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Behavioral Interview - Sample Questions - 2

Behavioral Interview - Sample Questions

 

We've pulled together a list of common behavioral-interview questions. One of the keys to success in interviewing is practice, so we encourage you to take the time to work out answers to these questions using one of the suggested methods, such as the STAR approach. Be sure not to memorize answers; the key to interviewing success is simply being prepared for the questions and having a mental outline to follow in responding to each question. For more tips, read our article, Behavioral Interviewing Strategies.

 

Looking for some sample excellent answers to behavioral interview questions? Then go to our Job Interview Questions Database, where we have traditional, behavioral, and mixed interview questions for both experienced job-seekers and college students and recent grads.

 

Here is one list of sample behavioral-based interview questions:

 

Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

 

Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.

 

Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

 

Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.

 

Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone's opinion.

 

Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.

 

Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.

 

Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.

 

Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.

 

Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision.

 

What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.

 

Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).

 

Tell me about a difficult decision you've made in the last year.

 

Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.

 

Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.

 

Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.

 

Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.

 

Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.

 

Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.

 

Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.

 

Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.

 

Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.

 

Please tell me about a time you had to fire a friend.

 

Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).

 

1. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

 

2. Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.

 

3. Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

 

4. Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.

 

5. Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.

 

6. Describe a time when you had to use your written communication skills to get an important point across.

 

7. Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.

 

8. Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it.

 

9. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.

 

10. Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).

 

11. Sometimes it's easy to get in "over your head." Describe a situation where you had to request help or assistance on a project or assignment.

 

12. Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the work. Who, if anyone, did you tell or talk to about it? Did the manager take any steps to correct your colleague? Did you agree or disagree with the manager's actions?

 

13. Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise.

 

14. What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision.

 

15. We can sometimes identify a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give an example(s) of how you have done this.

 

16. In a supervisory or group leader role, have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee or group member? What was the nature of the discipline? What steps did you take? How did that make you feel? How did you prepare yourself?

 

17. Recall a time from your work experience when your manager or supervisor was unavailable and a problem arose. What was the nature of the problem? How did you handle that situation? How did that make you feel?

 

18. Recall a time when you were assigned what you considered to be a complex project. Specifically, what steps did you take to prepare for and finish the project? Were you happy with the outcome? What one step would you have done differently if given the chance?

 

19. Tell of some situations in which you have had to adjust quickly to changes over which you had no control. What was the impact of the change on you?

 

20. Describe some times when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance. What did you do about it?

 

FOCUS AND DEDICATION TO THE INDUSTRY:

 

Why did you choose your major and career?

 

At what point did you make this decision?

 

Specifically, what attracts you to this industry as a career?

 

TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE: Your level of understanding of technical and professional information and your ability to apply technical and professional skills.

 

1. Sometimes it's easy to get in "over your head". Describe a situation where you had to request help or assistance on a project or assignment.

 

2. Give an example of how you applied knowledge from previous coursework to a project in another class.

 

TEAMWORK: Working effectively with others in the organization and outside the formal lines of authority (i.e., peers, other units, senior management, and the like) to accomplish organizational goals and to identify and resolve problems. Considering the impact of your decisions on others.

 

1. Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?

 

2. Describe a situation in which you found that your results were not up to your professor's or supervisor's expectations. What happened? What action did you take?

 

3. Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing their share of the work. Who, if anyone, did you tell or talk to about it? Did the manager take any steps to correct your colleague? Did you agree or disagree with the manager's actions?

 

4. Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise.

 

ANALYSIS: Relating and comparing data from different sources, identifying issues, securing relevant information, and identifying relationships.

 

1. What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?

 

2. We can sometimes identify a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give an example(s) of how you have done this.

 

3. Describe a situation in which you had to collect information by asking many questions of several people.

 

4. In a supervisory or group leader role, have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee or group member? What was the nature of the discipline? What steps did you take? How did that make you feel? How did you prepare yourself?

 

5. Recall a time from your work experience when your manager or supervisor was unavailable and a problem arose. hat was the nature of the problem? How did you handle that situation? How did that make you feel?

 

6. Recall a time when you were assigned what you considered to be a complex project. Specifically, what steps did you take to prepare for and finish the project? Were you happy with the outcome? What one step would you have done differently if given the chance?

 

7. What was the most complex assignment you have had? What was your role?

 

ADAPTABILITY: Maintaining effectiveness in varying environments, tasks and responsibilities, or with various types of people.

 

1. How was your transition from high school to college? Did you face any particular problems?

 

2. Tell of some situations in which you have had to adjust quickly to changes over which you had no control. What was the impact of the change on you?

 

WORK STANDARDS: Setting high goals or standards of performance for self, subordinates, others and the organization. Experiencing dissatisfaction with average performance.

 

1. Compare and contrast the times when you did work which was above the standard with times your work was below the standard.

