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7 Behavioral Interview Questions and Tips on How to Answer Them

The objective of behavioral questions is to get a sense of your personality.

Behavioral questions are asked in interviews to understand a candidate’s personality and also to analyse his or her behavior in different situations. These behavioral questions can be challenging to answer in an interview if you have not prepared for them.

During an interview, at times you may have observed that the interviewer pays you the least attention while you keep on answering. This could be because the interviewer is bored or it is a ploy to test you as part of a behavioral interview.

Here is the list of some common behavioral interview questions and the way you can answer them.

Describe your most important decision, that you’ve taken in the past six months?

How to answer: Such questions are asked to check your reasoning, problem solving, judgement, and risk-taking ability. Your answer to such a question can make an impression about your professional skills in the mind of the interviewer. Here is your chance to explain to the interviewer how you took some crucial decisions in your professional career and the impact it had. The impact could be qualitative or quantitative.

Tell me about any incidence or a mistake that you regret in your professional life and what you did to rectify the situation?

How to answer: Here, the interviewer wants to judge a candidate’s receptiveness and ability to deal with errors. Such questions are asked to know how a candidate deals with flaws and does he learn from his mistakes or not. The best way to answer such a question is to tell if you made any mistake in your professional life and then add how you rectified and learned from that situation.

When was the last time when a customer or a co-worker got upset from you? How did you deal with that?

How to answer: This is a question that will help an interviewer to judge you on your interpersonal skills and conflict management. Such questions can usually be answered well if you have read about the company’s culture as you should always align your answer with the company’s culture. Answer the interviewer, explaining the situation, and telling him what impact or benefit, it created for you in the long term.

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Tell me an incidence when you had to motivate an employee and how did you do that?

How to answer: Such questions are asked to understand your leadership and managerial skills. You should always answer such questions with full confidence and simplicity. You should tell the interviewer when you helped a subordinate or your colleague in need and motivated all other team members using different methods.

Explain a situation when you had to discuss some uncomfortable team issues with your boss?

How to answer: This question is asked to understand how responsible and fearless a candidate is. This makes an interviewer believe that you are candid and open. The best way to answer this question is to tell the interviewer that it is important to voice your opinion if you strongly feel about it.  More so, when your speaking up is in the interest of the organisation.

Did you ever fail in achieving your goal? How do you handle failure?

How to answer: Here, the goal of an interviewer is to judge how a candidate deals with adverse situations or disappointments. It is important to explain the interviewer that you believe in moving forward with full courage and explain to them what motivates you to reach your goals, even if you fail sometimes. 

You may like this: Top Interview Questions for Managers and How to Answer Them

Tell us a situation where you have faced any sort of harassment in the past (mental, social, physical, emotional) and how did you deal with it?

How to answer: Such questions are asked to understand the way you deal with difficult situations and voice out your fears in a situation of harassment. The best way to answer this question is to show the interviewer that you are a person with progressive thoughts and you don’t have fear to voice out such situation in front of the HR if required.

These are the seven common behavioral questions and their prospective answers for you to prepare.

Here are a few categories around which behavioral questions are asked and these are:

  • Problem Solving
  • Team Work
  • Stress Management
  • Initiative Taking
  • Leadership
  • Conflict Management
  • Innovation
  • Ability to get along with others

Bonus Tip: You should take care of the following tips when answering behavioral questions:

  1. Prepare ahead of time
  2. Take your time before answering
  3. Sound Positive
  4. Answer using STAR (Situation, Task, Action & Result) method

Behavioral questions are part of the interview process and preparation is the key to ensure that your responses are in line with what is being asked.

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