A Quick Guide To Behavioral Interview Questions

Interviews are one of the most common ways to screen potential employees. 

They can be intimidating, but they also offer a great opportunity to learn more about prospective hires. Here are some tips for preparing for your next interview.

 Behavioral interview questions are questions based on how you act in a specific situation.

These questions are meant to gauge how you respond to stress, what your skills level is, and how you conduct yourselves in a professional environment.

Also, these questions allow the interviewer to get an even better understanding of you as an applicant. Anyone can answer a question such as “What is your greatest strength?“.

Not everyone, however, can answer a question such as “can you tell us of a moment when you went above and Beyond the Line of Duty?“.

After all, to answer such behavioral interview questions, you really need to have some serious work experience and achievements.

Here are a few more popular examples of behavioral job interview questions:

  • Give us an example of a goal you failed to meet, and how you handled the situation.
  • Tell us about a time when you solved a problem at your job that wasn’t part of your job description.
  • Tell us of a time when you took a risky decision and it didn’t pay off.

What Is a behavioral-based interview? 

Behavioral-based Interviews are a type of interview that focuses on the behavior and performance of an individual. 

They are used to assess the skills, knowledge, and abilities of an applicant. The interviewer will ask questions about how you would behave in

These types of interviews are interviews that use behavior as an indicator of what people think about a topic. 

How do Behavioral Interview Questions Works? 

The interviewers will try to understand how the candidate would behave in different situations, what they would do if faced with certain challenges, etc.

This is a very common interview technique used by many companies across various industries including banking, finance, and other sectors and departments. 

Behavioral interviewing is a technique where interviewers ask questions designed to uncover information about candidates’ personality traits. 

The interviewer asks questions such as “what would you do if…” or “tell me about a time when…”. This method helps companies get to know their employees better and improve performance.

Behavioral interviewing has become increasingly common in recent years. Companies use it to assess potential hires and identify strengths and weaknesses.

Situational interviews focus on specific situations, whereas behavioral interviews look at behaviors. Cognitive interviews aim to test whether applicants can answer questions correctly.

How to Prepare For Behavioral Interviews?

The interview is a very important part of the application process. It can be challenging at times, but it also gives you an opportunity to showcase your skills and experience in the most effective way possible.

Behavioral interviewing is a great way to learn more about your target audience. But it’s not just for marketers. Anyone who wants to understand his or her customers better can benefit from this technique.

Here’s how it works: First, you interview your target audience members to find out what motivates them to purchase your product or service. Then, you use those insights to create content that resonates with your audience.

This process is called behavioral interviewing because it focuses on understanding the behavior of your audience rather than asking questions about their opinions.

To conduct behavioral interviews, ask your target audience members open-ended questions that encourage them to talk about themselves and their motivations.

For example, here are some questions you can ask during a behavioral interview:

  • What does your ideal customer look like?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Why did you decide to purchase our product/service?
  • What was most important when deciding to purchase our product/services?
  • What were your biggest concerns when making the decision to purchase our product/ services?
  • What was the most surprising aspect of buying our product/service?

How To Use STAR Framework To Prepare For Behavioural Interview Questions 

In order to answer behavioral questions, you must first understand what behaviors are being measured and how they relate to one another. This is called the STAR (Situation, Task, Action/Response)

STAR Interview Method: A technique you can use to practice for behavioral and situational interview questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. 

This method will help teach you how to write clear and concise responses using actual examples from real life.

Here’s what it stands for:

  • (S) Situation – What’s the context? Start by describing the situation or the background.
  • (T) Task: Talk about your responsibilities or tasks you had to complete. For example, what was the challenge for this particular task?
  • (A) Action – How did you solve the problem? Tell us about your process and the steps that you took.
  • (R) Results: Describe the results of the actions you took. If possible, use numbers or hard data (e.g. by what % did you increase the overall sales? What changed?).

How does the STAR method work?

