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Behavioral Interview Questions and Sample Answers

Author Tillie Fabbri

Posted Feb 10, 2023

Reads 1.3K

Behavioral interview questions are some of the most common questions employers ask during an interview. They give hiring managers insight into how you may handle work-related situations, helping them to gauge if you’re the best person for the job. Knowing the top behavioral interview questions employers ask and having a response strategy can help you respond smoothly when you're asked them.

From giving examples of how you handle specific workplace situations to providing evidence of your ability to handle different types of people, common behavioral interview questions will test whether or not you have the skills necessary for the job. It takes some practice to be able to answer these questions confidently and in a way that will make a positive impression on a hiring manager.

Having examples of effective answers ready can help you prepare for these types of interviews and give hiring managers valuable information about your work experience, strengths, and weaknesses. Here are some tips on how to effectively answer the most common behavioral interview questions employers ask.

Discover the Secrets of Behavioral Interview Questions

Discovering the Secrets of Behavioral Interview Questions can help job seekers stand out in a crowded field. Companies are increasingly turning to behavioral job interview techniques to ask questions and seek concrete examples that relate directly to qualifications and skills a candidate can bring to the role. Unlike traditional job interview questions, these questions require the candidate to share specific details from past experiences that demonstrate their ability and suitability for the job.

Why Employers Ask Behavioral Questions

Student Answering the Questions on a Black Board

Behavioral questions are an important part of the interview process because they help employers determine how well a candidate can effectively handle specific workplace situations, how they think and solve problems, and whether they can achieve a successful outcome. By asking these questions, employers can assess the performance of potential hires in a more meaningful way.


Are you wondering what the top behavioral interview questions are? Behavioral interviews generally ask candidates to recall past experiences in order to gauge how they may respond in similar situations in the future. These interviews are generally formatted as situations inquiring about a candidate's attitude, decisions, and ability to work with others. These types of questions can be a positive indicator of a candidate's potential performance within an organization. By understanding these commonly asked questions, you can be better prepared for your next interview.

Common Behavioral Interview Questions with Sample Answers

Behavioral interview questions are a common feature in today's job search, and they can often be a challenge to answer. To help you prepare for your upcoming interview, here is an overview of the most common behavioral interview questions, along with sample answers that will provide you with a strong base to work from.

Crop anonymous female filling questionnaire when applying for job sitting in employer office

These types of questions are asked in many different industries, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the most common behavioral interview questions before going into your next job application process. Examples include "Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision," or "Tell me about a project that you worked on that required teamwork." Knowing how to respond to these questions with sample answers can give you an edge over other applicants and ensure your success in the job market.

1. Have you ever faced a conflict while working in a team? What did you do?

Conflict in a team is an inevitability, and the way that you handle it can make or break your potential with an employer. Difficult team dynamics are a challenging circumstance to work through, but answering this question in an interview shows your ability to respond objectively and take responsibility for your actions.

For example, a sample answer could include how you managed a cross-team project where the working group continually failed to meet deadlines or communicate effectively. You could outline how you took it upon yourself to set achievable deadlines and create a Slack channel for better communication. By specifically addressing the main grievances of the team and highlighting exact struggles, you were able to demonstrate that you felt heard while using objective language. The crucial thing here was that everyone felt like they had their voices heard, which helped set up expectations more clearly for the rest of the project.

2. Describe a time when you were managing multiple responsibilities. How did you handle that?

When I was managing multiple responsibilities, the most important thing I did was to create structured daily plans and clear daily deadlines. This allowed me to delegate work efficiently and possess good communication tactics with my team and direct manager. For example, when my direct manager went on maternity leave for three weeks, there was a gap that needed to be filled in terms of extra responsibilities. To manage this, I had to mine initially for industry-specific tools that could help me in the onboarding process, as well as utilizing online tools to break down my responsibilities into manageable chunks.

I also implemented saved time by delegating certain work areas and taking on additional responsibility myself where required. In order to meet required deadlines and create consistency across all areas of the job, I allocated extra time every day to ensure everything ran smoothly during the transition period. This enabled me to manage multiple deadlines and team structures successfully while still providing my best work product.

3. Tell me about a time when you went above the norm to deliver great service to a customer.

During a client-facing aspect of a job I once had, I realized immediately that something was wrong when I was asked to switch client managers due to a lunch meeting. In order to deliver great service, I decided to take a step back and look at the bigger company goals. After taking a deeper look into our family legacy and the financial gain my decision could provide the company, I decided to take it upon myself to keep the productive working relationship going.

When I went above and beyond by proposing an in-person meeting with one of our major clients, they were incredibly impressed that someone so early on in their career was looking out for the company's best interests from its beginning. It was rewarding knowing that my personal story could help make such an impact on the company's success.

4. Tell me about a time you failed. What did you do to deal with the situation?

Failing can be a tough episode in a potential employee's past experiences, but it also provides an opportunity to showcase how they deal with adversity. A common behavioral twist on the traditional 'weakness' question is an inquiry that requires you to recall and discuss a time when you failed.

