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Behavioural Interview Questions

11+ Behavioural Interview Questions You Must Ask In An Interview (Best Answers Included)

Published on April 30th, 2024

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Hiring the right candidate can make or break a team. As an employer, you want to ensure that the person you're bringing on board is not only skilled but also a good fit for your company's culture and values. Behavioral interview questions are a powerful tool to gauge how candidates have handled situations in the past and predict how they might perform in the future.

In this blog post, we'll cover 11+ essential behavioral interview questions you should consider asking, along with insights on what to look for in their answers. Before we dive in, let's take a look at some statistics that highlight the importance of effective interviewing.

Why Behavioral Questions Matter

According to a LinkedIn survey, 63% of hiring managers say that soft skills — such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving — are critical for job success, yet 89% struggle to find candidates with these skills. Moreover, research from Leadership IQ found that 46% of new hires fail within the first 18 months, with the primary reason being a lack of interpersonal skills rather than technical abilities. 

Given these statistics, it’s clear that assessing a candidate’s behavioral traits is crucial for long-term success. Now, let's explore the questions and the best responses you should look for.

1. Can you describe a time when you had to manage a difficult project?

For employers, what to look for:

- Specificity: Look for candidates who provide detailed examples rather than vague statements.

- Problem-Solving Skills: Notice how they approached the challenge and the steps they took to overcome it.

- Outcome: Pay attention to the result and what they learned from the experience.

For candidates, the best answer:

At my previous job, I was tasked with leading a project that had a very tight deadline. I began by breaking down the project into smaller tasks and delegated these to my team based on their strengths. We held daily check-ins to ensure everything was on track. Despite a few unforeseen issues, we completed the project on time and even received a commendation from the client for our efficiency.

2. Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.

For employers, what to look for:

- Interpersonal Skills: Ability to work well with diverse personalities.

- Adaptability: How they adjusted their approach to collaborate effectively.

- Conflict Resolution: How they handled disagreements or misunderstandings.

For candidates, best answer:

In one of my roles, I worked with a colleague who was very detail-oriented, while I tended to focus on the big picture. Initially, this caused some friction. However, I decided to have an open conversation with them to understand their perspective. We agreed on a balanced approach, combining our strengths, which led to a highly successful project outcome.

Also read: Common Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

3. Describe a time when you had to give constructive feedback. How did you go about it?

For employers, what to look for:

- Communication Skills: Clarity and tact in delivering feedback.

- Empathy: Understanding and consideration of the recipient's feelings.

- Effectiveness: The impact of the feedback on performance.

For candidates, best answer:

I had to give feedback to a team member who was consistently missing deadlines. I scheduled a private meeting and used the 'sandwich' method: I started with what they were doing well, discussed the areas needing improvement, and ended with encouragement and support. This approach helped them feel appreciated and motivated to improve, resulting in better performance.

4. Can you provide an example of a goal you set and how you achieved it?

For employers, what to look for:

- Goal-Setting: Clear and realistic goals.

- Planning and Execution: Steps taken to achieve the goal.

- Persistence: Overcoming obstacles along the way.

For candidates, best answer:

I set a goal to improve our social media engagement by 30% within six months. I began by analyzing our current strategy and identifying areas for improvement. I implemented a new content calendar, engaged more with our audience, and used analytics to track progress. Within four months, we surpassed our goal with a 35% increase in engagement.

5. Tell me about a time when you had to learn something new quickly.

For employers, what to look for:

- Learning Agility: Ability to quickly grasp new concepts.

- Resourcefulness: How they sought out information and resources.

- Application: How they applied what they learned to achieve results.

For candidates, the best answer:

When our company adopted a new software system, I had to learn it quickly to train my team. I dedicated extra hours to studying the system, attended webinars, and reached out to the support team for clarification. Within a week, I was proficient and able to effectively train my team, ensuring a smooth transition.