You can create an easy-to-follow and comprehensive story with a clear conflict and set resolution making it believable as well as appreciative, all possible using the STAR method.

But for that, you need to know each aspect or the element of the STAR method and what it means 

S: Situation

What is the context of your story? You’re setting up the scene by telling your listener when or wherever this event happened.

Start by setting the scene for the story by sharing some background information about the situation or challenge you’re facing.

Depending on the amount of directly relevant work experience you have, it may also be appropriate to discuss your academic projects or volunteer work instead.

It’s important to talk about an example instead of just saying “I’m responsible for everything.”

Spend the least amount of time writing about this part of your answer. Interviewers are more interested in the actions you took and the results you got than they are in how long it took you to write them down.

Be sure to share the right amount of relevant information by identifying the two or the three most important pieces of info that would be helpful for the interviewer to understand the situation.

T: Task

What was your role in this situation?

For example, “It was my role to lead the transition for my group while also communicating with our client to keep the project on track.”

Describe your responsibilities or roles in the situation or challenge To put it simply, discuss the goal or tasks set out for you.

This section requires a small amount of time similar to the situation component. Once again, think about one or two points that illustrate the task you needed to be done.

A: Action

What did you do? 

Describe the specific actions you took in order to handle the situation or to overcome the challenge.

This part of your response needs the most detailed explanation as it is what largely indicates your ability to perform a job. Identify and discuss some of the most impactful things you did to find success.

Often, workplace challenges are addressed by a team; however, it’s a common pitfall to use the word “we” to describe how you achieved your goals during an interview.

It’s important to keep track of what you did in the specific situation. Remember that the employer wants to hire you for the job, not your team. So, you should use the word “I” to highlight your own contributions.


What did your actions lead to? 

What did you achieve through your actions? It’s also important to focus on. Spend slightly less time talking about the results than your actions were responsible for. 

Decide what the two to three most impressive results were and talk about these.

Quantify your success or provide concrete examples of the effects of your efforts if possible. In addition, discuss what you learned, how you grew, and why you’re a stronger employee because of the experience.

Steps to prepare for Behavioural Interview Questions Using STAR Method

Preparation is key for success in a behavioral interview. There isn’t necessarily a right answer. These questions are aimed to get to know the real you and see where you stand. 

The most important thing is to be truthful and to structure your responses in a way that communicates what you have to offer. 

You can just simply follow these steps to assure the best course of action for your behavioral interview. 

Step 1:  Review Your Job Description

Review the job description and required skills and consider what sorts of challenges might arise or what obstacles you may have to navigate in the position.

Step 2:  Preparing Answers For Common Behavioural Interview Questions 

It is essential to review common behavioral interview questions. 

While the phrasing may vary from interview to interviewer, the general intent of a question typically remains the same, so it can be helpful for you to prepare your answers with this in mind.

For example, the interviewer might ask about “a time you were under pressure,” or they might ask about “how you handle stress.” Either way, their goal is to understand how you deal with tense situations.

Step 3: Using STAR Framework To Prepare For Answers 

Write down the various scenarios you’ve handled professionally that demonstrate the types of skills you’ll need for this role and that address some common behavioral interview questions.

Each example should be prepared using the STAR framework.

Step 4: Practise, Practise, and Practise

Practice talking through your stories out loud so you can make sure they’re as concise and coherent as you’d like them to be. This will also help make you feel more confident and comfortable when answering questions during an interview.

Top 10 Behavioural Interview Question Answers 

Tell me an example of when working with a team was successful.

Make a list of the following examples ahead of your interview. 

You should be familiar with them by now. Focus on the times when you were able to deliver results for your business, rather than just hanging around the pub on a Friday night.

Tell me about a time when you failed in a team project, and how you overcame it.

Show how you can learn from mistakes and be honest with answers. 

Don’t blame your team members for failing, focus on the objective reason why they failed and what you learned from them.

