21 Behavioral Job Interview Questions (with Example Answers)

behavioral job interview questions

Behavioral Interview Questions

Were you recently asked to interview for the job you’ve been dreaming of?

Well to start – CONGRATS!

Once the excitement wears off, it’s likely that you will begin to think about some of the questions your interviewer might ask.

One type of question you may be asked is called a “behavioral interview question”.

These questions are brought up during the hiring process to test your problem-solving abilities – giving the interviewer information about your expertise and capabilities within certain work related scenarios.

In this article, we’ll explore examples of common behavioral interview questions, as well as tips on how to best prepare for these questions, so you can ace your interview.


Questions Answered:

  • What is a behavioral interview question?
  • Common behavioral interview questions
  • How to prepare for these interview questions
  • Tips for answering behavioral interview questions

What Is a Behavioral Interview Question?

A behavioral interview question is designed to judge how well you have dealt with various professional scenarios in the past, as well as to determine what your character is like. 

The answers to these questions provide an employer with an idea about how you respond in a specific scenario with the intention of predicting your future success as an employee.

Your response should be concise but long enough that it highlights your talents and qualities as a worker.

Give the interview examiner a short backdrop to the story, the decisions you made, and the consequences for each answer.

Remember, this is a great opportunity to show how you have relevant experience for the job you are interviewing for and to show off your knowledge and talents.


Examples of Common Behavioral Interview Questions

For answers to these interview questions, consider real, specific, and professional examples from your work experience.

In a short two to four minute blurp, you should give a concise narrative.

With these questions, the examiner will be focusing on understanding the problem-solving techniques you use.

Let’s talk about the most common behavioral questions that could be asked in an interview and how you should answer them! 

Time Management | Interview Questions

Interviewers ask time management questions to get an idea of how you deal with various duties, manage the time, and assign activities to meet short deadlines.

When brainstorming answers to questions related to time management, think about how you can emphasize your methods of assigning priority to certain tasks and how you kept track of time.

  1. Share a task you accomplished and what you did to accomplish it.
  2. When was the deadline for a particular task and when did you actually complete it?
  3. Tell us about a moment you chose to prioritize one activity or project above another.
  4. Tell us about a time when you managed many jobs at once. What methods did you use to manage the time?
  5. Share about a long project you worked on recently. What method did you follow to stay on track while working on the project?

Overcoming Challenges | Interview Questions

It is very possible that your interviewer could ask questions about how you handled a difficult situation in order to get an idea about your resilience.

Companies want to know how you cope with work issues and whether you can break down huge challenges into simple projects.

To respond to these questions, consider telling a brief personal narrative about a time you struggle with something at work or in your personal life.

Try not to be overconfident but be clear about why you are the best choice to handle tough situations. Finish your response by stating what you gained from the event.

interview question
  1. Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation.
  2. Tell us about a situation in which you made an unpopular decision and how you dealt with the consequences of your choice.
  3. Tell us about a time when you missed a deadline.

The interviewer wants to evaluate how you manage difficult circumstances.

Make sure that the focus of your answer is about how well you handled past problems and the skills you have now because of those experiences.

Telling your interviewer about a mistake that you corrected is also a good way of doing this as long as you focus more on the solution you came up with rather than the problem you created.

Motivation And Other Values | Interview Questions

Employers may get an idea of what you’re motivated about, how do you concentrate, and what gives you pleasure by asking questions about your beliefs and motivations.

Your responses will assist interviewers in determining whether you are a good fit for the company’s goals and work style.

  1. Describe in detail how you set goals.
  2. Tell us about your proudest professional moment and why it is important to you.
  3. Tell us about a moment when you were disappointed with your job? Why were you disappointed?
  4. Do you keep yourself motivated when your job has you performing repetitive tasks?

Conflict resolution | Interview Questions

To properly answer questions concerning workplace stress, describe a time where you took the initiative to resolve a problem rather than your boss or a coworker.

Avoid portraying the other person in a negative way.

A dispute with a colleague does not always imply that the relationship has been harmed or that the other person was wrong.

These questions are designed to draw out stories about how you may approach a problem from another person’s point of view in order to gain a better understanding of a situation.

