Example List of Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral questions are particularly useful for interviewing candidates when you are trying to asses TRANSFERABLE skills and experience.

They therefore offer a useful methodology for assessing the quality of a candidate you may be considering hiring from outside the company’s historical talent pool – digital agencies hiring candidates for their expertise in mobile  for example,  or “traditional” Planners hiring social media strategists.

The following list of headings and examples is meant as a guideline only of course – every role requires its own specific questions to be asked at interview stage.  About 2 questions under 6-8 of the headings below at 1st interview stage should be a thorough way of screening someone’s suitability for a role – and leave time in the interview for them to ask you questions of course!


Describe a major change that occurred in a job that you held. How did you adapt to this change?
What do you do when priorities change quickly? Give one example of when this happened.

Tell us about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
Tell us about the last time that you undertook a project that demanded a lot of initiative.
Tell us how you keep your job knowledge current with the on-going changes in the industry.
What impact did you have in your last job?

Analytical Thinking
Tell us about a job or setting where great precision to detail was required to complete a task. How did you handle that situation?
Tell us about a time when you had to analyze information and make a recommendation. What kind of thought process did you go through? What was your reasoning behind your decision?

Building Relationships
Give a specific example of a time when you had to address an angry customer/client. What was the problem and what was the outcome? How would you assess your role in diffusing the situation?
Tell us about a time when you built rapport quickly with someone under difficult conditions.
What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining successful business relationships? Give examples of how you made these work for you.

Have you ever worked in a situation where the rules and guidelines were not clear? Tell me about it. How did you feel about it? How did you react?

How do you go about explaining a complex technical problem to a person who does not understand technical jargon? What approach do you take in communicating with people?
Describe the most significant written document, report or presentation which you had to complete.

Management Skills

How do you keep direct reports informed about information that affects their jobs?
Have you ever had a direct report whose performance was consistently marginal? What did you do?
responding correctly?

Conflict Resolution
Describe a time when you took personal accountability for a conflict and initiated contact with the individual(s) involved to explain your actions.

Client handling
How do you handle problems with clients? Give an example.
How do you go about establishing rapport with a client? What have you done to gain their confidence? Give an example.
What have you done to improve relations with your clients?

Decision Making
Discuss an important decision you have made regarding a task or project at work. What factors influenced your decision?
What was your most difficult decision in the last 6 months? What made it difficult?
When you have to make a highly technical decision, how do you go about doing it?

Do you consider yourself a macro or micro manager? How do you delegate?
How do you make the decision to delegate work?
What was the biggest mistake you have had when delegating work? The biggest success?

Interpersonal Skills
Describe a recent unpopular decision you made and what the result was.
What have you done in the past to contribute toward a teamwork environment?

Describe the most creative work-related project which you have carried out.
Tell us about a suggestion you made to improve the way job processes/operations worked. What was the result?

Describe a time when you were asked to keep information confidential.
Trust requires personal accountability. Can you tell about a time when you chose to trust someone? What was the outcome?

Introducing Change
Have you ever met resistance when implementing a new idea or policy to a work group? How did you deal with it? What happened?
When is the last time you had to introduce a new idea or procedure to people on this job? How did you do it?

Have you ever been a member of a group where two of the members did not work well together? What did you do to get them to do so?
What is the toughest group that you have had to get cooperation from? Describe how you handled it. What was the outcome?

Motivating Others
How do you get team members to produce at a high level? Give an example.
How do you manage cross-functional teams?

Describe the most challenging negotiation in which you were involved. What did you do? What were the results for you? What were the results for the other party?

Give me an example of a project that best describes your organizational skills.
What do you do when your schedule is suddenly interrupted? Give an example.

Describe a situation in which you were able to positively influence the actions of others in a desired direction.
Describe a time when you were able to convince a skeptical or resistant customer to purchase a project or utilize your services.

Tell us about the most effective presentation you have made. What was the topic? What made it difficult? How did you handle it?
What kinds of oral presentations have you made? How did you prepare for them? What challenges did you have?

Describe how you prepare for a sales call for a new client.
Tell us about your most difficult sales experience.
Tell us about your sales volume over the past three years. What have you done to influence it?

Self Assessment
Can you recall a time when you were less than pleased with your performance?
In what ways are you trying to improve yourself?
What do you consider to be your professional strengths? Give me a specific example using this attribute in the workplace.
What was the most useful criticism you ever received?

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Claire Griffin on LinkedIn