How do you handle a challenge? Give an example.

Regardless of your job, things might go wrong and they won’t always be business as usual for you.

With this kind of question, the hiring managers want to know how you will respond when faced with a difficult situation.

When you’re responding to a question, focus on how you dealt with a difficult situation. If you want to share a step-by-­step outline of what you’ve done and why it worked, go ahead.

Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it? 

We’re all human, so we all make mistakes. The interviewer is more concerned with how you dealt with making a mistake than with the fact that you made one.

Can you give me an example of a situation where you had to face a conflict while working on the team? How did you handle that?

There will certainly be at least one conflict question, if not more.

It’s as common as it is dreaded. Interviewers ask because it’s important for them to know how you‘ll handle disagreements in the workplace. They want to know if you’re likely to be able to get along

But you may be nervous because it‘s hard to look good when you’re in a conflict even if you’re not at fault. 

The key to solving this problem is to focus less on finding the solution and more on finding the process of finding the solution.

What do you do when you disagree with another team member?

When you disagree about a work-related matter, not a personal one. Explain how you handled the situation. 

Focus on your communication skills. Negotiations are not something you should worry about at Don’t let your ego get in your way.

Explain why you decided not to follow the crowd, and how you handled implementing it when people didn’t agree with you.

Sometimes, management has no choice but to make difficult decisions, even if some employees aren’t happy about them. 

If you’re interviewing for a decision-maker role, the interviewer will be interested in knowing your process for implementing change

Describe your proudest professional accomplishment

This question can sometimes cause people to freeze up. You may ask is it like,  literally the thing I am proudest of ever? It’s a lot. It’s basically a freebie to talk to anyone about any topic.

So you can choose one story that showcases a relevant skill set, passion, or experience that you haven’t talked about yet or want to highlight more and set it up as one of your proudest accomplishments! 

If you’re applying for an entry-level job, feel free to talk up your school achievements.

Tell me how you deal with pressure at work.

This question shows an employer how you deal with pressure and stress at work. 

A good answer demonstrates an example of a successful outcome or one that you might have done differently if you were given the chance again.

Tell me how you set goals.

This behavioral question aims at learning about your methods for goal setting and how they help you achieve them.

You should consider an answer that clearly explains how you’ve done something, with a specific example of how you did it.

Give an example of when you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.

 Do you have strong motivational skills? What strategies do you employ to motivate your team? 

The hiring manager wants to see an example of your ability to get people to work together toward a common goal.

Describe a time when you took initiative on a project.

It might be tempting to focus only on yourself but don’t forget to give credit to the people who helped you get where you are today.

Try to use examples when you went beyond your day job to take on extra responsibilities.

Tell me about a situation where you were consulted for a specific problem.

The interviewer wants to learn what you’re known for among the people who’ve worked with you.

Do your friends come looking for relationship advice, professional guidance, or to brainstorm solutions? 

Do they ask you where to go around the town? Think about what you’re good at, and what your friends are good at, and think about you too!

Share a time when you made a mistake at your job and how you fixed it.

Mistakes are often unavoidable, but how you deal with them can often be more significant than the mistake itself.

A strong answer is one that shows ownership of the error and impactful steps you took to correct it or prevent it from happening again.

Describe a time when your team or company was going through some kind of change. What was the impact of that on you, and how did You adapt?

Interviewers want to see how you deal with organizational change.

Your story doesn’t necessarily need to be about a massive company reorganization, it could be about a new file-sharing system.

To ensure that interviewers get what they want from your answers, describe the steps you took to modify your approach and then generalize your experience.

Describe a situation where you needed to get information but didn’t receive good responses. What did you do?

Hiring managers want employees who can take initiative and solve problems. Workplace problems often boil down to a communication problem, which is what this question is getting at.

Don’t get too bogged down by the nitty-gritty of the story and make it clear at the end that you’ve learned something.

Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

Knowing what the acronym stands for is only the first step. Here’s how to really get the most out of the method:

Be Very Specific

You can’t be all vague using the STAR Method. You need to be very clear and concise.   Being prepared means having everything ready before you start.

Before your interview, you should have identified the specific skills and qualities the company wants. Make sure your stories target specific audiences. 

Remember, you need your success story to be aligned with the behavior that the hiring managers are looking for.

If you’re vague or general when describing your accomplishments, you won’t be able to demonstrate the impact they had on your company.

Keep It Relevant

Keeping it relevant might sound obvious but here’s something you need to consider:

Even if you’re following the STAR formulae down to the letter, it won’t amount to much if your answers aren’t relevant.

What are you trying to communicate by answering this question?

Ideally, it should relate to your position and show that you have skills that will help you succeed in the job you’re seeking.

For example, if you’re applying for a job in graphic design, you shouldn’t start talking about your greatest accomplishments in accounting.

If your answer isn’t relevant to the job, it basically just doesn’t even count.

Make Sure You Answer All The Questions

If an interviewer asks a question and you can’t for the life of you come up with a single specific example of something you’ve done that you can use to answer the question, then tell them that.

Being truthful is always the best option. It is surely better than making something up. 

Of course, this means you don’t get to tell the interviewer “to move on to the next question.” 

Instead, you’re going to flip the question onto yourself and follow up by saying “But if I had encountered a similar situation, this is how I’d handle it.”

Have a Few Examples Ready

You don’t know ahead of time which behavioral interview questions the interviewer will ask. So you need to prepare for them. 

But it’d still be a good idea to have some examples ready that follow the STAR method.

This way, you don’t need to worry about forgetting anything when answering questions.

Remember, though, that your answer shouldn’t be a word-for-word memorized script.

You’ll want to sound natural when answering questions.

If you’re having trouble coming up with an answer for a question during the interview, don’t worry, just take a moment to think about it.

You don’t need to write out your entire response before starting to speak. The HR manager might appreciate that even though you’re answering quickly, you’re not giving them a rushed answer.

Prepare a few stories based on the job description

You may not use them, but at least you’ll be better prepared and less nervous if they’re something you think about before the interview.

Read the job description carefully. Look for any repeated words or phrases, and then think of examples where those words or phrases appear. Come up with some stories about these things.

Prepare For The Most Common Interview Questions 

While you’ll never know what questions they’ll ask during the interview, you can still prepare for the most common ones.

Make Sure You Are Well-Prepared

It’s a no-brainer. Because we’ve already discussed the five most common categories for behavioral questions, let’s go through them again. 

When you’re asked to come up with a story on demand, it usually means the interviewer is stuck listening to your rambling.

Preparing your success story ahead of time means not just will you have your success ready, but it will be succinct and targeted.

It is highly recommended that you include at least three to five success stories that collectively demonstrate different behaviors a hiring manager might look for.

Remember To Give Proper Context

You’re telling a story about how your team saved a client’s project at the last minute by working overtime. You swooped in and took control, making sure everyone knew what to expect.

That’s great That’s exactly what the interviewer wants to hear about.

However, you don’t have to:

  • Describe in detail how you found the client.
  • Describe your whole relationship with them from the start to the finish.
  • Tell them your whole backstory and explain why they’re such good friends with you.

As mentioned earlier, make sure your answers are relevant and straight to the point. So, when talking through the situation, try to sum up the buildup to your story in only one or two sentences.

Don’t Be Too Prepared

Yes, that’s a thing!. You want your story to sound natural, but not too rehearsed as to be mechanical. Before going into an interview, review your stories, but don’t overdo it.

Keep them light and conversational rather than rehearse a story you’ve practiced word-for-­word.

Telling Anything But Success Stories 

You are here to get the job, right? So it seems obvious that why would you tell a story where you fail miserably even if there are learnings to takeaway. 

While it may be a funny story overall (and it probably is), it’s not a story that’s going to help you get hired. 

