Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers To Know

Behavioral interview questions give more insight into who you are. What do you need to know to ace these kinds of questions?

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What Are Behavioral Interview Questions?

Behavioral interview questions are questions recruiters ask candidates in order to get an idea of their soft skills, personality and communication skills. Another benefit of these questions is the way they allow candidates to distinguish themselves from others by showcasing achievements and times they have used their skills to overcome challenges. This is particularly useful for assessing non-quantifiable skills that have no official certifications. Many of the most common interview questions are behavioral in nature, so it is a good idea to prepare for them.


The Skills Interviewers Are Trying To Understand

When hiring managers ask you behavioral interview questions, they are trying to assess very specific, non-quantifiable skills. Job seekers should be familiar with these skills so you can answer these behavioral interview questions effectively:

  • Stress management
  • Decision-making skills
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Ambition
  • Problem-solving Initiative

So, when hiring managers ask questions about your past behavior in specific situations, they are looking for examples of times when you used skills like these to deal with a stressful or challenging situation. You should practice answering these types of questions and consider the sample answers below to get an idea of the kinds of experiences that will provide good answers to these behavioral questions.

How To Answer Every Behavioral Interview Question

When answering a behavioral interview question, it is important that you do so completely and efficiently. This means utilizing the STAR method of answering them. This acronym stands for “Situation, Task, Action, Result,” and it gives a clear road map of how to answer behavioral questions. So, when a recruiter asks about how you dealt with a particularly stressful situation in the past, you should start by choosing a relevant example from your past experiences.

You can draw on work experiences or situations from your personal life, but examples from your work history will be preferable. Make sure you address the question and all its elements. For example, if the hiring manager asks about a time when you worked as a part of a team in a difficult situation, you should give an example of good teamwork in action from a previous job. Likewise, if the recruiter asks about your leadership skills, you should talk about a time when you managed a team of co-workers or made a difficult decision to get a good result for your previous employer.

Here’s an example of a complete and effective answer to a behavioral interview question:

Q. Can you give me an example of a time you were a good leader?

A. Last Christmas, two of our regular team members were sick, which left us short-staffed at our busiest time of year. As a result, I had to step in and act as team leader. In order to prevent serious delays, I delegated tasks and acted as a floating team member, undertaking irregular tasks while also filling the role of team supervisor. While we were still short-staffed, the team pulled together and avoided serious delays.

If you use the STAR method while answering behavioral interview questions and draw from your past experiences, you will be sure to impress the hiring manager. You can further prepare for your job interview by checking out some of the most common interview questions for each industry. ResumeHelp’s career blog has articles that detail common interview questions for many industries, including hospitality and accounting. By preparing but not memorizing answers to common questions, you will increase your chances of being able to answer behavioral questions in interviews without hesitation.


FAQ: Behavioral Interview Questions

Q: What should I avoid doing in a behavioral interview?

When answering behavioral job interview questions, you should avoid hypotheticals and vague language. Instead give clear, truthful and specific answers to their questions. You should also use the STAR method outlined above to ensure you give complete answers. Furthermore, if the hiring manager asks about your previous work environment, be sure to speak about your coworkers and employer in positive terms. 

Q: Is it a good idea to memorize my answers to common behavioral interview questions?

While it is a good idea to practice answering behavioral interview questions, you should not memorize specific answers. Good answers to these kinds of questions should be tailored to the question that the recruiter asks; if you have a series of memorized answers to fall back on, you will probably lead to ill-fitting answers. 

Q: Can I rehearse for a behavioral interview?

It can be helpful to spend time before the interview thinking of an example of a time that you showed good leadership skills, communication skills, or otherwise excelled in your role. If you do this and rehearse answering appropriate behavioral interview questions with someone you trust, you may find it easier to answer questions well in your interview.

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