Behavioral Job Interview Questions

Behavioral questions are quite typical during job interviews. Behavioral interview questions focus on probing into a job seeker's past behaviors and performances. The reason for asking behavioral interview questions, as opposed to just asking traditional interview questions, is the opinion that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in similar situations. Employers use these behavioral-interview questions to evaluate a candidate's experiences and behaviors so that they can determine the applicant's potential for future success.
Usually these questions fall within 7 common themes:

Teamwork

These include questions such as:

Can you give an example of how you worked on team?
Most hiring managers want to know if you’re a good team player before they commit to working with you every day. By asking such behavioral questions, they are giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to collaborate well with others by sharing a relevant example.
Most jobs require you to work well with other people, and therefore it is important to find out if you are indeed easy to work with, and if you can communicate effectively, especially with different personalities. 


Tips for answering:
Choose a recent example
Choose a relevant experience (one relating to the job description)
Portray yourself as a problem-solver, resolver of conflict, or team builder.

Leadership

These include questions such as:

What are the characteristics of a good boss?
Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.

In a competitive job market, it is essential to show that you are more than just qualified. You want to show that you are a leader, someone who can influence positive change.
For senior-level positions it’s important to communicate your ability to immediately take on a leadership role, and the best way to do this is to demonstrate that you’ve done it successfully in the past.
For other positions, even entry-level jobs, companies ask leadership questions because they want to hire people with leadership potential. They are keen on individuals who can grow within the company and become its future leaders. 


Tips for answering:
Choose an example that really shows off your leadership skills
Be specific in what you did as a leader.
Practice your story before an interview, especially as it will make you more confident in telling your story and make it even more convincing.

Conflict Management

These include questions such as:

What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
Describe a decision you made that wasn't popular and how you handled implementing it.


Most jobs require you to be able to work with all types of people. There will be differences in opinion, work style, and even simple personality clashes which will occur with some of your coworkers, managers, and/or clients, resulting in disagreements. To succeed in the workplace, you must be able to deal with conflict in a professional manner.
All employers want a good “team player”, so interviewers will often ask questions about your team experiences, especially ones that involved a conflict or a “difficult person.”

Tips for answering:
Choose an example that really shows how you took an active approach to resolving the conflict.
Be specific in what you did.
Practice your story before an interview, especially as it will make you more confident in telling your story and make it even more convincing.

Problem-solving

These include questions such as:

Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
How do you handle a challenge? Give an example.


Hiring managers ask behavioral questions about problem solving to get a better understanding of how you work. They want to know if you are a go-getter who proactively looks for ways to contribute. They want someone who can be counted on to help the team perform better. And most importantly, they want to know if you are willing to step up to improve things.
The interviewer is looking to see if, based on your personality, you generally are indeed a problem-solver. For many jobs, the hiring manager is also looking for a proven track record in addressing the types of challenges that are common in the role you are applying for. 


Tips for answering:
Choose an example that really shows how you overcame an impressive challenge, used creative approaches, and highlight solutions that made the biggest difference to the organization.
Be specific in what you did.
Practice your story before an interview, especially as it will make you more confident in telling your story and make it even more convincing.

Failure

These include questions such as:

Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
What is your biggest Failure?
What is your greatest weakness?


Hiring managers ask behavioral questions about Failure because they want to see if you are someone who can learn from past failures, if you are self-aware enough to acknowledge your failures and potential weaknesses, and most importantly to see how you view success, failure, and risk taking.


Tips for answering:
Choose a real failure (do not try to pass of a small success as a failure)
Choose a failure that would not work against you in your application for the job.
Your story should focus on what you learned from the ordeal.

Success

 These include questions such as:

How do you evaluate success?
Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
What is your greatest strength?


Hiring managers ask behavioral questions about Success because they want to see if you are someone who is not just goal oriented, but also able to achieve them. They want to see if you are someone who knows how utilize your strengths. They want to gauge your potential to fulfill your given responsibilities. And most importantly, to see how you view success, failure, and risk taking.

Tips for answering:
Choose an example that really highlights your efforts to achieve success, as well as the obstacles you overcame to achieve it. (If possible include how others influenced your success, and keep it relative to the job description)
Be specific in what you did.
Practice your story before an interview, especially as it will make you more confident in telling your story and make it even more convincing.

Perception

These include questions such as:

Why should we hire you?
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Ten years?
How would a good friend describe you? How would your current/last boss?
Why do you want to work for this company?
Tell me about yourself.


Hiring managers ask behavioral questions about Perception because they are keen to see how you view yourself (past, present, and future), how you think other people view you, and most importantly, to see what motivates you.

Tips for answering:
Reflect on what drives you, and on what you want to portray in your interview.
Be honest in your responses, especially as people will get to know you when you work.
Prepare a short description of yourself, practice it, and make sure it coincides with you personality and beliefs.

Linda is a professional with whom you’ll have the right click from the start. She is conscientious about delivering based on your expectations. With her guidance you’ll be able to look at yourself from a bird’s eye view and discover with precision what is most valuable from your past experience for your future career.

Zsuzsanna Keller-Süle

I would like to thank you for your great job to make my CV presentable and truly reflecting my knowledge and experience.
With your highly professional advices and support I felt more confident and eventually I got a job.

Tanya Pelser

Thank you for a great workshop this morning, it was refreshing to hear some really basic ideas for the Dutch employment search which I'm sure will help start everyone off on a new career path! I will definitely be using the services of Together Abroad and one of my first actions is to revise my CV and submit this for a review.

James Stopford