Behavioral Interview Q&A

07.02.2014 77

Being stressful enough as it is, an interview holds many moments when you as a candidate can feel even more uncomfortable. Behavioral interview is one of those moments.

A behavioral interview is an interview aimed at finding out people skills and is based upon a study that previous experience influences future experiences. True, more and more companies are looking for ways not to waste time on wrong candidates and improve the efficiency of first interviews. Various techniques are used to check whether the person is good for the job and nowadays recruiters find behavioral interviews as one of the best ways to do that. 

No matter how uncomfortable you are when answering the questions and no matter how stupid you think they might be, keep in mind that if you want to get the job - “the recruiter is always right”.

Before we list all the questions and answers that identify an interview as a behavioral one, we must list the reasons the HR team think this interview is important.


Any interview is aimed at finding out two most important moments – whether the person is as qualified as is required for the job and whether the candidate is a good person and will fit in. All in all, whether he can do the job and whether he is a good man (pardon for gender stereotypes).

Questions – how to determine a behavioral interview

1. The first sign you are at a behavioral interview is when you are asked to describe a situation or asked to give an example of a situation from your past. 

2. The second one would be any question that demands description of your behavior in a hypothetical situation.

3. The third one is when you are asked to provide examples of decisions you had to make involving personal relations and communications.

4. If you are asked to tell stories about how you worked under pressure and in any stressful situations. 

What to do

The first most important thing the recruiter is looking for is your actual experience. Indeed, you may want to show you know how some things are done theoretically, however all they want to know is do you know how it is really done. 

The second thing you should do is to prepare for such interview. Remember, you will not be told in advance that the interview will be a behavioral; still there is a way to prepare yourself once and for all. 

The most common scheme is to review a Situation – check for Tasks required, - look for the Actions you took, - and find the Results that took place. Take a look at your previous job experience, consider what kind of situations took place there – dilemmas, problems, conflicts, and write down how you would describe them in the following manner. 

If you have troubles finding the right answer on the spot, do not be afraid to ask for specifics. Remember, this is not an exam, the most important point they are looking for is a professional with good people skills.  


1. Give an example of a situation when you had to conform to a company policy that did not appeal to yourself.

2. Tell me about the important goals you had set for yourself and how you managed to reach them.

3. Describe a situation in which you had to cooperate with a colleague you did not get along with and how you managed to do that.

4. Please give me an example of solving a very important company problem.

5. Tell me about a situation which required you making important decisions very quickly.

6. Describe the most creative project you had worked on.

7. Give an example of how you had to convince the team to work on a project they were not excited about.

8. Did you ever disagree with your boss? How did you handle such situation?

9. Have you had a disagreement or a difficult situation with your co-workers, clients? How did you handle them?

10. Give me an example of how you prioritized several tasks.

The list is not complete, and we would be glad if you could provide us examples of your stories from behavioral interviews and how you managed or did not manage them.


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