  1. Tell us about a situation when you disagreed with your boss.
  2. Share about a moment when you had to defend your ideas against your peers.
  3. Describe a time when you disagreed with your manager’s leadership style or team culture.
  4. Tell us about a time when you disagreed with a peer and how you addressed the matter.
  5. Tell us about a moment when you wished you had handled a situation differently with a coworker.

Teamwork | Interview Questions

Working closely with clients and your coworkers requires engaging and communicating effectively with others.

When addressing questions on teamwork, start with “I” sentences to emphasize your own part of the team’s achievement.

  1. Tell us about a moment when you worked with people who were not like you.
  2. Tell us about the most impressive presentation you’ve ever delivered. What made it so good?
  3. Tell us about a period when you thought you were an excellent part of a team.
  4. Tell us about how you helped to shape the past teams, businesses, or groups?
  5. Tell us about how you motivated a colleague, your juniors, or your other team members.

Related:


How to Fully Prepare For Behavioral Questions

  • Think of three to five stories/scenarios that can hit on all of these questions to some degree.
  • Ensure that each scenario has a purpose and conclusion. That is, be prepared to describe the scenario, including the job, your behavior, and the end or result.
  • Practice giving brief and meaningful stories about your past experiences in the workplace.
  • Be certain that the conclusion or result of your answer reflects well on you.
  • Be honest. No detail of the story should be exaggerated. Assume your interviewer can check to see if your story is false.
  • Give detail. Try not to talk around what happened. Provide a thorough explanation of what happened and what you took away from the experience.
  • Don’t use all of your examples from one period of time if you can.

Tips For Answering Behavioral Interview Questions

Follow the Star Approach

  • Use the STAR (situation, task, action, result) approach while responding to questions during your behavioral interview to effectively communicate your experience and influence.
  • Explain and give key features of your example, explain the background of the issue, and why it is related to the topic. Define your involvement in the situation. 
  • Share how you dealt with the situation and the steps you took to overcome the difficulty. 
  • A good response highlights how you provided value to the issue and made wise decisions. At the end of your response, discuss the outcome of the scenario. 
  • A good response contains real examples and measurable accomplishments, as well as the direct impacts of your efforts in your response.
  • Be certain that you stick to each part of the STAR approach. Always be as detailed as possible without giving excessive information.
  • Applicants are often asked to mention their results, so try to do it without being asked. Also, avoid any stories that do not show you in a favorable light. Remember you want your interviewer to walk away thinking that you are the best choice for the job!

Be Ready in Advance

  • It is not unusual for interviewers to ask a couple of unique questions, but more often than not, the questions you will be asked you will have heard before if you do some thorough practice before your interview. 
  • It is important that you practice with some commonly asked behavioral interview questions in advance so that your interview goes as smoothly as possible.
  • For a good interview, you should have a few relevant examples from your professional background.
  • You’ll be able to structure your response to reflect your good characteristics and behavior. You won’t have to come up with a scenario in the heat of the moment, which may be stressful.
  • Reviewing the job description for the position you’re looking for may provide a lot of information on the capabilities of the applicant your interviewer is looking for.
  • If the job you’re going for requires you to work under short deadlines, you might want to narrate a scenario that highlights your time management abilities.
  • If the position requires you to be a leader, tell a story about a time when you effectively led a team or supervised someone.

Relate to Past Experiences

  • Another technique to be completely prepared is to consider scenarios for each task or difficulty specified in the job description.
  • Remember that they do not have to be direct examples if you lack specific experiences. 
  • For example, if you’re going for a management position but have never officially been a manager, discuss how you were the go-to person on your team for training new employees and were well-known as a problem solver.
  • Share examples of your previous experiences.
  • Questions in behavioral interviews should be focused on the position’s key skills, so read the job description carefully and consider experiences that indicate your skills.

Keep it Positive

  • While behavioral interview questions may prompt you to recall a failure or trouble at work, avoid focusing on the negative aspect of your experience.
  • Begin with an overview properly so that the interviewer understands the situation, and then go on to how you solved the issue and the outcomes you obtained.


Example Answers to Common Behavioral Questions

Whenever they ask an open-ended question (specifically a question like “tell us about a time you failed”), they want to see if you can provide a clear, concise, and appropriate response.