 

Above Standard  Below Standard

 

2. Descibe some times when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance. What did you do about it?

 

3. What are your standards of success in school? What have you done to meet these standards?

 

4. How have you differed from your professors in evaluating your performance? How did you handle the situation?

 

JOB MOTIVATION:  The extent to which activities and responsibilities available in the job overlap with activities and responsibilities that result in personal satisfaction.

 

1. Give examples of your experiences at school or in a job that were satisfying. Give examples of your experiences that were dissatisfying.

 

Situation Why Satisfying Why Dissatisfying

 

2. What kind of supervisor do you work best for? Provide examples.

 

Type Why this Preference?

 

INITIATIVE: Making active attempts to influence events to achieve goals. Self-starting rather than passively accepting. Taking action to achieve goals beyond what is necessarily called for, originating action.

 

1. Describe some projects or ideas (not necessarily your own) that were implemented, or carried out successfully primarily because of your efforts.

 

Idea Role in Implementation Outcome

 

2. Describe a situation that required a number of things to be done at the same time. How did you handle it? What was the result?

 

3. Have you found any ways to make school or a job easier or more rewarding?

 

ABILITY TO LEARN: Assimilating and applying new job-related information promptly.

 

1. What tricks or techniques have you learned to make school or a job easier, or to make yourself more effective? How did you learn that?

 

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Establishing a course of action for yourself (and/or others) to accomplish specific goals. Planning proper assignments for personnel and appropriately allocating resources.

 

1. How do you determine priorities in scheduling your time? Give examples.

 

Priority How Determined Result

 

2. Describe a time in school when you had many projects or assignments due at the same time. What steps did you take to get them all done?

 

COMMUNICATION: Clearly expressing ideas in writing-including grammar, organization, and structure.

 

1. Tell of a time when your active listening skills really paid off for you-maybe a time when other people missed the key idea being expressed.

 

2. What has been your experience in giving presentations to small or large groups? What has been your most successful experience in speech making?

 

Experience Steps to Presentation Result

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE ORIENTATION: Making efforts to listen to and understand the customer (both internal and external), anticipating customer needs and giving high priority to customer satisfaction.

 

1. Tell of the most difficult customer service experience that you have ever had to handle-perhaps an angry or irate customer. Be specific and tell what you did and what was the outcome.

 

SENSITIVITY: Acting out of consideration for the feelings and needs of others.

 

1. Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. Why was this person difficult? How did you handle that person?

 

2. Describe a situation where you found yourself dealing with someone who didn't like you. How did you handle it?

 

Example Behavioral Interview Questions

 

How have you demonstrated initiative?

 

How have you motivated yourself to complete an assignment or task that you did not want to do?

 

Think about a difficult boss, professor or other person. What made him or her difficult? How did you successfully interact with this person?

 

Think about a complex project or assignment that you have been assigned. What approach did you take to complete it?

 

Tell me about the riskiest decision that you have made.

 

Can you tell me about an occasion where you needed to work with a group to get a job done?

 

Describe when you or a group that you were a part of were in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?

 

Tell me about a time when you worked with a person who did things very differently from you. How did you get the job done?

 

Describe your three greatest accomplishments to date.

 

Tell me about a situation when you had to learn something new in a short time. How did you proceed?

 

Can you tell me about a complex problem that you solved? Describe the process you utilized.

 

Tell me about a challenge that you successfully met.

 

Walk me through a situation where you had to do research and analyze the results for one of your classes.

 

What leadership positions have you held? Describe your leadership style.

 

Have you generated any new ideas or suggestions while at school or at work?

 

Summarize a situation where you successfully persuaded others to do something or to see your point of view.

 

Give an example of when your persistence had the biggest payoff.

 

Describe a situation where class assignments and work or personal activities conflicted. How did you prioritize? How did you manage your time? What was the outcome?

 

How have you most constructively dealt with disappointment and turned it into a learning experience?

 

Describe a situation in which you effectively developed a solution to a problem by combining different perspectives or approaches.

 

Sample Behavior Based Interview Questions

 

Tell me about a time when you displayed excellent customer service?

 

What has given you the greatest sense of achievement at work? Why?

 

All jobs have frustration, can you describe some examples of your job which frustrate you?

 

What standards have you set for yourself in your current position? How well have you done about meeting these standards?

 

Can you provide me with 3 situations I which you did not succeed and why?

 

Have you ever introduced a new idea? Can you describe what it covered, the steps you took to implement it and why you saw the need to introduce it?

 

Tell me a time when you were confronted with an unexpected problem? How did you deal with it? What happened?

 

Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in getting a job done.

 

Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate to another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or visa-versa).

 

Can you tell me a time when you dealt with a difficult person? How did you handle it and what happened?

 

Can you give an example of a deadline you have had to meet?

 

Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

 

Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.

 

Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgement and logic in solving a problem.

 

By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations, and environments.

 

Describe a time on any job that you held in which you were faced with problems, stresses that tested your coping skills.

