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How to Answer Behavioral Based Interview Questions (2022)

In this tutorial, I will teach you how to answer behavioral based interview questions. If you have a job interview coming up for any role or any company, please make sure you read this article from start to finish because I am going to help you be the standout candidate to achieve that goal. This is what I am going to cover.

I will give you a list of behavioral interview questions I strongly recommend you prepare for. These questions are being asked more and more during job interviews. They are not easy to answer, but to help you pass. I will also give you some top scoring example responses to all of the questions covered during this post. I will also give you some really important tips to help you pass your job interview at the very first attempt.

behavioral based interview questions

Let me start off quickly and explain what behavioral interview questions are.

Question number one

The first question is, can you tell me about a time when you worked as part of a team?

  • I have lots of experience working with other people to complete difficult tasks and complete difficult projects.
  • One particular situation springs to mind recently where my manager came into the office and she said, I want you all to get together as a team and come up with different ideas where we can increase the company sales for the next 12 months so it was our responsibility and our task as a team to get together in a team meeting and then come up with different ideas to boost the company’s sales figures for the next 12 months.
  • I suggested that we should all go around the room and each member of the team have five minutes to come up with different ideas where they felt we could increase the company’s sales figures.
  • I made that suggestion because I thought collectively as a team, we had lots of various different experiences and skill sets, and it would be a good idea to listen to each member of the team’s ideas so we started going around the room and my suggestion was based on online advertising.
  • I didn’t feel the organization had actually capitalized on online marketing. I said, if we use Facebook adverts, Google adverts and social media adverts, that way we could target new customers based on their age, their interests and their demographics.
  • People thought that was a good idea in the team, and then other people within the team came up with alternative ideas. For example, somebody suggested that we should go back to previous customers because we wouldn’t have to spend any time on advertising and try and upsell them company products and services that we already had, because that would be cost effective at the end of the meeting.
  • We’d actually come up with six really strong ideas to help the company increase its sales for the next 12 months.
  • We presented them to our manager and he thought they were a great idea. We then implemented those ideas and three months into the first 12 months of company performance, sales were up by 12 percent.
  • It was a brilliant combined team effort where everyone got together, listen to each other’s ideas and then put them forward so it was a cracking effort and the company benefited from that.

Question number two

Here’s the next question. This is very difficult to answer. Can you describe a time when you’ve worked under pressure?

  • I’ve worked on the pressure in various different roles for various different companies, and I actually think I perform better when I’m working under pressure.
  • One particular situation comes to mind where my manager came into the office at nine o’clock one morning, and he said that a member of our team had called in sick and they weren’t going to be back in for two weeks. He was asking for a volunteer to step up to take on her tasks as well as your own.
  • I volunteered to be that person so even though I didn’t know how to carry out her tasks, I wasn’t afraid to step up because I actually like working on the pressure so my manager gave me a brief of what I needed to do.
  • I then went back to my desk and I formulated a list of all the tasks that I needed to do, including my own work and my work colleagues work and I put them in order of priority or what needed to be done.
  • I then cleared my diary so that I didn’t have any distractions at all for the next two weeks. I focused intently on my own work, on my work colleagues work to make sure they were done on time and to the right standard.
  • A couple of times during the next two weeks, I had to stay behind late after work to get all of the work done, but I didn’t mind doing that. At the end of the two week period, I managed to get everything done, all of the tasks and it was great for the team.
  • It was also good for me because I learned some new skills that I hadn’t done before by undertaking my work colleagues tasks and my manager praised me for getting everything done and for working under pressure and for getting them completed on time so it was a good experience all round.

Question number three

Here is the next question I recommend you prepare for. Can you tell me about a time when you had to solve a difficult problem?

