Behavioral Based Interview Questions

Behavioral-based interview questions are designed to discover how the interviewee acts in certain situations, are used to determine your skill level and personal competencies, and determine how your past experience relates to your future performance. The questions are specific and require an example/story which outlines your skills and abilities. Questions will usually start with, “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example of…” These questions require an interviewee to demonstrate they have a skill rather than list a skill. Utilize the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to answer these questions.

SITUATION TASK ACTION RESULT
Describe a specific situation that addresses the question.

  • Who
  • Where
  • Why
Outline the tasks associated with the situation. What tasks did you need to achieve?

  • What
Explain the actions you took to address the situation.

  • How
Provide the results of your actions (most important)

  • What effect
  • What changed or improved

Examples of behavioral based questions

  • Give me an example of a time when you had to meet a deadline. How do you manage a fast approaching deadline?
  • What was the most difficult task you performed on your internship last summer?
  • Give me an example of how you manage your time. What factors do you consider? How do you track your progress?
  • Give me an example of a project you planned and managed.
  • Give me an example of an important goal you set for yourself and how you accomplished it.
  • Tell me about a time when your opinion was challenged. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a situation at work in which you experienced conflict and how you resolved it.
  • Describe a situation in which you led a group of people.
  • By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations, or environments.
  • Tell me about the toughest group you have had to work with. What made the group tough? How did you handle the situation?
  • Give me an example of effective teamwork.
  • Give me an example of a time when you took initiative.

How to Prepare

  • Think of a few potential examples/stories ahead of time
  • Analyze the description, responsibilities, and skills required; this may help you to anticipate interview questions in certain areas or for certain skill sets; connect the opportunity to your career goals
  • A typical answer to a question using a STAR response will last one to three minutes
  • Be brief in your set-up (who, where, what) and give just enough background information for your example to make sense