By Maya Kosoff
Last updated: Apr 5, 2023
Behavioral interview questions are an important part of the hiring process. In this article, you’ll find 33 behavioral questions to ask candidates.
Interviewing candidates is about getting to know them and assessing their fit for a role. For that reason, it’s important to ask questions that will show who the candidate is beyond their resume. That’s where behavioral interview questions come in.
Behavioral interview questions are an important part of the hiring process. They help the interviewer evaluate the candidate’s work experience and work style. As an interviewer, you need to know which behavioral questions to ask — and as a candidate, you should think about how to answer them.
In this article, we’re delving into behavioral interview questions. We’ll cover:
Let’s get into it.
Behavioral interview questions are questions that allow candidates to share how they’ve handled specific past situations. These questions typically delve into how candidates have used certain knowledge and skills — particularly soft skills — to navigate different situations in prior work environments.
As explained by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Behavioral-based interviewing is a technique which focuses on a candidate's past experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities.”
Behavioral questions typically begin with statements such as, “Tell me about a situation…” or, “Give me an example of a time...” To respond, interviewees must dig into their background and give specific examples and details from their past experiences.
Want to know more about interviewing candidates? Check out our article: “Common Interview Questions”
Behavioral interview questions help interviewers get a sense of a candidate’s ability to perform in the role they’re interviewing for.
By reviewing examples from a candidate’s past work experience and performance, interviewers can get a more realistic and nuanced sense of the candidate, including:
Looking at a candidate’s past behavior, skills, and critical thinking experience in this way can reveal if the candidate has the attributes necessary to match the job requirements of the role.
Behavioral interview questions can be difficult to respond to as a candidate, but they’re also hard to come up with on the fly as an interviewer. It’s also a best practice to determine the behavioral interview questions you’ll ask every candidate ahead of time and keep them consistent for all candidates. This will help you best evaluate the different candidates for a role.
To help you prepare for the interview, we’ve compiled a list of 33 behavioral interview questions that can be tailored to specific organizations and roles. If you have an interview coming up, we recommend that you study up on these questions — regardless of whether you’re a hiring manager or a candidate interviewing for a job.
The best answers will include a description of the situation (the specific context a candidate found themself in and who was involved), the action (the specific action(s) the candidate took and why), and the result (a clear description of the outcomes the candidate achieved).
To make the list a little easier for you to navigate, we’ve sorted the questions into the following categories:
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