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Many firms have started to place heavier emphasis on the specific skill sets that are needed in the persons they will hire for available jobs. This emphasis has changed some of the questions they will ask in the course of the interview process, as they seek to clearly identify if a candidate has the required skills.

Behavioral interview questions are clearly more focused on specific details about the candidate’s skills than traditional interview questions. When you are faced with a behavioral interview, (and you probably won’t know this in advance of the interview) you will need to respond with specific examples of how you handled situations in the workplace. Answers should include background about the situation, specific actions you took, and the outcome(s) you achieved.

Advance preparation is the key to successfully dealing with behavioral interview questions. Here are some typical questions that may be used in a behavioral interview. Being able to deal with questions like these could make a difference in terms of your next career step.

Sample Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
  • Give an example of a goal you didn’t meet and how you handled it.
  • Describe a stressful situation at on the job and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
  • How do you handle a challenge?
  • Have you been in a situation where you didn’t have enough work to do?
  • Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
  • Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
  • Did you ever make a risky decision? Why? How did you handle it?
  • Did you ever postpone making a decision? Why?
  • Have you ever dealt with company policy you weren’t in agreement with? How?
  • Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty on the job? If so, please describe what you did?
  • When you worked on multiple projects, how did you prioritize your duties?
  • How did you handle meeting a tight deadline?
  • Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
  • Did you ever fail to meet your goals? Why?
  • What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it.
  • Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren’t thrilled about? How did you do it?
  • Give an example of how you worked on team.
  • Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How?
  • What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
  • Do you listen? Give an example of when you did or when you didn’t listen.
  • Have you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor? How?