If you can’t communicate effectively or clearly during an interview, the examiner may worry about your abilities or future communication skills in the workplace.

Keep it to the point and try to tell the story in chronological order! Here are some examples:

1. Tell us about a time when you failed.

In my previous company, I was given the responsibility of being a project lead. Knowing how important this project was to the organization, I was very nervous, and I really wanted to get it done before the deadline. 

After dividing the tasks amongst the group members, we worked very hard to give our best. Unfortunately, I was unused to being in charge, and my nervousness led to some poor time management, and our project ended up being slightly delayed. 

But, that experience helped me to find the gaps in my skill set, and it helped me a lot to become a better leader in future projects. 

2. Tell us about a time when you didn’t agree with your boss.

“I once didn’t agree with my boss about the best way to help clients. Instead of questioning his system in front of everybody, I spoke to him outside the room and away from our colleagues.

I was honest and open about my concerns with his approach. Turns out it was just a misunderstanding. This disagreement between us taught me how important it is to communicate in order to ensure that something outdated doesn’t become a problem.”

3. Tell us about a time when you worked really hard to achieve something.

Nearly two years ago, I applied for a job related to science communication. I was truly inspired by their work and the impact they created. 

So, I desperately wanted to join them and be a part of their community. I worked on my application and applied for the job, but I got rejected. Then, a few months later, they posted other jobs related to science story writing and narration.

I applied and was selected for the interview. I had to complete a writing task along with narration before the interview. I had the feeling that I would be selected this time. But, after weeks of waiting, I received yet another rejection email. It made me sad for a few days, and I thought that maybe I wasn’t good enough for their company. 

Well, almost six months later, I again applied for an internship in that company, and fortunately, that time, I got selected for the paid internship for six months. That was the moment when I thought that, yes, consistency and discipline can be the keys to success. 

I was over the moon after my selection and thanked myself that I didn’t quit after my initial failures. That’s how I made my place in that community, and it was the most satisfying feeling ever.”


“47% of the candidates failed the job interview because they didn’t have enough information about the company they applied to.”

— Legal Jobs

Wrapping Up | Behavioral Job Interview Questions 

Among the most popular interview techniques nowadays is to question applicants about experiences that reflect qualities they might poses.

If you can answer these questions with confidence and precision, your odds of receiving an offer jump significantly!

To recap our top 21 behavioral interview questions:

  • Share a task you accomplished and what you did to accomplish it.
  • When was the deadline for a particular task and when did you actually complete it?
  • Tell us about a moment you chose to prioritize one activity or project above another.
  • Tell us about a time when you managed many jobs at once. What methods did you use to manage the time?
  • Share about a long project you worked on recently. What method did you follow to stay on track while working on the project?
  • Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation.
  • Tell us about a situation in which you made an unpopular decision and how you dealt with the consequences of your choice.
  • Tell us about a time when you missed a deadline.
  • Describe in detail how you set goals.
  • Tell us about your proudest professional moment and why it is important to you.
  • Tell us about a moment when you were disappointed with your job? Why were you disappointed?
  • Do you keep yourself motivated when your job has you performing repetitive tasks?
  • Tell us about a situation when you disagreed with your boss.
  • Share about a moment when you had to defend your ideas against your peers.
  • Describe a time when you disagreed with your manager’s leadership style or team culture.
  • Tell us about a time when you disagreed with a peer and how you addressed the matter.
  • Tell us about a moment when you wished you had handled a situation differently with a coworker.
  • Tell us about a moment when you worked with people who were not like you.
  • Tell us about the most impressive presentation you’ve ever delivered. What made it so good?
  • Tell us about a period when you thought you were an excellent part of a team.
  • Tell us about how you helped to shape the past teams, businesses, or groups?
  • Tell us about how you motivated a colleague, your juniors, or your other team members.

Always try to be real, honest, and stick to the point during job interviews. With some preparation, you can ace these questions.

Best of luck in your next interview!


Title: How to Answer Behavioral Job Interview Questions

Category: theInterview

Tags: behavioral interview questions, how to answer behavioral interview questions, job interview, interview questions that are behavioral,

Co-Author: Reid is a contributor for theJub. He’s an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author. | Author Profile


Similar Posts