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Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

The Behavioral Interview is rapidly becoming the most popular way to interview in the Unites States. In this method of interviewing the interviewer asks few or no “standard interview questions.” In this style of interviewing the interviewer will ask you to reflect upon you previous work and school experiences, and take him/her through a detailed account as to how a particular situation was handled.

The key to the successful behavioral interview lies in your ability to recount detailed work situations that are directly related to the work at hand. In preparation for a behavioral interview you should conduct a STAR analysis:
S = Name a SITUATION facing you or
T= a TASK you had to complete
A= describe what ACTION you took
R= tell the RESULTS of your actions
You should conduct a STAR Analysis for each of the skills required to perform the position that you are applying for.

Samples of a Behavioral Interview Questions with Answers and explanations

Q. Consider the following situation and describe in detail how you would respond. Your alarm clock doesn’t go off, you wake up, and you are going to be two hours late for work. How would you handle that situation?

A. Once I woke up I would immediately call work, apologize, and let them know what happened and inform them that I was going to be late. I would then call a co-worker and ask them to cover for me until I arrived. Once I arrived I would apologize again and ask if I can stay late or come in early to make up the lost time. Finally, I would buy a new alarm clock to ensure that this did not happen again.

E. In this scenario the applicant would have wowed over the interviewer. The applicant was considering a negative situation. However the applicant turned a negative into a positive. They described a pro-active plan to ensure that losses in productivity did not occur, offered to make up lost time, and made efforts to ensure that the alarm clock would work the next day.

Q. Tell me about a time you had to meet a deadline. Describe the deadline. Describe the steps you took in order to achieve the deadline. Were you successful? Why or why not?

A. A professor assigned a 15 page paper one week before the end of the semester. Being faced with the challenge of meeting this deadline I decided that it would be best to first develop a topic to the paper, then I outlined the paper using my notes and the assigned textbook. I then proceeded to do all of my research for the paper. I then typed the paper, proofread it, and submitted it one day before it was due.

E. This is a good answer to this question. The candidate answered the question in detail and utilized an example where the candidate showed he/she was able to meet deadlines.


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