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Behavioral Interview Questions - What They Are and How to Answer Them

Interview with employer and job candidate reviewing resume and answering questions

Learn how Behavioral Interview Questions will help you grow professionally, and how interviewers will use them to choose the best candidate for the job.

When preparing for a job interview, it's crucial to anticipate the types of questions you'll be asked. Behavioral Interview Questions, which delve into your soft skills, are incredibly common. Soft skills are personal qualities that give insight into how you interact with others and your environment. Unlike hard skills, which focus on job-specific tasks and processes, soft skills are more versatile and can be applied across different jobs and industries due to their universal advantages.

Examples of Soft Skills

  • Teamwork - Most jobs, even those that are remote, require some level of collaboration. Working closely with others brings numerous benefits, but it can also present challenges. While having a strong support system from colleagues and management is advantageous, it's important to recognize that not everyone will agree on every aspect of the job. Employers are interested in understanding how you handle workplace disagreements while maintaining respect for diverse perspectives. The presence of diversity in the workforce fosters fresh ideas and different viewpoints, leading to a greater appreciation for new perspectives.
  • Adaptability - Sometimes work projects, plans, events, etc., don't go according to plan. While some individuals may find it difficult to handle unexpected challenges, these situations can actually present opportunities for professional and personal growth. Take a moment to think about a time when you successfully resolved a conflict or learned a valuable lesson. By sharing this experience, you can demonstrate to the employer your ability to overcome obstacles and handle difficult situations.
  • Time Management - Maintaining a consistent schedule can be challenging, especially when it feels like there's never enough time to accomplish all the tasks. If you have a daily work routine that assists you in prioritizing and managing multiple responsibilities, share it with the employer. Offer specific examples of how you structure your day to effectively organize your time.
  • Communication (Written/Verbal) - Effective communication takes various forms. It is important to assess your strengths and areas for improvement. Excelling in public speaking does not necessarily translate to writing well-formatted emails. Many roles require both verbal and written communication skills. If you are uncertain about the predominant form of communication in the position you are interviewing for, it is advisable to ask questions. This will help you determine if the job aligns with your skillset or if there is a manageable learning curve involved.
  • Motivation - This skill relates to the core values you prioritize in a job and within yourself. Reflect on what propels you towards success and helps you navigate challenging times. Consider the reasons behind your choice of career, whether you are contemplating a change, or preparing to embark on your professional journey for the first time. Remember, passion fuels motivation, and employers seek this quality when assembling a committed team.
  • Problem-solving - Having strong critical thinking skills can give you a competitive edge over other candidates. It is important to showcase your ability to effectively resolve situations, both independently and as part of a team.
  • Attention to detail - Consider the importance of paying attention to the smaller, frequently overlooked, details. Are you someone who takes pride in meticulously reviewing every email before hitting send, ensuring that punctuation and grammar errors are eliminated? Do you seek a second opinion from a trusted colleague before finalizing a project? These small and simple actions can serve as proactive measures to prevent potential issues down the line.

The reason Behavioral Interview Questions are so popular is because interviewers can ask for examples of how the candidate handled past work situations, which gives insights into how they might react in a similar future scenario. They allow employers to closely examine the skills of a job candidate based on objective facts and real-life examples. Answers to these questions are frequently compared to the job description and evaluated for similarities and compatibility.

Looking for more information? Learn more about Behavioral Interview Questions.

Examples of Behavioral Interview Questions:

  • Teamwork - Share an instance where you collaborated on a team project, and detail how your contributions impacted the outcome of the project.
  • Adaptability - Please share an experience where you had to adapt your approach in order to successfully complete a task, either due to a request from your employer or because you realized the need for re-evaluation. 
  • Time Management - Describe a situation when you had numerous projects or tasks assigned to you, and how you managed your time?
  • Communication - Tell us about a time when you had to work with a difficult client or coworker. How did you handle the situation?
  • Motivation - Tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment, and how it inspired you to continue growing in your career or seeking out new opportunities?

Check out additional examples of Behavioral Interview Questions questions.

Before making your response, take a moment to identify the specific skill being referred to in the question. Once you have completed this initial step mentally, dedicate the next few minutes to providing some background context to your story, then emphasizing how you effectively utilized the identified skill in your chosen scenario. It may be beneficial to conclude with a statement on your overall approach to such situations, as you may have applied this skill on other occasions. 


Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, these attributes and well-thought-out answers are crucial for any job interview you wish to succeed in, and will undoubtedly impress your prospective employer!

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