Behavioral Interview Questions

What Are Behavioral Interview Questions?

Behavioral interview questions are a technique used by employers to learn about a candidate’s past behavior in specific work situations. This approach is based on the idea that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. These questions require candidates to provide examples of how they have handled situations in the past, allowing interviewers to gauge skills such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication.

Key Features of Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Specific Examples: Candidates are asked to describe specific instances from their past work experiences.
  • Competency Assessment: Focuses on key competencies and skills relevant to the job.
  • Predictive Value: Helps predict how a candidate will behave in similar situations in the future.
  • Structured Responses: Often uses the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) for answers.

How Do Behavioral Interview Questions Function?

  1. Question Design: Develop questions that align with the competencies required for the position.
  2. Candidate Response: Candidates recount specific past experiences that demonstrate relevant skills or behaviors.
  3. Evaluation: Interviewers assess the suitability of the candidate’s past behaviors in predicting successful future performance in the role.

Best Practices for Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Relevance: Ensure questions are directly related to the essential functions of the job.
  • Consistency: Ask the same questions to all candidates to ensure fairness.
  • Training for Interviewers: Train interviewers on how to ask these questions effectively and interpret the answers.
  • Follow-Up Questions: Use follow-up questions to dig deeper into candidates’ responses for clarity and detail.


Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?

These questions make it easier to assess if a candidate's past experiences and behaviors align with the company’s needs and culture.

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