Here are 7 examples of questions and answers for behavioral interviews
Behavioral interview questions are likely to be asked of you at a job interview. These questions look at how you handled a situation in the past and how you might handle a similar one in the future. Going over the most common kinds of behavioral interview questions can help you think of good answers.
In this article, we’ll look at some examples of behavioral interview questions, show you how to answer them, and tell you the best way to answer to make a good first impression on a potential employer.
What are behavior questions?
Behavioral interview questions are about how you would act and what you would do in a certain professional setting or situation. Often, they help employers figure out things like your ability to solve problems, help customers, think critically, and communicate.
The best answers to these questions should follow the STAR pattern:
- Tell me about something that happened at work that has something to do with the question.
- In this situation, what did you have to do?
- What did you do to solve the problem?
- What did you do that led to that?
Here are some questions and answers about how people act.
Here are some common questions and examples of how to answer them about behavior. Find out what each one is for and what skills and qualities it tests. Use these things to help you write good answers with the STAR method:
1. Tell me about a time when you and a teammate didn’t agree on something. What did you say?
This question is likely to come up in an interview for a job where you work with a team. It is meant to see how well you deal with disagreements and how much you value your coworkers. In your answer, you might talk about a time when you and a coworker had different ideas about how to solve a problem or had different personalities.
“My team was in charge of a project at LabCorp Inc. that had to be finished quickly. The rest of the team seemed to agree with one of my ideas about how to do it. But one person didn’t agree, and that was making things hard. I knew I had to figure out a way for this person to help us finish the project on time. So I took him to lunch, talked to him one-on-one, and tried to see things from his point of view.
I came up with a plan that we could share with the rest of the team. He said it was fine, even though it wasn’t exactly what he wanted. We all got along well on the team, and we all worked hard to finish the project on time.”
2. Tell me about a mistake you made that hurt a customer. How did you figure out what to do?
This question is for jobs in which you work with clients or customers. You can use this question to show how well you can deal with customers, talk to them, and think critically under pressure. You can also use it to show how honest you are and how well you can admit and fix your mistakes.
“When I was a waiter at Coppa’s Restaurant, one of my customers asked for our special salad. She told me she didn’t want peanuts because she’s allergic, but I forgot to tell the kitchen staff.
When I brought the dish to her, she knew right away that something wasn’t right. She was very upset, of course. It was my job as a waiter to make sure that the customer was happy. I told her I was sorry, and to make up for my mistake, I gave her the salad for free and a coupon for her next meal, which she was happy to take.
3. Tell me about a time when you had to make good use of your time to get something done. How did you do it?
During interviews for many different jobs, this question can come up. It’s your chance to show how well you can organize your time. In your answer, be sure to talk about things like the strategies your organization uses and the tools you use to stay on task and remember deadlines.
Example: “Every three months, Broad Idea magazine came out with an extra-large special edition. For a special edition that will come out at the end of the quarter, my editor asked me to write three 2,000-word stories. Because of production delays I couldn’t control, I only had two weeks to write them. I took as much time off as I could and scheduled time over the next two weeks to do research, write, and edit. I finished the stories three days early because I was so strict with my time.”
4. Tell me about a time when you did something badly. What have you learned?
This is another very common behavior question that tries to find out how honest you are. It’s also a chance to talk about any problems you might have and how you plan to fix them or have already started.
“We had the chance to bid on a contract worth several million dollars at Bright Star Shipping. My group had to come up with a sales pitch. We had a week to get everything ready, but we got busy with other things. We had to rush to finish the presentation because of this, and it showed. There were mistakes in the text, and the graphics looked like they were made by a beginner. There were also some facts that were wrong. We didn’t get the job because the client wasn’t happy.
After that, we all learned to put projects in order of importance and try to move other work out of the way when we needed to focus on one thing.
5. Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was asked of you. Why did you do this, and what happened?
You can talk about a time when you went above and beyond to help a coworker, your team, your boss, a client, or a customer with this common question. You can show how much you care about your job, the success of your team, and the success of your organization by using this example. Also, it shows that you are honest, don’t care about yourself, and can work well with others.
“Last summer, top H.B. Bank managers came to our regional office. Our management asked my team to put together a report, spreadsheets, and a slide show to show how we did over the last year.
The person on our team who was supposed to make the spreadsheets got sick the week before and couldn’t finish the job. My boss said he would do it, but he had already been staying late at work to finish projects before the visit.
So, I offered to work on the spreadsheets in addition to what I was already doing. I had to stay up late to finish everything, but I did. The meeting with the company’s top leaders went well. They were very interested in what we told them. My boss thanked me in front of everyone for going above and beyond.
6. Tell me about a time when you had to get your coworkers to do something.
This question is likely to come up in an interview for a leadership position like supervisor, manager, shift leader, or project manager. Use this question to show how you motivate your team as a leader and how you get people to work hard and do well.
Yan, Inc. merged with another company last year, which made some teams feel bad. Our group was led by new people who gave us tasks we hadn’t done before. I could see that our overall productivity was going down, so I knew I had to do something to make us feel better about the situation.
So I called a meeting and told the team to see this as a chance to learn and grow in their careers. We went around the room, and each person said one good thing that came out of what had happened. After that, everyone was in a better mood, and everyone worked harder and was more engaged.
7. Tell me about a time when you had to do something you didn’t know how to do. What did you say?
This question checks how well you can solve problems and learn from opportunities. You can use your answer to show how you handle tasks you don’t know how to do or haven’t done before and how you turn problems into opportunities to grow as a professional.
“I had been working at PhiBeta Software for four years as a Visual Basic developer when the company decided to switch to Java. Most of the other developers I worked with knew Java or something similar, so it was easy for them to switch. On the other hand, I had only learned VB and COBOL.
I could have quit and looked for a new job, but I liked working at PhiBeta and the people I worked with were very helpful. Also, PhiBeta was a small company that didn’t have the resources to offer training. So I took a Java class at the local community college and bought some books. Soon, I was able to help our team convert our existing code base to Java.
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