  • Yes, I can. About two weeks ago, we’d all been getting ready as part of a team for a company website sale that was starting on the Saturday morning, and it was late on Friday afternoon. It was about 3:00 pm in the afternoon and the website went down.
  • This was disastrous for the company because we had this sale all set up and ready for 9:00 a.m. the following morning.
  • Obviously without the website, we would have a major problem because we wouldn’t be able to sell anything so we had a major problem. This was a difficult challenge because the website went down and we didn’t have an internal IT team to sort it out.
  • I said to my manager, I didn’t have any commitments late on Friday evening, so I was prepared to stay behind and help him to get the website back up and running.
  • Because we both didn’t have any technical experience, we were faced with a challenge late on Friday afternoon. The website had gone down. Who do we get to sort it out in time for nine o’clock on Saturday morning?
  • I said to my manager, I will start calling around or local IT companies to see if we can find one of them to help us get the website back up and running so I started calling around. Nobody was available, so I then had to use my initiative to solve the problem.
  • I started to look online and I found a website called Upwork and I then started to find web developers and some IT experts who could look into the problem for us.
  • I managed to find someone who had good reviews and ratings, and he was available to look into the website for us. I gave him a specific brief, told him what had happened to the website, and he then started work.
  • It took him about three hours to solve the problem, but eventually came back. He said he’d found the issue and he managed to get the website back up and running again.
  • By remaining calm, by using my initiative and focusing intently on the task in hand, I was able to find somebody to get the website back up and running in time for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.
  • It was a great result and I managed to achieve it just by remaining calm and staying focused on the task in hand so it was a great result.

Question number four

Here is the next question, can you tell us about time we went above and beyond for a customer?

  • Yes, I can actually think it’s my responsibility in any customer facing role to always try and go above and beyond for the customer, because then that helps your organization from a commercial perspective.
  • One situation recently occurred where a customer called me on the telephone and they wanted to ask a number of questions about some of the products on our website and also how to place the order.
  • The customer was elderly, and she never used online ordering systems or websites before so she was nervous and she was confused, and I felt it was my responsibility to go above and beyond for her and to take my time to walk through the entire process and talk to her about our products.
  • The issue I had was we had strict company called handling timelines, which meant I had to get through each call within three minutes. Clearly, this call was going to take a lot longer than that, but I thought I had a responsibility to look after the customer, so I did.
  • I listened to her concerns, and I then asked her a number of questions about which type of product she wanted to order. I then explained the online ordering system, how it worked, and I reassured her that our website was 100 percent secure and then walked her through the online payment system, and I told her how to place her order online.
  • The call took eight minutes in total to complete, but it was important here that I went above and beyond for the customer to allay any fears that she had and it actually turned out to be a good thing because that customer went on to be a really good repeat customer for our company.
  • She used as lots of times in the future, so it was great all around.
  • That’s just one example of where I was willing to go above and beyond for a customer to the benefit of the organization that I was working for.

Question number five

Here is the next question, can you tell me about a time when you had conflict with a co-worker and how you resolved it?

  • Thankfully, I’ve not experienced that much conflict with co-workers because I feel I’m a good team worker. However, if it does happen, I will always try and resolve it myself. I wouldn’t ordinarily go to my manager or my team leader and say, I’m having conflict with someone. Would you resolve it?
  • I feel I have a responsibility to sort it out because my manager or my team leader would always be busy?
  • One situation comes to mind when I joined a previous organization and I was sat in a team meeting with other coworkers, and I was coming up with ideas and different suggestions to help the team progress with its project and a senior member of the team kept being dismissive of my ideas and my suggestions and he did this on no fewer than three occasions, so I felt I had two options to resolve the conflict.
  • The first option was I could challenge him professionally in the room in front of everybody else. I didn’t think that was a good idea.
  • The second option was that I could speak to him outside of the team meeting to get to the bottom of this conflict, so I decided to choose the second option.
  • When the meeting was over, I went up to him in private and I said to him in a respectful and professional manner. You know, during the team meeting, I felt you were quite dismissive of some of the ideas that I was putting forward and I wondered why that was the case now.
  • He was quite taken aback by what I had said, and he apologized and said it wouldn’t happen again.
  • We actually went on to become really close friends, both in work and outside of work, and I felt that that only happened because I had the confidence to challenge the conflict in a professional manner.
  • By stopping the conflict straight away and preventing it from deteriorating further.
  • It was a really good thing. It had a positive outcome so I’m not afraid to deal with conflict, but I would always do it respectfully and professionally and in a manner that was of benefit to the team.

Question number six

The next behavioral interview question is, tell me about a time when you improved the process.

