Why do behavioral interview questions matter in the job interview? In short, asking behavioral questions is an excellent way to spot candidates who’ll excel.
Here are some common job interview questions under the six themes and a brief explanation always of what the recruiter is looking for:
Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you had never done before. How did you react? What did you learn?
Excitement about tackling new challenges and willingness to leave their comfort zone, knowing they’ll learn something valuable from the experience.
Describe a situation in which you embraced a new system, process, technology, or idea at work that was a major departure from the old way of doing things.
Eagerness to explore new ways of working and improve based on what they learn; if they discovered a better way; whether they embraced the change.
Tell me about the biggest change you have had to deal with? How did you adapt to that change?
Acceptance that change is inevitable. That they focused on how they could adapt successfully, evaluating a new situation and finding the support they needed.
What are the three things that are most important to you in a job?
Alignment between what’s most important to them and what the role and company have to offer.
Tell me about a time in the last week when you’ve been satisfied, energized, and productive at work. What were you doing?
An indication that the work environment and day-to-day responsibilities are right for them.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that’s not on your resume?
Signs that a candidate brings something new and unexpected to your culture, even if it’s unrelated to their specific role.
What would make you choose our company over others?
Thoughtful, honest answers that tell you what they’re really thinking—not what they think you want to hear.
Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How did you handle interactions with that person?
A willingness to try to see things from the other person’s perspective by identifying the cause of the tension and finding ways to improve the relationship.
Tell me about one of your favorite experiences working with a team and the contributions you made.
Energy and motivation via teamwork. A healthy mix of “I” and “we” statements to communicate both individual and team contributions.
Describe the best partner or supervisor you’ve worked with. What part of their management style appealed to you?
An understanding of their own working style and what kind of personalities they work best with.
Tell me about the last time something significant didn’t go according to plan at work. What was your role? What was the outcome?
Thoughtful reflection and a strong sense of ownership. True leaders don’t try to shift the blame to others, but consider what they could have done differently.
Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone to see things your way. What steps did you take? What were the results?
Strong leaders establish credibility and use compelling evidence to reinforce their viewpoint, rather than acting like they know best.
Tell me about a time when you led by example. What did you do and how did others react?
Understanding of how their behavior impacts those around them. That they hold themselves to a high standard, and are an inspiration to their team.
Tell me about the toughest decision you had to make in the last six months.
Careful consideration of outcomes. Great leaders seek advice when they need it—but they don’t shy away from making the final decision.
Recall a time when your manager was unavailable when a problem arose. How did you handle the situation? Who did you consult with?
The ability to rise to the occasion without stepping on toes. Great candidates respect all stakeholders and explore options before making a decision.
Describe a time when you volunteered to expand your knowledge at work, as opposed to being directed to do so.
Eagerness to learn and a willingness to ask for the resources. Invest in continuous learning and actively seek out new opportunities.
What would motivate you to make a move from your current role?
Signs that the candidate is more invested in growth opportunities than they are in an immediate payoff; that they are interested in being challenged.
What’s the biggest career goal you’ve achieved?
Motivation and drive. The candidate isn’t boastful, but they take pride in their achievements and use each one to help them be more successful.
Tell me about a time when you had to juggle several projects at the same time. How did you organize your time? What was the result?
A clear and proactive process for organizing their time, like blocking off their calendar, creating a to-do list, and confirming deadlines.
Tell me about a project that you planned. How did you organize and schedule the tasks?
A methodical approach to planning and strong self-discipline when meeting deadlines and driving a project through to completion.
Describe a time when you felt stressed or overwhelmed. How did you handle it?
Signs that planning and prioritization help the candidate to stay calm and focused, but that they also know how to lighten the load by delegating tasks.
How do you determine what amount of time is reasonable for a task?
Signs that they think carefully about how they’re spending their time and that they seek a healthy middle ground between rushing and perfectionism.
Source: 30 behavioral interview questions – LinkedIn Talent Solutions