 

Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills in order to get an important point across.

 

Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.

 

Give me an example of an important goal that you had set in the past and tell me your success in reaching it.

 

Describe the most significant or creative presentation that you have had to compose.

 

Has there been a time when you improved a process? What was it?

 

How did you go about making the changes (step by step)? Answer in depth or detail such as "What were you thinking at that point?" or "Tell me more about meeting with that person", or "Lead me through your decision process".

 

Always listen carefully to the question, ask for clarification if necessary, and make sure you answer the question completely.

 

Your interview preparation should include identifying examples of situations when you have demonstrated the behaviors for a given company.

 

Your resume will serve as a good guide when answering these questions. Refresh your memory regarding your achievements in the past couple of hears. Demonstration of desired behaviors may be proven in many ways. Use examples from past internship activities, team involvement, community service and work experience. In addition, use examples of which you may be proud, such as extracurricular activities or hobbies.

 

Careful preparation is the key to an effective behavioral interview.

 

Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

 

Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.

 

Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in sloving a problem.

 

By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and environments.

 

Describe a time on any job that you held in which you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.

 

Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.

 

Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills in order to get an important point across.

 

Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.

 

Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it.

 

Describe the most significant or creative presentation which you have had to complete.

 

Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.

 

Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).

 

Sample Behavioral Interview Questions

 

These are often difficult questions to answer on the fly. Jot down examples of stories in your past that you would use to answer these questions. Careful preparation is the key to an effective behavioral interview. Make sure that you are thoroughly prepared well in advance.

 

Communication

 

Give me a specific example of a time when a co-worker critized your work in front of others. How did you respond? How has that event shaped the way you communicate with others?

 

How do you ensure that someone understands what you are saying?

 

Tell me about a time when you had to present complex information.

 

Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills in order to get across an important point.

 

Decision Making

 

Give me an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision.

 

Describe a specific problem you solved for your employer. How did you approach the problem? What role did others play? What was the outcome?

 

Give me an example of when taking your time to make a decision paid off.

 

Initiative

 

What did you do to prepare for this interview?

 

Give me an example of a situation that could not have happened successfully without you being there.

 

Planning and Organization

 

Describe a situation when you had many projects due at the same time. What steps did you take to get them all done?

 

How do you determine priorities in scheduling your time? Give me an example.

 

Flexibility

 

Describe a time where you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.

 

Describe a time when you put your needs aside to help a co-worker understand a task. How did you assist them? What was the result?

 

Leadership

 

Tell me about a time when you influenced the outcome of a project by taking a leadership role.

 

Give me an example of when you involved others in making a decision.

 

Time Management

 

Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What things did you fail to do? What were the repercussions? What did you learn?

 

Tell me about a time when you were particularly effective on prioritizing tasks and completing a project on schedule.

 

Behavioral Interviewing Questions

 

I. Productivity

 

What do you think has been your most significant accomplishment within the past year?

 

II. Problem Solving/Decision Making

 

Give me an example of a problem which you faced on a job you have had and tell me how you solved it.

 

Describe a time when you faced unreasonable deadlines or expectations. How did you respond?

 

III. Conflict Resolution

 

Tell me about a difficult person with whom you have had to deal. Why was he/she difficult and what did you do?

 

Tell me about the last significant crisis situation you faced in your work. Were you part of the solution?

 

IV. Personal Adaptability

 

Tell me about a time when you felt most pressured and stressed in your work/school.

 

Tell me about the last time you were criticized by a supervisor/professor.

 

V. Communication Skills

 

Tell me about the time you were most persuasive in overcoming resistance to your ideas or point of view.

 

Describe the last time someone at work/school misunderstood what you were attempting to communicate.

 

Tell me about the document you wrote of which you were most proud.

 

Tell me about the most successful presentation you have ever given to a group.

 

VI. Motivation

 

Give me an example of a time in which you felt you were able to build motivation in your co-workers.

 

Describe the last time you did something which went well beyond the expected in school/work.

 

VII. Organizational Skills

 

Have you ever had to meet a scheduled deadline which caused a high stress level? What caused the most difficulty and why?

 

Tell me about the work related (or campus) project that you organized most successfully. 

 

Examples of behavioral interview questions:

 

Describe a time when you put a lot of effort into a project. What did you learn?

 

Tell me about a time when you performed well in a crisis. What did you do?

 

Would you approach that problem in the same way today?

 

Describe a time when you did not get along with a co-worker. What did you learn?

 

Describe a time when you had to think on your feet to solve a difficult problem.

 

Tell me about a time when you were not satisfied with your performance.

 

Provide a recent example of when you exceeded expectations.

 

Describe an accomplishment. What did you do to make that happen? Be specific.

 

Describe a situation when you dealt with rapid changes. How did you handle it?

 

Tell me about a time when you were responsible for directing other people.

 

Describe a time when you were really motivated to do your best. 


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