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Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

Kundan Pandey
Most firms test candidates through several challenging questions, and as such, are able to identify various attributes the candidates have acquired in their professional career.
In the professional world, besides aptitude tests and HR interviews, nowadays, there are many other types of tests that are conducted to test the competence of candidates. A behavioral interview is one such aspect of testing a candidate's crucial personality traits.
By asking relevant questions, employers are able to understand the logic, problem solving, and analysis skills of a prospective employee. The logic behind testing candidates on behavioral traits is that, past behavior can, to a large extent, predict future behavior. Moreover, every profession is in itself a completely new challenge with its own requirements.
Hence, to understand candidates more closely, and to be able to attract the best brains, companies resort to behavioral interview questions.

10 Popular Behavioral Questions Asked in Interviews

Q1: Give an example of a situation in which you had to sort out a problem within a specific time frame, and you were able to solve it.

This question aims to test your time management and problem solving skills. More than the success of the project, interviewers wish to know how you tackled the situation.
Q2: What innovative idea you implemented in your work that increased your efficiency or helped your team achieve your objectives faster?

This tests your creativity skills and how updated yourself in your field. This also is a hint towards your visionary approach to increase performance of the team. It also reflects your leadership and team player skills.
Q3: Mention about an event wherein you had to use your own judgment and decision-making skills to arrive at a decision regarding some project?

This question is meant to assess your confidence and faith on your own, backed by logic. In fact, every leader has an intuitive self, and employers see if you have that foreseeing ability to take calculated risks.
Q4: There are many difficult people in our work culture that need to be handled with care and a bit of tolerance. Tell us about any such colleague of yours, and how you handled him or her? Describe any situation where you had managed him or her effectively?
The answer to this question is a test of your communication and interpersonal skills. The employer wants to understand if you have the ability to understand people of different cultures, mind sets, and work in cooperation with them.
Q5: Describe one incident wherein nobody in your group supported your idea on some work, but you were able to convince them based on logic and explanations.

In this question, the employer is looking to know about your analysis skills in problem-solving, and how effective a decision maker you are.
Q6: Mention 3 steps you took to improve your organizational skills. How did it benefit the company?

Your ability to identify potential growth areas in the organization and your leadership skills are being assessed through this. This question indirectly helps employers know about your ability to see distant opportunities, and also realize flaws in your work.
Q7: Mention any two incidents wherein you failed in your attempts as an employee of your firm, and what lessons you learned from them? Did you bounce back with more successful steps eventually?
This is a question that is for sure going to reflect your maturity. There is no harm in making mistakes, and if you have made any in your professional work, you can talk about them. But try to take some positive experiences from your learning, and how you transformed your weakness into a strength.
Q8: Your company set a target for your team and you had to achieve it within a very limited time period. How did you go about planning for that as a team leader? How did you manage job stress in the entire working period?
Stress is inevitable in any profession, and time management skills are put to test while deciding priorities and working on goals. This question gives your interviewer a hint of your ability to handle pressure.
Q9: Mention any situation wherein your writing skills were put to test.

Here is a question that throws light on your ability to communicate, in written form. Don't think that this is just a common question. It helps employers realize how good your writing skills are, and indirectly, about your reading skills too.
Q10: Who were your best and worst bosses?

This is a slightly tricky question, and really requires you to think properly about how to present your experiences with the different types of bosses you have worked with, in an effective way.

Traits You are Being Tested For

  • Integrity
  • Dedication to Work
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Team Work
  • Stress Management
  • Tolerance
  • Team Building Skills
  • Eye to Detail
  • Sincerity
  • Confidence
  • Maturity
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Work Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Resilience
  • Adaptability
  • Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Time Management
  • Analytical Ability
  • Flexibility

Method of Answering

It has to be understood that one can't memorize answers for these questions, as they are situational based. However, if you're going to appear for an interview, it is very important to prepare methodically to answer these types of questions. How can you do that?
Well, make a note of the various incidents in your previous and current job experiences, that you think are vital lessons which you have learned in your professional career. Now, this can only be done by you, and no self-help books or coaches can help you out.
One of the important aspects of answering behavioral questions is that, you must quote experiences that sound true and logical. Nothing can be more ridiculous and scary (for your interview performance) than talking about incidents that never occurred with you.
Understand that interviewers are people with tons of experience in their respective fields, and it is next to impossible to fool them. You must reflect on your past professional experiences, so that you're able to create a positive impression on your employer.
As the competition in the professional world has increased by leaps and bounds, individuals aspiring for jobs must not leave any stone unturned to cast a good impression on potential employers. Not only high academic marks but effective communications skills are also essential for success.
The way interviews are conducted nowadays are way different from decades ago. Employers want skilled employees who are level-headed and contribute handsomely to the overall progress of the company.