behavorial interview questions to ask candidates

According to the society of human resources management, behavioral interview questions are a very effective interview technique working across various types of organizations making them an important part of the hiring process when evaluating a candidate’s work experience and work style.

These types of interview questions help the interviewer create a structured process by using the same set of standardized questions to compare and evaluate multiple candidates interviewing for the same job opening.

What are behavioral interview questions?

Behavioral Interview questions focus on a candidate’s past experiences. They help employers gauge a candidate’s particular behavior in relation to skills, abilities, and knowledge.

An interviewer will have the candidate describe a specific work experience using situational questions revealing how they acted under similar situations. 

What are the benefits of asking behavioral interview questions?

By adding behavioral interview questions to screening process employers can avoid hypothetical what-ifs by extracting concrete answers on how candidates behave in different work situations and settings.

When conducting onsite interviews these types of questions are a verified way to gauge a candidate’s potential and ability to communicate adapt, lead, and reinforce a companies culture.

When an employer looks at candidates’ past behavior, skills, and critical thinking experience they can reveal if a candidate has the attributes necessary to match job description requirements.

What is a good response length for behavioral interview Questions?

Answers to behavioral interview questions should last between one and two minutes on average, with factual answers being even shorter.

We list 50 behavioral interview questions to ask candidates that will help you evaluate a candidate’s work experience, customer service skills, communication style, and leadership principles under real situations to make informed hiring decisions.

Common Behavioral Interview Questions

1. What makes an ideal coworker in your eyes?

2. How do you prioritize projects under pressure?

3. How would handle your schedule when it’s interrupted?

4. Have you ever bent company policy to satisfy a client?

5. How have you handled setbacks at work?

6. How do you handle job training if it’s going poorly?

7. Have you ever calmed down an angry client? How?

8. Tell me about some regrets in your previous job?

Communication Behavioral Interview Questions

1. Tell me how you communicated with your previous managers?

2. Give an example of when you persuaded someone at work towards your point of view. Was it a positive outcome?

3. Can you talk about a time when you were unable to get your point across effectively? What contributed to this? Have your communication skills improved?

4. Describe a time when you had to give a presentation in a group setting.

5. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client or customer. How did you handle the stressful situation?

6. Can you talk about a time when you had to deliver bad news to someone? What did you do to prepare and what was the outcome?

Teamwork Behavioral interview questions

1. Describe a time when you had to work with a difficult coworker. How were you able to handle interactions with that person?

2. Give an example of when you needed information from a coworker who wasn’t responsive? What did you do?

3. Describe a time when you worked as part of a team on a project. Explain your role within the team and the actions you took to contribute to the team. 

4. Talk about a situation when your team members disagreed with you. How did you handle it?

5. Can you tell me about a time when a coworker was not doing their work on a difficult project? What did you do?

6. Describe a time when you and your team members were forced to compromise. Explain the results.

7. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to motivate others to take action to support a major reorganization? How did you handle that?

Adaptability Behavioral interview questions

1. Describe a time where you did everything you could think of but still failed to achieve your desired result. What happened and why were you unsuccessful?

2. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake or overlooked a solution to a problem and learned from it. What have you done as a result of this experience?

3. Can you talk about a time when you had to embrace a new system, technology, process, or way of thinking that was a major departure from the previous way of doing things? Did it become a success story?

4. Tell me about a time when you were assigned a task outside your normal job duties. How did you handle the assignment? Describe the outcome.

5. Can you talk about a time when you adapted to a change and your coworkers resisted changing from the old way of doing things?

6. Talk about a task that had a major obstacle. How did you get around that obstacle to complete your task?

7. Can you talk about the biggest change you’ve experienced? How did you adapt to the change?

Ethics and integrity Behavioral interview questions

1. Is their a time when a teammate or client questioned your honesty? How did you react?

2. Tell me about a time when it was difficult to be honest because of the situation. What was your thought process?

3. Can you describe a time when you followed a rule that you didn’t agree with? Why did you follow it? Explain how you felt.

4. Tell me about a time when a co-worker was doing something wrong. What did you do?

5. Have you ever been in a challenging situation at work where you were dishonest? What happened?

Growth potential Behavioral interview questions

1. Describe a situation when your superior was not around and a problem developed. How did you handle the problem?  What were the results?

2. Tell me when the last occasion you asked for direct feedback from your manager and why? 

3. Is there something that would motivate you to move from your current position?

4. What is a big career goal that you achieved recently?

5. Was there a time you were passed over for promotion? Was it fair?

Prioritization Behavioral interview questions

1. Think about a time when you were overwhelmed and stressed. How did you handle it?

2. Describe a project you planned. Explain how you organized and managed the assignment.

3. Have you ever worked on multiple projects at the same time? How did you manage your time and what were the results?

4. Tell me about a time when you were able to delegate an important task that succeeded. 

5. How do you estimate a reasonable time to complete a task?

Leadership Behavioral interview questions

1. Describe a time when an employee approached you with concerns. Explain how you handled the situation.

2. Tell me about a time when a project’s priorities had to change. Explain the steps you took to start the change.

3. Can you talk about a time when you had to build credibility with stakeholders? Describe the actions you took.

4. Can you talk about a time when you discovered new information that affected a decision you had made already? Explain how you proceeded?

5. Talk about a time you presented a great idea to management but there wasn’t a buy-in. What was your next move? Did you change their minds?

6. Do you know of any changes in our industry that may cause a disruption? If so how should we go about meeting these challenges?

7. Tell me about something that challenged you as a leader? Did this change your way of thinking? Did it improve your leadership abilities?

Give some of these example behavioral interview questions to ask candidates a try in your next interview.

Make use of a professional email address while reaching out to your candidates for a better response.

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