If you tell a story that has no positive outcome, either for the final results or the lesson you learned, it’s pointless. Just like hiring you.

Now you may be thinking that , it is common sense as not to tell a story that makes you look bad.  

But there is something you need to know. Sometimes, what starts off as good intentions can end up unraveling before you know it.

You must be sure that if the hiring manager asks you questions about your background, you answer them truthfully but without revealing anything you didn’t want him/her to know.

So despite being at the risk of sounding like a robot, it is wise that you. stick to the script, so you don’t fall into the traps of looking yourself bad. 

Show Your Work

Finally, it‘s your turn to boast a bit. Don’t be afraid to go all-out and show how you’ve made a difference. Make sure to mention these things:

  • What kind of impact has your action had on your department/company so far?
  • What exactly happened as a result? Use numbers and data to support your claims.
  • What did you learn after the experience?

Interviewers will not be satisfied with a lackluster conclusion like “Yeah so, and, we finished the project on time, and everyone lived happily ever after”

You can see how boring that sounds? There is no story to tell here. Even if the end of your story isn‘t all that amazing, at least you can say what you learned.

Telling Stories That Might Make You Look Bad Or Unqualified 

In order to keep your stories success stories well-planned, don’t portray yourself as ‘perfect’ and ‘someone who never do anything wrong or ‘ only employee who is the best ever. 

Nobody is absolutely perfect. 

If you are telling a story where you singlehandedly saved the entire company from bankruptcy while also saving the city like Batman as well as the saving cats from trees, it won’t just come off as impossible but fiction. You get the point! 

 Behavioral Interview Tips

Here are some important things to keep in mind when preparing for your next job interview:

  • Read the job description carefully.
  • Make a list of what it takes to be successful at this job.
  • Review major projects you’ve worked on.
  • Think of a story demonstrating your ability in each area.
  • Review previous job performance reviews.
  • Write down your professional achievements.
  • Use the STAR method (Subject, Task, Action) to structure your response.
  • Be open and honest in your answer.
  • Practice your interview responses aloud.
  • Keep your answers under two minutes

Behavioral Interview Questions You Need To Prepare For

  • Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
  • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict with a coworker. How did you handle that?
  • Describe a time when it was especially important to make a good impression on a client. How did you go about doing so?
  • Describe a situation where you felt pressured at work or at school What happened, and how did you manage to get through it?
  • Tell me about a presentation you gave that was a success and why you think it worked well.
  • Describe a time when your team or company was going through some kind of change. What was the impact of that on you, and how did you adapt?
  • What was your experience at your last job? What did you do when you first started?
  • Can you give me an example of a situation where you had to think on you feet?
  • Describe a situation where you needed to use written communication to convey your ideas.
  • Describe a situation where you made sure a customer had a positive experience with your service.
  • Describe a long-term project that you managed to keep on track. How did you keep things moving?
  • Tell me about a situation where an unexpected problem derailed your plans. How did you recover?
  • Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult client or a difficult customer. What happened, and how did you deal with it?
  • Describe a time when you were the resident technical guru. What did you do to make sure everyone was able to understand you?
  • Give me an example of a time you managed numerous responsibilities. How did you handle that?
  • Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied in your role. What could have been done to make it better?
  • Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone at work to see things your way.
  • Tell me about a time when you worked under either extremely close supervision or extremely loose supervision. How did you handle that?
  • Give me an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake and wish you’d handled a situation with a colleague differently
  • When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?
  • Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive. What did you do?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to have a difficult conversation with a frustrated client or colleague. How did you handle the situation?
  • Describe a time when you had to step up as a leader and show some leadership skills.
  • Tell me about your greatest professional achievement.
  • Describe a time when you saw a problem and decided to take action to fix it.
  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
  • Give me an example of a time when you didn’t meet a client’s expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
  • Tell me about a time your responsibilities got a little overwhelming. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?

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