- Have you ever had to defend a customer’s point of view? What did you do? Why?
- Talk about a time when you’ve had to sell an idea to your colleagues.
- Tell me about a problem you solved in a creative way.
What is a behavioral interview?
A behavioral interview is one in which the interviewer is focused on how candidates handled real situations in their past work experiences. Candidates in a behavioral interview often use the STAR technique to answer the questions.
What is the STAR technique?
STAR stands for: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Candidates describe the situation they were in, the task they had to accomplish, the actions they took to get it done, and the result of their work. This is often another name for the behavioral technique of answering questions.
Why should I use behavioral interview questions?
Behavioral job interview questions can push candidates past generic answers by forcing them to relay personal history. They should give you an idea of how a candidate behaved in real situations, rather than their take on how you think they should have reacted.
What are some of the common behavioral interview questions?
- Tell me about a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
- Describe a time when you disagreed with your supervisor on how to accomplish something.
- Have you ever had to convince your team to do a job they were reluctant to do?
- Have you ever had a deadline you were not able to meet? What happened? What did you do?
- Tell me about a time your co-workers had a conflict. How did you handle it?
- How have you prioritized being assigned multiple projects?
- Tell me about a difficult work challenge you’ve had.
- Talk about a time when you had to adapt to big changes at work.
Do you have additional references to assist my hiring process?
Do behavioral interviews work?
Yes and no. Behavioral interviews can work because it replaces generic interview questions with questions about candidates' past experiences. The problem with this approach is that the system can easily be gamed. Candidates can invent examples of their past behavior and prepare responses to predictable questions.
Why is behavioral interviewing important?
Behavioral interviewing is important because there is a well documented history of using past performance as an indicator of future performance when it comes to hiring candidates. By providing real life examples of their past behavior, employers can gain a more accurate candidate profile.