Questions to ask during a behavioral interview

Interview questions by type

Here are some examples of the advantages of using behavioral questions in interviews. The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of interviews based on behavioral characteristics. Behavioral interview questions and answers: How to evaluate them and what to avoid.

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Employers and recruiters use behavioral interview questions to evaluate job candidates. Use

the STAR format interview and ask some of the top behavior based interview questions to hire your next great employees.

What are the advantages of using behavioral questions in interviews?

The behavioral interview questions (also referred to as STAR behavioral interview questions or behavior-based questions) are

A candidate’s past work behavior can be revealed by interview questions. As a result of these behaviors, you may be able to gain insight into how people will react in similar situations at your company.

An interview based on behavioral characteristics is what it sounds like.

An individual’s hiring decision should not be based solely on their first impressions or their hard skills. Employers and recruiters can identify candidates who appear good on paper, but lack essential qualities for the job using behavior-based interview questions. When conducting interviews, ask behavioral questions in order to assess one or more of these qualities based on the candidate’s past work experience:

In addition to demonstrating how candidates react in a given situation, these questions will also demonstrate how they collaborate on projects.

How the team interacts with clients. When conducting a behavioral interview, you will be able to evaluate and choose between candidates who may initially appear to be equally qualified for the position. Ensure that your behavioral interviewing questions test both your company’s core values and your employees’ abilities values and role-specific qualities. Behavioral interview questions can be used to measure a candidate’s leadership abilities, for example, when applying for a managerial position or another senior position. You should test the responses of potential salespeople to complaints if you are hiring them. If a position requires candidates to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure, include behavior-based questions that measure their ability to handle stress. Combine behavioral interview questions with other types of interview questions, such as questions regarding culture fit and situational interview questions, in order to make well-rounded hiring decisions.

In the hiring process, here are some examples of behavioral interview questions to ask:

Here are some examples of behavioral interview questions

  • Describe a time when you had to deliver bad news to a manager or member of your team. Can you tell me how you accomplished this? What was the other person’s reaction?
  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult colleague. How did you communicate with the colleague effectively?
  • Would you be able to explain this industry term, “X”, to someone from a different field?
  • In the event that a team leader encouraged competition among team members rather than collaboration, how would you respond?
  • Please provide an example of a time when you improved the efficiency of a process. What steps did you take to accomplish this?
  • Do you have any experience with missing deadlines? How did it happen? If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
  • When you are working on multiple projects simultaneously, how do you prioritize your efforts?
  • In your previous position, what was the most stressful or challenging situation you faced? What steps did you take to resolve the situation?
  • How did you handle a disagreement with a colleague about how to handle a situation

Would you like to work on a project or resolve a work-related issue?

  • Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a client’s complaint. How did you remain calm in the face of what happened?
  • Please tell me about a time when your team failed to meet a goal. How did you provide feedback to your team members and how did you approach your manager regarding the situation?
  • When was the last time you were assigned a task that you were unfamiliar with? Do you remember how you handled the situation: did you seek assistance or did you come up with a solution on your own?

Questions and answers about behavioral interviews: How to evaluate them


  • It can be difficult to answer behavioral interview questions. Providing your candidates with adequate time for reflection is crucial. The opposite could happen if you rush to answer; they might get anxious and make something up to avoid awkward silences.
  • Consider alternatives for candidates who struggle to answer your behavioral questions. Ask them to provide an example of an exceptional collaboration if they can’t recall a time when they had to deal with a difficult coworker. What was different about that situation from others? How did they contribute to effective communication?
  • Behavioral interviewing might be unfamiliar to some candidates. Once they’ve fully described their behavior in a specific situation, ask follow-up questions.
  • When interviewing a recent graduate or a candidate with little professional experience, they might have difficulty describing a work situation. Assess their qualities using an example from a non-professional environment (e.g. a study group, athletic team, or volunteer work).
  • Your candidates’ examples should be taken into consideration. You will learn how they define challenging situations, difficult clients, and demanding work environments from their answers.
  • In order to predict future behaviors, you should not rely solely on past behaviors. Other factors should also be considered. A candidate who describes their past accomplishments, for example, experiences of handling client complaints poorly could have learned from their mistakes and become better salespeople.

Flags of concern

  • Answers prepared from a canned list. It is common for candidates to be prepared to answer common interview questions, but when they cannot provide personal examples, they may be merely trying to make a good impression by saying the ‘right’ thing. Be on the lookout for candidates who are able to provide specific details and answer any additional questions you may have.
  • Responses that are general or hypothetical. It is important for candidates to relate their responses to real experiences, even if they come from non-professional circumstances. In behavioral interview questions, the goal is to determine how individuals behaved in a real-life situation, not to describe their ideal responses.
  • No response was received. Candidates who are unable to provide examples may not pay attention to qualities that are important for the position they are applying for. If a customer service representative is unable to provide an example of how they have helped a client, they may not be very enthusiastic about their position.
  • The personality is excellent, but the substance is lacking. Results should be the focus of interviewers. You might expect a talkative candidate when hiring a salesperson, for example. Candidates who demonstrate quiet, steady behavior may be able to achieve great quotas. Find the best candidate for your organization by relating their past behaviors to their performance.

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