4 Behavioral Interview Questions You Should Be Asking

Behavioral Interview QuestionsEarlier today we dove deep into behavioral interview questions. In the post, career expert Leslye Schumacher explained what behavioral interview questions are, why they’re more effective than traditional interview questions, and how behavioral interview questions should be asked and answered within a job interview.

(If you missed the post, you can read it here »)

Because we want you to ask (and answer) this type of question correctly, we thought it would be a good idea to share more examples of behavioral interview questions in action. With that being said, here are more examples from the expert:

If you’re looking for…

1. Someone who is organized, detail oriented, and prioritizes

Question to Ask: “Describe your system for planning and organizing your work.”

Good answer: “At the end of each day I go through my check list of what I need to accomplish tomorrow and then I enter each task into my calendar, then I….”

Vague answer: “Typically I will return emails, or phone messages, or go through a to-do list in my head.”

2. Someone who can lead and inspire others

Question to Ask: “Do you motivate others? When have you done this?”

Good answer: “My co-worker Debbie was in a slump because she missed goal two months in a row. So, I told her one day that we were going out prospecting for new clients together because I knew she needed to build her confidence back up. So we….and then…”

Vague answer: “I love motivating people. I’m always energetic and pumping people up so that they feel good. People tell me that my enthusiasm is infectious”

3. Someone who is competitive and goal focused

Question to Ask: “Have you found yourself in a situation where you tried really hard but couldn’t achieve a goal you wanted? Why did this happen and what did you do?”

Good answer: “In my last job I set a goal for myself that I would become a manager within one year. To do this I focused on….but I didn’t achieve it..so I…”

Vague answer: “I always achieve my goals” or “Sometimes I fall short but that just makes me more determined to succeed and achieve.”

4. Someone who is effective in persuasion

What to Ask: “When have you changed someone’s mind about what you believed was a great idea but he or she didn’t see it?”

Good answer:  “I came up with a solution for a client of mine who needed help with customer retention. I proposed…. and convinced him by…. and the result was….”

Vague answer:  “I continually have to change my clients’ minds about spending money. I get them to see it my way by showing them why it makes sense.”

What are your favorite behavioral interview questions? Let us know in the comments!

Read Part One: How to Use Behavioral Interview Questions to Identify the Best Candidates »


About the Expert

Leslye Schumacher is a Talent Analyst and Management Consultant with TalentQ Consulting. She works with companies and sales organizations to help them find, hire, coach and retain talented employees. She blogs about these topics at TalentBitsAndBytes, and you can learn more at www.TalentQConsulting.com


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  • Arlene

    Excellent information

    • Uhh wee we care inc.

      My favorite behavirol question is. What would u do if a hostile visitor camein pointing their finger and yelling

      • MIKE FORKER

        Great information.Thanks

      • http://www.facebook.com/wandaj Wanda Jackson

        So what is a good reply vs a vague one?

      • Debbie

        I would calmly, with a soft tone, let them know that I would be more than happy to listen to their complaint. I would listen and, assuming it was a legitimate complaint, look into it while they waited…if possible. If it required extensive research, I would take their name and telephone no and advise them of the outcome as soon as possible. MOST IMPORTANT: FOLLOW THROUGH !!!!!!!!! It has worked for me every time, but you MUST follow through and call them with outcome. Even if it isnt the outcome they had hoped for, you will most likely have a satisfied customer. No one likes to be brushed off and have promises made that they know will never happen. So, go that extra mile and not only will the customer feel better, so will you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/yvonne.gramataamerson Yvonne Gramata-Amerson

        Very calmly introduce myself, my title. Inform the visitor that I would be more than happy to hear their complaint, but not with him/her yelling. Take the visitor into my office or in another room to listen to their complaint. Offer them something to drink; a soda or a cup of water.Then ask the visitor, depending on the complaint, what would make them feel better to resolve the problem. Allow the visitor to feel they have input in resolving the issue. Compromise If not, take their name & number to call them back w/i 24hrs. Give them your business card & tell them if they have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call me directly. I would definitely inform the visitor in a professional manner, yelling & being hostile will not solve any problems. Its threatening & security may be called. They need to be informed. Visitor would be more receptive in the end. :) This incident actually occurred,& it worked for me. Everyone was happy in the end.