Interviews can be a nerve-racking process that doesn’t come with second chances.
After waiting days on end to get shortlisted, you finally get a chance to impress the recruiters in person and showcase your suitability for the position.
But, surveys show that 39% of candidates get rejected because of their confidence level, voice quality, and lack of smile.
Thus, given the stakes, it’s imperative that you prepare well for the interview. Besides, preparation is the only way to feel more confident, perform better, and reduce nerves during interviews.
Apart from researching the company and analyzing the job description, an important part of any interview preparation is practicing interview questions.
And among the different types of interview questions, behavioral interview questions are one of the most common types of questions that the interviewers are likely to ask.
Read on to learn more about top behavioral interview questions and related FAQs like the following:
- What are behavioral interview questions?
- Why do recruiters ask behavioral interview questions?
- How to answer behavioral interview questions?
- How to use the STAR format to answer behavioral interview questions?
- What are the some behavioral interview questions with answers?
- What are the top 10+ behavioral interview questions?
What are Behavioral Interview Questions?
Behavioral interview questions assess your past behavior, based on which an assumption can be made about how you might act in the future under similar circumstances.
These questions request descriptions and specific examples of situations where you might have used certain skills to overcome a problem or a scenario.
Interviewers can ask you behavioral interview questions for any type of job position - be it senior-level or entry-level roles and can often begin with “tell me about a time” or “give me an example of a time.”
Most recruiters ask these questions because they believe that past performance is the best indicator of future performance.
Behavioral interview questions can be divided into the following types:
- Time management
Why Do Recruiters Ask Behavioral Interview Questions?
Hiring as we know is a time and resource-consuming process that recruiters rather do it right the first time around.
And simply asking technical questions or questions related to the candidate's skills and experiences is not enough to determine whether or not they are a good hire.
Therefore, to have a probable idea about how a candidate would behave in given scenarios, recruiters ask behavioral questions.
Additionally, many employers believe that while a candidate can be taught hard skills, it is not possible for them to teach them certain soft skills like work ethic, integrity, and honesty.
And with behavioral interview questions, recruiters get an insight into how a candidate works with people and deal with different scenarios.
Also read: How to ace your first job interview in 2022?
How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions?
Knowing the right way to answer behavioral interview questions can help you answer any type of behavioral question, even if you haven't prepared for the exact one.
The following are some tips that will help you answer common behavioral interview questions:
Review the Job Description
To probe the type of behavioral interview questions that the recruiters can ask, you must thoroughly analyze the job description provided in the listing.
Identify the top requirements of the recruiters from the JD and based on that, you will get an idea about the type of behavioral questions they can ask.
For instance, is working well with a team one of the requirements given in the listing? Or have they hinted that the ideal candidate has to possess great communication and leadership skills?
This way you will know that the interviewers will likely ask you behavioral questions that will require you to talk about a past experience where you’ve used the said skills.
Come Up with Examples
After identifying the type of behavioral questions that the interviewers can ask, you must come up with examples from your experiences where you’ve used the required skills to resolve a problem and overcome a setback at work.
If you do not think ahead of time and identify the instances you’re going to talk about, it will be extremely tough for you to answer behavioral interview questions.
Ensure to recall some numbers so that you can quantify the results of your actions when you answer behavioral interview questions.
Use the STAR Format
Now, to frame your answers to behavioral interview questions in a concise yet impactful manner, you must use the STAR format.
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Your answer must cover the situation or background of your experience, followed by the details of the task you were assigned, the action you took to complete the task, and the result of your efforts.
Following the STAR format will allow your answers to be on point and help you elaborate easily.
Practice is key if you want to nail behavioral interview questions.
Once you’ve identified the instances you’re going to talk about, rehearse giving answers using the SATR format.
However, this doesn’t mean that you must create a script and mug up the answers. You will simply need to prepare a mental outline of your answer and practice delivering them out loud.
The choice of words and sentences can be different each time as long as your answer follows the STAR format and showcases your skills effectively.
You can rehearse in front of the mirror or even before your friends & family to gain more confidence and seek feedback.
