How to prep for behavioral interview questions (with 35 examples)

When being interviewed for a job, you’ll likely be asked a combination of question types, including traditional, situational, and behavioral. Out of all of these, behavioral questions have become one of the most popular types of interview questions used, so it’s wise to hone in on how to best answer such behavioral based questions for an upcoming job interview.

But no worries. We have you covered by sharing what the goal of a behavioral interview is with examples of possible interview questions you might be asked outlined below.

What are behavioral based interview questions?

Behavioral interview questions are focused on your past behavior to highlight your skills and abilities. Unlike traditional job interview questions that ask you about what you did in past jobs and your qualifications, behavioral questions focus on concrete examples that highlight how you handled situations in the past that directly relate to the position for which you’re applying. Behavioral types of questions are non-technical and completely possible to prep for, so you can interview with confidence.

What’s the purpose of a behavioral interview?

Organizations like to employ behavioral job interview techniques based on the premise that past behavior on the job is indicative of future success on the job. Interviewers are attempting to gauge, based on your examples, whether you’d be a good fit for the company and the position.

What’s the best strategy to answer behavioral questions?

The STAR strategy is a common technique used to answer behavioral questions. It’s an excellent tool to help you focus your thoughts to successfully provide answers during your interview.

There are four steps to the STAR method utilized to answer questions. They are:

(S) Situation: Give insight into the situation in which the task or event occurred.

(T) Task: Outline the task or project you were asked to complete, as well as any issues or problems you were attempting to solve.

(A) Action: Describe the actions and steps you employed to accomplish the task and solve challenges.

(R) Result: Share the results of your actions, including quantitative results where relevant. The focus should be on how your actions positively impacted the company’s success or bottom line.

Examples of behavioral interview questions

Below are some common behavioral-based interview questions broken down by competency. Practice using the STAR method to answer the ones that are relevant to your situation.

Teamwork focused questions

Inevitably, you will have to work as part of a team at least some of the time at any job. These questions help interviewers understand how well you’ll be able to do so:

  • Give me an example of a time you convinced your team to come together to work on a task or project they weren’t happy about and how you got them on board.
  • Give me an example of a time when you were part of a team you were proud of.
  • Provide an example of a time when you were part of a team where everyone didn’t pull their own weight. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for your job.
  • Share an example of a time you were able to motivate and inspire your coworkers.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with a coworker whose personality was starkly different than yours.

Conflict resolution focused questions

Conflict is a natural part of life and, as such, a natural part of any work environment. Hiring managers want to understand how well you deal with conflict by asking questions like the following:

  • Tell me about a challenging situation you had with a coworker. How did you approach it?
  • How do you approach situations when you don’t agree with a coworker?
  • Share an example of a time you had a conflict with your supervisor and your approach to dealing with it.
  • How do you handle situations where there is conflict among your team members?

Problem-solving focused questions

The following questions help your prospective employer better understand how well you problem-solve and if you are up for challenges that might present themselves at work:

  • Tell me about a time when you had multiple projects to deal with and how you dealt with them.
  • How do you set and achieve goals?
  • Give me an example of a time you developed a solution to a challenge at work.
  • Share about a time when you had to make a risky decision.
  • Give me an example of a time you reached an important goal and how you achieved it.
  • How do you approach meeting tight turnaround times and deadlines?

Customer-service related questions

If your prospective new job deals with customer service, the following are examples of questions you might be asked:

  • Give me an example of a time when you had to resolve a customer complaint.
  • Tell me about a time when it was vital to make a good impression on a client.
  • Share an example of a time when a customer was pleased with your service and why.
  • How do you prioritize customer needs when serving a large customer or client base?

Ability to handle stress related questions

Your ability to handle stress can make or break your success on the job. These behavioral interview questions allow interviewers to assess your stress-tolerance level:

  • Describe a stressful situation you had to deal with at work.
  • Tell me about a time you handled a challenging situation with a customer or client.
  • Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.
  • Share a time when you worked well under pressure.
  • How do you approach work-life balance?

Self-awareness related questions

If you lack self-awareness, then your success can be limited. The following are behavioral-based interview questions that showcase how self-aware you are:

  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake and how you remedied it.
  • Share about a time when you did not meet a deadline.
  • Describe a time when you chose to postpone making a decision.
  • Provide an example of a time when you could have been a better active listener.
  • What is your most significant career accomplishment, and why?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to demonstrate strong leadership skills.

Communication focused questions

Effective communication in all forms is necessary for most positions. As such, you might be asked the following behavioral-based questions:

  • Share about a time when you successfully persuaded others to see things your way on a topic.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to rely solely on written communication to prove a point or get your ideas across.
  • Describe a time when the tone of written communication was misinterpreted and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about a time when you gave a successful presentation and why you believe it was successful.

Final words on prepping for a behavioral interview

As you prepare for your upcoming interview, prepare ahead of time and practice. Use the STAR technique and the above questions as a guide. With the right amount of prep, you’ll be able to interview with confidence to land the job.