30 Behavioral-Based Interview Questions to Ask

When it comes to interviewing, there are several different strategies and interview question types that can gauge candidate readiness and fit (examples of cultural fit interview questions).

That being said, the behavioral-based interview question still remains as one of the best ways to interview candidates.

What is a behavioral-based interview question?

Behavioral-based interview questions are popular in recruiting because they showcase how candidates handled different work situations in the past.

The idea is to identify different skills, abilities, personality, creative thinking, and problem-solving ability based on past behavior through challenging questions.

Behavioral-based interview question samples and examples

Below you’ll find our list of the best behavioral interview questions to assess candidates for different job fitness factors such as teamwork and adaptability.

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Examples of behavioral interview questions to assess teamwork

Use these questions to assess how the candidate managed team conflict or fulfilled their responsibilities despite team challenges, or through a cooperation despite personality clashes.

1. Can you give me an example of a time you faced conflict while working on a team? How did you handle/manage that situation and still fulfill your responsibilities?

2. Describe a time when you had to collaborate with a team member in another department in your company. How did you overcome the differences in department goals?

3. We all make mistakes in communication. Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled communicating with a member of your team differently.

4. Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with a member of your team who was not responsive. How did you handle that situation? Were you able to fulfill your responsibilities and hit your goals?

Behavioral-based interview questions for adaptability

The best way to do business is dynamic and always changing. Today’s applicants must be able to adapt to various situations and needs. The questions below will help to assess their ability to adapt and react to change in the workplace.

1. Tell me about a time at work when you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on? How did you handle that pressure?

2. Describe a time when you were working on a project, only to have management or some other factors change the requirements suddenly. What did you do to ensure you met the new timelines and requirements?

3. Tell me about a time when a deadline suddenly changed to much sooner than expected. What did you do to ensure you met the new timeframe?

4. Describe a time when your team was going through a significant change. What was this change and how did you adapt to meet the changing environment?

5. Tell me about a time when a project you were responsible for didn’t go as planned. How did you deal with the situation?

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Behavioral interview questions to assess client-facing skills

Often, your new hires will need to interface with clients and customers. These questions will help you understand how they communicate and work with clients/customers.

1. Tell me about a time you had to make a good impression on a client. How did you ensure you made a significant, positive impression?

2. Things don’t always go as expected. Tell me about a time you didn’t meet a client’s expectations. What happened? How did you try to improve the situation?

3. Give me an example of when you had to interact with a difficult client/customer. What were the circumstances of the interaction? How did you handle this difficulty? Were you able to change the experience from negative to positive?

4. Dealing with a large volume of customers/clients is common. How do you ensure you create a positive experience for all of your customers/clients? What types of tasks/activities do you perform to ensure you properly prioritize all of their needs?

Behavioral-based interview question examples for time management

Employees will be responsible for various tasks on a daily basis. Use these behavioral questions to understand their ability to manage and prioritize their time to be as effective as possible.

1. Describe a time when you had to be very organized and strategic with your responsibilities to meet all of your top priorities.

2. Give me an example of a long-term project that you managed. What did you do to maintain progress and meet the timeframe of the project without wasting time?

3. Give me an example of a long-term project with multiple stakeholders. How did you manage everyone’s time and tasks to ensure deliverables were consistently met?

4. It’s not always possible to get everything on your task list complete in a single day. Describe a time when your responsibilities became overwhelming. What did you do?

5. Describe a time when you had multiple projects with conflicting deadlines. Were you able to juggle these projects to meet their deadlines? What sacrifices did you make to ensure you were successful?

6. Describe a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you ensure that you hit that goal?

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Examples of behavioral interview questions for communication skills

Communication is a part of daily work. Learn how your applicants communicated with past co-workers and managers.

1. Tell me about a time when you were the expert in your field and needed to describe a project/situation/challenge. How did you handle this and ensure all stakeholders understood your perspective and what you were describing?

2. Describe a time when you had to rely on written communication to initiate a project. How did you communicate to ensure your ideas came across to your team and they understood all deliverables?

3. Tell me about a time you had to persuade a co-worker or manager. What did you do to persuade them to see things your way?

4. Give me an example of a successful presentation you gave. How did you prepare and explain everything to ensure it was successful?

Behavioral-based interview questions to uncover motivation and values

Several questions that recruiters often ask are designed to uncover the motivations of candidates. Do they want to stay at your company? Do they want to move up the corporate ladder? Or is their goal to jump ship at a better opportunity?

Use these questions to learn about their different motivations and values.

1. Tell me about the professional accomplishment that you’re most proud of. What was it and what sets it apart?

2. Give me an example of a time when you saw a problem at work. What steps did you take to correct the issue?

3. Tell me about a time when you worked under close supervision and under loose supervision. How did you handle each of those situations?

4. Describe a time where you weren’t happy with your work. What did you do? What could have made it better?

5. Describe a time where you had complete control over a task/project at work. What did you like/dislike about this? What was the result?

6. Tell me about a time when you had to prioritize your work over helping a teammate. What went into your decision-making process to choose yourself over them?

7. Describe a time when a team member came to you with a problem that required your help. What did you do?

Improving your interviewing efforts with behavioral based interview questions

Above are great examples of behavioral based interview questions you can start using today.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and test using specific examples of role-based needs such as sales, marketing, support, development or possibly change the language of the questions to assess for other analytics skills, management levels, or even common situations employees may encounter.

For more information on interviewing, download our Structured Hiring 101 guide today.

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Further reading