No matter where your career path takes you, you can guarantee a face-to-face interview will be included in your journey. While each company will be looking for different personality types and skillsets during these interviews, they will also include behavioral interview questions.
The questions are similar among most fields and are intended to create a clear view at your decision-making skills, approach to logic problems, and general temperament. These questions might be asked by a hiring manager or by a recruiter, so it is best to get prepared to answer behavioral interview questions early on.
Here are 40 of the most common behavioral interview questions and suggestions for answering them.
Questions Regarding Customer Service Skills
1. Can you describe a time when you had to deal with a particularly difficult customer or client?
Approach this question with respect for the customer or client you are describing. Be honest but avoid mocking language that can make you look like you do not respect the customer/ client in question.
2.Describe a time when you took action to increase the number of customers or clients at your job.
Come at this question with realistic and honest numbers. If you say something like, “I doubled the customers at my last job,” the interviewer is unlikely to believe you. Instead, try focusing on verifiable and realistic numbers that would be backed by former supervisors or managers.
3. What do you do to build a relationship with a new customer?
Just provide some general information on ways you like to approach new customers that helps you build a rapport. No need to be overly specific.
4. Have you ever been dishonest with a customer? Do you feel the dishonesty was justified?
Avoid trying to justify lies that only benefited you or the company. Instead, focus on a situation where you used dishonesty to benefit the customer or keep them safe. Alternatively, you can say you cannot recall ever lying to a customer.
Questions Regarding Sales Skills
5. Have you ever made a sale to a difficult customer? How did you do it?
You can brag a bit here but focus more on the specific ways you developed a relationship with the customer.
6. What is your proudest moment as a salesperson?
This is a good place to talk about your biggest sale, selling a product nobody else could, or a similar situation.
7. How do you approach sales negotiations? Is there a particular technique you like to use?
Look into sales techniques and approaches used by professionals. Does your style match one? That gives you a good topic of discussion and helps you to look knowledgeable.
8. What do you like most about sales positions? What do you like the least?
You can be honest when answering these types of questions but choose your words wisely. You don’t want it to seem like sales are something you refuse to do or are incapable of doing.
Questions Regarding Leadership Skills
9. Have you ever overseen a group or team? How would you describe your leadership style?
Look into the terminology of leadership styles so you can use educated wording when discussing your style. (e.g., pacesetting, affiliative, autocratic, etc.)
10. Describe your most challenging moment as a leader. How did you handle it?
Focus more on the information regarding how you handled the situation than information on why the moment was so tough.
11. What is the most difficult project you have overseen? What made it more difficult than other projects?
It is okay to be honest on questions like these, but always avoid throwing your manager or previous company’s standards under the bus.
12.Describe a time when your team lacked motivation. What did you do to increase morale?
Make sure that any information you provide in these questions matches your answers to similar questions (like questions regarding your leadership style).
13. How do you approach settings goals and deadlines for your team?
Avoid answers that make you come across as an unfair or uncommunicative leader. (e.g., “My team knows to check the schedule on their own. I don’t have to tell them goals directly.”)
14. If a teammate informs you that they will be late on a deadline, how do you handle the situation?
Use questions like these to show that you are a fair leader and capable of assisting your team in times of struggle while also improving upon your teams’ skills.
Questions Regarding the Handling of Work-Place Pressure
15. Have you ever had a conflict with a co-worker or supervisor? How did you handle the situation?
While it is recommended to be honest, avoid language that makes you comes across as antagonistic or easily angered.
16. What is the most stressful situation you have ever dealt with while working? How did you overcome it?
This is a great place to show that you can work well under pressure.
17. If a coworker were to express to you that they are stressed or overwhelmed, what would you do?
You can come across as a great team player here, but do not give the impression that your work will go undone trying to bend over backwards for others.
18. Describe a time when your routine changed suddenly. How did you handle it?
This question is meant to show if you can handle sudden change. Reflect that you can in your answer.
19. Do you recall a time when you discovered a co-worker was doing something incorrect or against the rules? What did you do?
This question is intended to determine whether you are more committed to the loyalty of coworkers or the company.
Questions Regarding Personal Accountability
20. When is a time that you made a mistake while working, and how did you handle it?
Try to choose a mistake that did not have an immensely negative affect on the company. Always choose a situation you had a hand in resolving versus a situation that resolved itself or a manager resolved.
21. When you are left to manage your own work performance, how do you stay motivated?
Look up self-motivation and management techniques to learn terminology to use in your answer.
22. How do you approach the prioritization of your personal goals?
This question helps the interviewer to determine how you analyze priorities. For this purpose, you should try discussing goals that are very deadline focused.
23. Describe a goal you made for yourself, personal or in business, that you have reached. How did you do it?
Ensure that your answer shows actual steps you took to reaching your goal. Avoid vague answers like, “I made a goal to get a new car and saved up until I could afford one.”
Questions Regarding Logical Thinking and Analytical Skills
24. Can you remember a time when you were asked to complete a task that was new or difficult for you? How did you handle it?
This question is a way for the interviewer to see how you approach learning new skills on the fly. Be sure to focus on a task where you can easily express the skills you needed to learn and how you did it, specifically.
25. What moment from your previous work or education experience are you most proud of?
Brag about yourself a bit here. It is the perfect time to mention something that you could not find a place for on your resume or CV.
26. Has a company or client ever implemented a permanent changed based on work you completed? Describe the change and how you inspired it.
These types of questions can feel awkward because they invite you to brag about yourself. Focus on the facts of the situation and try to stick to an example that is verifiable.
27. If a customer asks you a question but you do not know the answer, what do you do?
The right answer to this question is always some form of, “I would let them know I don’t have the answer, but that I would get it for them.” The overall focus is to ensure that you do not ignore your responsibilities by passing difficult situations off to your supervisor or a coworker.