The Most Common Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers
Given below are some of the most common behavioral interview questions with sample answers that follow the STAR format:
Tell me about a time when you worked effectively under pressure
“In my past role, I was in charge of handling external projects for the company’s clients. And this one time when I was supposed to deliver a project to a client in 6 days, my colleague was working with the same client and had the same deadline. However, due to some personal reasons, he had to take a leave of absence. Since I had an understanding of the project specification, I took up both projects. I did not want to disappoint the client, as he was a long-term client of the company and was counting on the timely delivery of the project. To manage the stressful situation, I came up with a very detailed time management approach to boost efficiency. My approach panned out and I delivered both projects on time. My boss was super impressed with my willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. The client too was satisfied with the project results and sent me a thank you note for ensuring the timely delivery of both the projects.”
Describe a time when you worked with a team to achieve a common goal
“In my previous role, I worked with a team of 5+ software engineers to carry out a new product release and its software development.
My role was to develop documentation, flowcharts, and layouts to identify requirements along with the solutions for the development of a new mobile app.
However, our team faced a roadblock when the integration tool that my colleague chose for the software was not compatible. We then as a team decided to put in extra work hours on the projects to make up for the lost time after choosing a hybrid integration tool. We were not only able to deliver the software on time but also managed to get 100% positive feedback from the clients for the software’s cohesive features and our manager congratulated us for our brilliant teamwork.”
Tell me about a time when you resolved a problem at work
"At my previous company when I worked as a customer service representative, customers sent their feedback or other issues that needed attention through an automated system. I relied on these reports to address their issues and provide suitable resolutions for the same. However, my coworker who processed these emails and reports often fell behind to perform her duties on time which caused delays in providing resolution to the customers. I decided to address the situation and asked this coworker for lunch to explain the situation from my perspective. My coworker informed me that due to the high volume of incoming reports, she was unable to manage it. We then decided to consult our manager and requested him to bring in another team member who could help process the reports faster. Thankfully, the issue was resolved and we were able to process customer feedback on time and increase customer satisfaction by 15% the following month.”
Best Behavioral Interview Questions
Given below is a list of behavioral interview questions that are frequently asked by recruiters:
- How do you accomplish tasks when you are under a tight deadline? Provide an example.
- Describe a time when you managed a long-term project.
- What do you do when your list of responsibilities becomes overwhelming?
- Tell me about a time you ensured to meet your objectives under pressure. What steps did you take?
- Describe an instance wherein your manager gave you too much work with insufficient time? What did you do?
- How do you handle a conflict with your colleague at work? Give me an example.
- What would you do if you misunderstood an important task when you were working on a project? Give me an example.
- Have you ever had to work under someone who wasn’t very good at communicating? What happened?
- Tell me about a time when you successfully explained a technical problem to a colleague or a customer who didn’t have a tech background?
- Can you tell me about a time you gave a successful presentation? What steps did you take to achieve that?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone with a different working style. How did you adapt to collaborate better?
- Describe a time when your team member refuses to, or just couldn't complete their part of the work?
- Can you describe a situation when a client was wrong and you had to correct them?
- How do you handle angry customers? Give me an example.
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work. What do you think you could've done differently to avoid the mistake?
- Tell me about your first job in the industry. What did you do to learn the ropes?
- Can you give me an example of when you had to adapt to a new or sudden change in the workplace?
- Describe a time when you successfully delegated tasks to your team.
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to perform a task or work you had no previous experience in before? How did you approach this situation and what did you learn?
Key Points from the Blog
- Behavioral interview questions request descriptions and specific examples of situations where you might have used certain skills to overcome a problem or a scenario.
- Recruiters ask behavioral interview questions because past performance is the best indicator of future performance.
- To probe the type of behavioral interview questions that can be asked by the recruiters, you must thoroughly analyze the job description provided in the listing and identify their key requirements.
- You must identify the instances that you’re going to talk about while answering behavioral interview questions, prior to the interview.
- To frame your answers to behavioral interview questions in a concise yet impactful manner, you must use the STAR format.
- You must rehearse your answers to behavioral interview questions in front of the mirror or even before your friends & family to gain more confidence and seek feedback.
Should you need expert assistance to prepare for behavioral interview questions, head over to Hiration’s Career Activator Platform which offers 24x7 chat support. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.