Behavioral Job Interview
Sample Questions For a behavioral screening:
- What type of opportunity/position are you looking for? Describe your ideal job.
- What are you looking for in this position?
- What is your ideal work environment?
- How would your current teacher/co-worker describe your work?
- What are your top three priorities or motivators?
- What areas in your career are you interested in further developing?
- Tell me about a time when you had to create something new, or look at something from a different perspective.
- Where do you see yourself next year? Next five years?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you worked in a team?
- How do you incorporate diversity into your professional practices?
- Tell me about the toughest customer (internal or external) you had to win over and how you did it.
- Describe examples of how you acquired experience in X and how you have used this experience?
- Identify two accomplishments that you are most proud of.
- Why should I hire you?
- What else would you like me to know about you?
More Sample Behavioral Interview Questions:
- Tell me about a time when your work or an idea of yours was criticized.
- Describe a difficult problem that you’ve had to deal with and how you resolved it.
- Describe a situation in which you were required to work under pressure and how you reacted.
- Describe a time that you showed initiative.
- Tell me about a time when you put your foot in your mouth.
- Describe a situation when you found yourself challenged. How did it work out?
- Give an example of how you contributed toward a team project in school or work.
- What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.
- Tell me about a difficult decision you’ve made in the last year.
- Give me an example of a time when you went beyond the call of duty in order to get the job done.
- How do you determine what gets priority in scheduling your time?
- Tell me about a time when you had to coordinate the work of others.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
- Tell me about a time when you used your written communication skills to convey an important message.
- Describe a significant or creative project that you completed.
- Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to an uncomfortable situation.
- Describe for me a time when you failed at something and how you responded.
- Think about a time when you felt overwhelmed or stressed out. How did you handle it?
- Describe the most difficult professor or supervisor you have had and tell me how you dealt with that individual.
- Tell me about the last time you recognized a problem in an organization in which you were involved.
Sample Behavioral Interview Answers:
- “Give me an example of an important goal you had to set and tell me your progress in reaching that goal.”
As a budget analyst, I was responsible for monitoring our ever changing budget situation. At one point, my supervisor told me that while we had three more months in our fiscal year, our budget was set to run out in two weeks. I then had to identify the amount necessary to survive till the end of the fiscal year, as well as set a higher goal of what the division would like to have. I then met with the department heads to look over individual budgets to see where some money could be cut. Through this meeting we identified an issue with our supply ordering. Each individual department ordered supplies separately, which meant we were paying shipping and handling charges for five different departments. Each department also tasked their lead administrative assistant with the supply tasks. Through consolidating the supply issues throughout the division, we were able to save a couple thousand dollars. Because of the crunch time, many in the division were working overtime. I worked with HR to devise a plan to pull us through the end of the fiscal year. Instead of employees receiving pay for overtime, comp time was given, with the understanding that it would not be taken until after the start of the next fiscal year. The department heads then called me back in to discuss the possibility of combining all the comp leave into an extended holiday break. Employees are now able to take off the full week between Christmas and New Years. This change in comp leave versus overtime has been adopted company wide so employees can choose to bank their comp time and after accumulating enough to cover that extra week off, then they are eligible for overtime.
- “Tell me about a time when you had to use a persuasive argument to help someone see things your way.”
I had been interested in obtaining my MBA for a number of years. After doing research on George Mason University, I decided that I was going to go for it. The one prohibitive factor was the cost. The company I was working for did not have a very liberal tuition reimbursement program, in fact, it only covered $1500 a year. I then put together a proposal for my manager, including a Return-On-Investment analysis, and presented it to him after my yearly review. I included information on the program curriculum, cost, time commitment, as well as the anticipated outcomes. After impressing my manager with my presentation, I gave the same presentation to the director of human resources as well as the vice president of my business unit. In the end, not only was I able to get the company to pay for my education, but I was also able to work out a flexible schedule to accommodate my studying needs. I stayed with that company for another four years after my MBA until a merger resulted in my layoff.
- “Describe for me a time when you had to deal with a difficult person.”
I was moved to a new functional team within my organization. The team I was moved to had been together for quite some time, but had not been able to achieve any of their objectives for a couple of months. I was moved into the situation because I was a subject matter expert relating to one aspect of their new objective. As with most teams, there was a leader. This person exhibited open hostility to my being added to the team. She felt that the reason why their objectives had not been achieved was due to management’s inability to trust their decisions. After a week or two of being consistently left out of vital communication, I requested a meeting with the team leader. She still exhibited hostility, so I told her I was there to assist her and the team with achievement, not failure. I then suggested we work together to identify the teams previous barriers to success. After identifying the key issues, I asked the team leader to identify what she wanted to do to improve the team’s success. Her response was she would like to have access to subject matter experts because the team was made up of mostly generalists. She then recognized that management did what she wanted, she just didn’t get the chance to ask for it first. After that initial confrontation, I was acclimated to the group and we began not just succeeding, but exceeding all expectations.