  • I think as an employee, I have a responsibility to always try and improve systems and processes where appropriate.
  • One particular situation comes to mind it was on Monday afternoon and I’d finished an important project early and I had a few hours available where I didn’t have much to do. I decided to make good use of that time.
  • Something had concerned me for a lengthy period of time whereby we would order office supplies such as paper and different resources, and we would order them in small quantities, which on the surface was a good thing to do because it saved the organization.
  • However, I felt I could improve that process by making a suggestion to my manager, whereby we ordered a larger quantity of office supplies for a cheaper amount.
  • Even though we would have a more expensive outlay, initially we would save a lot of money in the long term so I carried out some research online and I managed to find an organization where the minimum order quantities of office stock were higher but the saving was considerable in the long term and I calculated over the year we would actually end up saving about $3000, which was a great saving.
  • I then presented this to my manager and I said, This is what I found. We can improve this process of ordering and it would save the Company X amount of pounds over the year and he thought it was a fantastic idea.
  • We then went forward and informed the administrative staff of how toward a moving forward, and that saved us a lot of money.
  • I’m the type of person who will always look to identify ways of improving processes and systems to the benefit of the company.

You will see there that I answered a number of common behavioral interview questions in a confident manner. Before I give you some more example answers to difficult behavioral interview questions. Here are some important tips to help you.

Tip number one

  • In my opinion, the hardest to answer, however, when you respond to them. Make sure you use the star technique.
  • The star technique stands for situation, task, action and result.
  • You start off and you briefly describe the situation you are in. You then move on and outline the task that needed doing. You then detail the action that you took to complete the task. You then finish off and explain the results following your actions.

Let me quickly give you an example answer to the behavioral interview question. Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a challenge using the star technique of situation, task action and result. Here is my example answer.

  • I was given the task of arranging an important meeting at a hotel venue two days before the meeting was due to take place. The hotel experienced storm damage and they had to cancel the booking.
  • It was my task to quickly find another suitable venue before contacting all the meeting attendees to give them the new details and the travel arrangements.
  • Finding another suitable and convenient venue was challenging. However, I remained calm, I persevered and I stayed behind late after work to get everything arranged quickly and to give the attendees as much notice as possible about the new venue.
  • Eventually, I managed to find an alternative venue for the meeting, and I created a new set of instructions and a meeting agenda that I sent out to all attendees.
  • I then gave all attendees my mobile contact number so they could call me if they had any problems or issues finding the new meeting venue.
  • The meeting then went ahead at the new venue on time and as planned.

That is a brilliant answer to that tough behavioral interview question and it uses the star technique, situation, task action and result.

Tip number two

My advice is to prepare answers to the most common behavioral interview questions before you attend your interview. What are common behavioral interview questions? Here they are.

Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure. Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. And that answer that I gave you in this article is perfect for that type of question. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work. Now that last one is very, very difficult to answer. I will give you a sample response to that question. Here we go.

  • In my previous role, I was asked to undertake a time sensitive task for my manager.
  • She needed me to get together some historical company sales figures, which she would be using for an important presentation the following week.
  • It was my task to make sure I collated the sales figures quickly and accurately before presenting them to my manager on time but unfortunately, I did not listen properly to the brief my manager gave me, and as a result I made a mistake with the figures, which then resulted in me being late with presenting them to her.
  • As soon as I realized I had made the mistake, I informed my manager. I apologized and I asked her for an extra day to get the figures together.
  • I then made sure I carried out the task correctly and my manager went ahead with her presentation.
  • I learned a tremendous amount from that mistake, and in some ways I am glad it happened because my attention to detail skills from that day on improved significantly.

Now it’s really important when you answer that common behavioral interview question. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work that you actually give a situation where you did make a mistake. Do you not say I’ve never made a mistake before? It’s important to show that you own up to your mistakes. You put them right and then you improve, so it does not happen again. That’s a great way, in my opinion, to answer that tough behavioral interview question.

That’s it for behavioral based interview questions.

Now the next thing to do is head through to my website and you can find full set of interview questions and top scoring answers, including the ones I’ve worked through together today so make sure you go through to the website because I’ve also placed more questions on there that I recommend you prepare for. There’s also some really important additional tips that will help you to polish your interview. Make sure you check those out.

I am on a mission to help as many of you as possible to pass your interviews and to help me achieve that goal. Thank you very much for reading, and I wish you all the best for passing your interview. Have a brilliant day!

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