What is Behavioral Interviewing?
Behavioral interviewing is an interviewing technique based on the idea that you can best predict how well someone will perform in a future situation by examining their past behaviors in a similar situation.
When done correctly, behavioral interviewing reduces bias and subjectivity by focusing on facts rather than impressions and opinions; enhances communication and rapport by encouraging the candidate to share details and the interviewer to follow up with probing questions; and allows the candidate to provide an assessment of their past experiences and opportunities for growth.
Probing questions are an important component of the behavioral interview process. Probing questions allow interviewers to find out more information and dig deeper into the candidate's experience.
Before You Start Your Search: Interviewing Resources
The content linked below is intended to help lay the groundwork before you begin the interview process.
Building Your Interviews: Sample Behavioral Interview Questions
Share an example of a time when your work group or department worked especially well with another work group or department to accomplish a goal.
Describe a time when you set aside your own priorities to help a team member. What did you do, and what was the result?
Tell me about a decision you made that was not popular with your team. How did you handle the response?
Tell me about a time when you had to take charge of a team project. What did you do? What was the result?
What has been your greatest leadership achievement in a professional environment? Talk through the steps you took to reach it.
What have been the greatest obstacles you have faced in building/growing a team?
Tell me about a coworker or colleague that you helped develop. What were the results?
Tell me about a time when you had to give feedback to someone who was performing below expectations. How did you approach the conversation?
Tell me about a time when you needed to delegate parts of a large assignment. What was the outcome?
Share a specific example of how you have empowered your staff to make independent decisions.
Share an example of how you have motivated others in the past.
Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or help others to compromise. What steps did you take? What was the result?
Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
What have you found to be the most rewarding part of being a member of a team? What has been the most challenging part for you?
Tell me about a time when you had to analyze information and make a recommendation. What kind of thought process did you go through? Was the recommendation accepted?
Describe a project or situation that demonstrates your analytical abilities. What was your role?
Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. What did you do? What was the outcome? What do you wish you had done differently?
What steps have you followed to study a problem before making a decision? Why?
Give me an example of a time you discovered an error that had been overlooked by a colleague. What did you do? What was the outcome?
Can you tell me about a time when you noticed an error or inconsistency in a project you were working on? At what point did you notice it and what was the result of your efforts?
Tell me about a time that you were confused by a request. What steps did you take to clarify things?
Tell me about a time when you have brought an innovative idea into your team. How was it received?
Describe the last time you thought "outside of the box".
Tell me about a problem that you've solved in a unique or unusual way. What was the outcome? Were you happy or satisfied with it?
Give me an example of when someone brought you a new idea. What did you do?
Describe a situation that required you to do a number of things at the same time. How did you handle it? What was the result?
How do you prioritize projects and tasks when scheduling your time? Provide some examples.
Tell me about a project that you planned. How did you organize and schedule the tasks?
Tell me about a project or event you organized that did not gone according to plan. What happened? How did you react?
Tell me about a time you encountered a problem at work. What steps did you take to solve the problem? Would you solve the same problem differently if you had to do it again?
Share an example of a time when you had very little information about a project or a task but had to act decisively. How did you respond?
Tell me about a time when you made changes to current operations to meet future needs.
Discuss how you've learned to use a piece of software in the past. What were the learning curves?
Please give an example of what you have used a <insert specific tool> for?
Provide an example of troubleshooting a program problem in the past. What steps did you take?
Tell me about a program or technical process that you researched and recommended to your supervisor in order to improve your workflow. How did you conduct the research and make the recommendation?
Working with Others
Provide an example of a lesson you learned from making a mistake. What did you do differently going forward?
Tell me about a time when you felt that it was important to take ownership for a problem or issue. What did you learn?
Provide an example of being accountable to others. How did you hold yourself accountable?
Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills in order to get an important point across.
When have you chosen to communicate a particular message in person as opposed to via email even though the email channel would have been a lot faster? Describe how you came to that decision.
Provide a time when you had to make a point or communicate an idea that you thought your colleagues or clients might be resistant to. What was your approach?
Tell me about a recent successful experience in making a speech or presentation.
Share an example of a time you went out of your way to ensure a customer received the best possible service from you and/or the organization. What was their reaction?
Provide an example of a time when you had an upset customer. How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
Tell me about some customer-focused actions you have implemented, for your group or personally, that have led to positive results with customers. How did these actions improve customer experience?
Give an example of a time when you had to work with someone who you found difficult to get along with. How did you handle it? How did the relationship progress?
Describe a recent unpopular decision you made. How was it received? How did you handle it?
What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining successful business relationships? Give me examples of how you have made these work for you.
Tell me about a time when you had to build rapport in order to establish mutual trust with a coworker/client. How did you approach it and what was the outcome?
Give an example of a stressful situation at work. How did you handle it?
What have you done in the past to prevent a situation from becoming too stressful for you or your colleagues to handle? What caused you to take action?
Tell me about a time when have had to adjust to changes over which you had no control. How did you handle it?
Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a colleague's working style in order to complete a project or achieve your objectives.
Discuss a time when priorities changed last minute or when you were assigned additional work outside of your normal projects. What was your response?
Tell me about a time when there was a big change in your workplace (moved offices, new supervisor, new reporting structure). How did this impact you?
Tell me about a time when you had to act quickly without all the information you needed. How did you handle it?
Tell me about a situation you wish that you had handled differently based on the outcome. What was the situation? What would you change (or will you change) when faced with a similar situation?
Give me an example of a time when you had to be quick in coming to a decision. What obstacles did you face?
What is the most difficult decision you've ever had to make at work? How did you arrive at your decision? What was the result?
Tell me about a time when you experienced a loss for doing what was right. How did you react?
Describe how you handled sensitive information in a past work experience. What strategies did you utilize to maintain confidentiality?
Tell me about a particular work-related setback you have faced. How did you deal with it?
Share a time when things did not go as planned and you had to pivot quickly. How did you respond?
Provide an example of a time when you received negative feedback on a project or task. How did you handle the feedback and move forward?
For questions about behavioral interviewing or to inquire about additional resources, please reach out to your recruiter or contact [email protected].