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Behavioral Interview Questions To Ask

Written by: Rikka Brandon
Published on: Jun 11, 2018

Person interview questions picture

Behavioral Interview questions have long been a favorite of HR Managers and Hiring Managers. The idea behind Behavioral Interview Questions is that they give you a glimpse into the job applicant’s work ethic, their approach to challenges, and their ability to work as a team.

I believe Behavioral Interview Questions should be part of your selection process.

Behavioral Interview Questions can’t stand alone though. They need you to be an active listener who asks for clarification or qualification until you understand. Often, the greatest value comes from outside the scope of their initial answer.

The key to Behavioral Interview Questions is that they ask about a SPECIFIC example or situation.


Here are some Behavioral Interview Questions to ask:


  • Tell me about a time that you went above and beyond for a customer.
  • Give me an example of a time that a co-worker frustrated you and how you handled it.
  • Describe a situation when you had to resolve conflict in the workplace.
  • Tell me about a time you had to convince someone to complete a task your way. Or to do something they didn’t want to do.
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal and achieved it.
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal and DIDN'T achieve it.
  • Tell me about a specific thing about your favorite leader that really had a positive impact on you.
  • Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decision.

As you can see, Behavioral Interview Questions set the stage for job applicants to tell you about their skills, their experience, and their approach. All of which can be very helpful in determining their fit for the job.

However, I think the greatest value is from the simple fact that many people don’t actually answer the question you asked. For example:

Tell me about a time that you went above and beyond for a

Response: Well, at ABC Company we prided ourselves on the
customer always being right. It allowed me to really go above and
beyond in many ways.

Do you see the problem?

The response doesn't actually answer the question! It was a nice, articulate response – but skirted the actual question being asked.

The true value of behavioral questions is the fact that you get an insider view of if they will actually listen and follow instructions. Most people – around 50-60% will give a specific answer once you ask the question a second time. However, there is a section of the population that really believes they are answering the question and they will begin to get annoyed with you because you are asking them the same thing repeatedly.

That, my friend, is a pretty clear sign that they are often going to have trouble following your instructions and probably not someone you want to hire.

Want to download the Behavioral Interview Questions? Click Here.


Don't forget to complement these interview questions with Functional Interview Questions.

P.S. Check out this post for other indications that you probably don't want to hire someone.



Rikka Brandon is the author of the best-selling book Hire Power: Everything Entrepreneurs Need To Know To Hire Awesome People. She’s the creator of the Hire Power Program, an online program designed to help small businesses build a rock-solid recruiting strategy and stop settling when they hire. She’s the Founder of and  Building Gurus. Rikka is the go-to girl for growth-minded entrepreneurs and forward-thinking business leaders and is considered as the USA’s Top Hiring Expert for Small Businesses.