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6. Describe a situation where you had to make a tough decision. What was the outcome?

For employers, what to look for:

- Decision-Making Skills: Ability to weigh pros and cons.

- Leadership: Taking responsibility for the decision.

- Outcome: The result and any lessons learned.

For candidates, best answer:

I had to decide whether to continue a struggling project or terminate it. After analyzing the costs, and benefits, and consulting with stakeholders, I decided to terminate it. Although it was a tough decision, it allowed us to redirect resources to more profitable projects. This ultimately resulted in a significant increase in overall productivity.

7. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond your job responsibilities.

For employers, what to look for:

- Initiative: Willingness to take on extra tasks.

- Commitment: Dedication to the company’s success.

- Impact: Positive outcomes resulting from their efforts.

For candidates, the best answer:

During a critical product launch, I noticed that our marketing materials were not up to standard. Even though it wasn't my responsibility, I stayed late for several nights to redesign the materials. The launch was a success, and my efforts were recognized by the leadership team.

8. Can you share an example of how you handled a major change at work?

For employers, what to look for:

- Flexibility: Ability to adapt to change.

- Positive Attitude: Embracing rather than resisting change.

- Leadership: Guiding others through the transition.

For candidates, the best answer:

When our company restructured, many processes changed. I embraced the new system and took the initiative to help my team understand and adapt to these changes. By organizing training sessions and offering continuous support, I ensured a smooth transition with minimal disruption to our productivity.

9. Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or client.

For employers, what to look for:

- Customer Service Skills: Patience and understanding.

- Problem-Solving: Finding solutions to satisfy the customer.

- Composure: Maintaining professionalism under pressure.

For candidates, best answer:

A customer was upset about a delayed order. I listened to their concerns, apologized, and offered a discount on their next purchase as compensation. Additionally, I expedited their current order. The customer appreciated the effort and became a loyal client.

Also read: Project Management Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

10. Can you tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline? What did you learn?

For employers, what to look for:

- Accountability: Owning up to their mistakes.

- Learning Mindset: What they took away from the experience.

- Improvement: Steps taken to prevent future occurrences.

For candidates, best answer:

Once, I underestimated the time required for a project and missed the deadline. I took full responsibility, informed my manager, and worked overtime to complete it. From this experience, I learned to better manage my time and set more realistic deadlines in the future.

11. Give an example of a time you demonstrated leadership.

For employers, what to look for:

- Initiative: Stepping up when needed.

- Influence: Ability to motivate and guide others.

- Results: Positive outcomes from their leadership.

For candidates, the best answer:

When our team leader was unexpectedly out, I volunteered to step in. I organized daily meetings, ensured everyone was on track, and provided support where needed. Under my leadership, we not only met our deadlines but also improved our workflow, which was recognized by the upper management.

Conclusion

Asking the right behavioral interview questions can reveal a candidate's true potential and fit within your organization. By focusing on past behavior and specific examples, you gain deeper insights into their soft skills and how they handle real-world situations. Remember, the goal is to find candidates who not only possess the necessary technical skills but also align with your company's culture and values. 

To help you generate the interview questions and answers for any job title and skill level in second, here's introducing HireQuotient's behavior interview questions generator! 

  • Get tailored, high-quality questions for any role that you are hiring for within seconds. 
  • Whether you have a job position open for entry-level, mid-level, or senior-level, our Behavioral Interview Questions Generator gives you the right set of questions for seniority.
  • Get behavioral questions and answers that help you get deeper insights into the industry. 

Give it a try now! - Behavioral Interview Questions Generator

Effective interviewing is key to building a strong team, and these questions are a great starting point. Happy hiring!

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Authors

author

Soujanya

As a technical content writer and social media strategist, Soujanya develops and manages strategies at HireQuotient. With strong technical background and years of experience in content management, she looks for opportunities to flourish in the digital space. Soujanya is also a dance fanatic and believes in spreading light!

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