This can be a great chance to demonstrate how you took the silver lining out of the experience and used it as a learning tool. For example, a sample answer could include discussing how taking longer than expected to complete something enabled you to understand the huge learning curve involved, which then allowed for slightly longer delivery periods in future projects. Or, if deliver early was important, how setting back the delivery date allowed for more time for quality control as well as double checking before submission. By ending your answer with pivoting back to what you learnt and achieved from the failure, interviewers will be able to assess your ability to turn failure into success.

5. Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied with your work. What could you have done to make it better?

Years ago, I was part of a team that struggled to complete our project on time. In hindsight, I partly blame myself for this unspoken annoyance among the team members. Looking back, my experience taught me a valuable lesson: always include information that you've learned and be sure not to disrupt the workflow of your colleagues.

At the time, I felt bordered and uncomfortable in my role and never spoke up about it. The passive energy in the office was palpable and there was an open space to discuss issues like these which I never took advantage of. This is something I would have done differently if given the chance again.

6. Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some major change. How did you adapt, and how did it impact you?

When my team transitioned to fully remote positions, I had to adapt easily to the change and display a positive attitude. My daily team meetings moved from having face-to-face interactions in a coworking space, to video calls for weekly check-ins. This change directly affected my personal productivity cycle, as I had not realized how important it was for me to have daily interactions with my team members until we no longer saw each other in person. I adjusted my work weeks and even took a work-away vacation during this time, which ended up being incredibly beneficial by allowing me more control over my schedule and helping me achieve better work/life balance. The transition also changed the team dynamics, which has increased our overall efficiency and effectiveness.

7. Tell me about a time when you had to rely on written communication to explain your ideas to your team.

When I was working in an international office with limited resources, I had to rely on written communication to explain my ideas to my team. To do this, I used post-it notes and emoji-type stickers during brainstorming sessions. This allowed potential employees who could not verbally respond in a large group setting to contribute to the conversation. With our larger cross-section of people contributing, the project processes improved exponentially. Additionally, regular feedback through written communication gave everyone on the team a chance to be heard and understand their roles better.

8. Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?

When helping potential employers understand my potential in a future workplace, I remember one time when I set a goal for myself. About twelve months ago, I was facing a tough time because two of my company's major clients had merged and left us with no long-term customers. To ensure the business remained viable, I proposed the idea of mentorship programs to develop relationships with new customers. Although this idea wasn't fully supported at first, I relied heavily on my past experiences and decided to move forward with it anyways.

Within six months, I was able to build a diverse portfolio of large ongoing clients who provided us with reliable revenue streams. It felt great to see how my idea had helped saved the company from a difficult situation and gave me the confidence that any goal is achievable if you remain persistent in achieving it.

Shining Through: Acing Job Interviews with the STAR Method

Answering behavioral interview questions can be difficult. To help you ace your job interview, the STAR method is a great tactic that’s easily remembered. The acronym stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It’s a tried and true method that uses genuine stories to demonstrate an applicant's communication skills and logic in quick thinking scenarios.

YouTube video about Shining Through: Acing Job Interviews with the STAR Method

The goal of the STAR method is to provide answers that set up a situation and describe the task, explain the action taken, and share what results were achieved. The best answers include measurable examples of how their actions achieved desired results. In this way, the STAR method helps you effectively answer any behavioral interview question thrown at you.

Put simply, the STAR method is a toolbelt you’ll want to have when going into an interview. With it under your belt, you can rest assured knowing that no matter what behavioral interview questions are asked of you, you'll be more than ready to tackle them head on!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common behavioral interview questions?

Common behavioral interview questions include: "Tell me about a time when you overcame a difficult challenge", "Describe a situation in which you had to be creative to solve a problem", and "Give an example of how you have demonstrated leadership skills". To learn more, check out our comprehensive guide on Behavioral Interview Questions.

What are the most common behavioral questions?

Behavioral questions are a popular type of interview question that are used to get an understanding of how you have handled various work situations in the past. They typically focus on topics such as teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, and conflict resolution. Read on for some tips on how to best answer them!

What do you need to know about behavioral interview questions?

Behavioral interview questions focus on your past behavior and experiences to assess how you might handle similar situations in the future. Knowing what to expect and preparing thoughtful answers can help you make a great impression and land the job.

How can you prepare for a behavioral interview?

Preparing for a behavioral interview involves researching the company, understanding the role and its responsibilities, practicing your answers to common questions, and reflecting on past experiences to present yourself as the ideal candidate.

Why should you ask Behavioral Interview questions?

Behavioral interview questions can help you uncover more details about candidates' experience and skills, allowing you to better evaluate their qualifications for the job. They can also provide insight into a candidate's personality, motivation, and problem-solving abilities – all factors that are essential for success.

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Tillie Fabbri

Writer at CGAA

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Tillie Fabbri is an accomplished article author who has been writing for the past 10 years. She has a passion for communication and finding stories in unexpected places. Tillie earned her degree in journalism from a top university, and since then, she has gone on to work for various media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, and online publications.

Her pieces range from hard-hitting investigative reports to lighthearted lifestyle topics. As much as Tillie loves researching and creating content, she also loves engaging with her readers through social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. When she isn’t working on articles or connecting with her fanbase, Tillie enjoys reading mystery novels and spending time outdoors biking or hiking.

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