Behavioral Job Interview

A behavioral job interview question usually starts with “Tell me about a time when you…”  Most interviews have at least a few behavioral questions in them, so it’s important to understand what they are, and how to prepare for them.

The purpose of a behavioral interview question is to get you to talk about your past experiences and more important relate them to the job that you are interviewing for.

The Key to a Successful Behavioral Job Interview

Tie your experience and background to the qualifications the interviewer is looking for in your prospective job. 

Commonly asked Behavioral Job Interview Questions

Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a co-worker. 

The interviewer wants to get a sense of your conflict resolution skills.

Avoid vilifying the person who you had a conflict with, and instead focus on how you empathized with their position, and found common ground between you to achieve a resolution.

Tell me about a time when you overcame a difficult issue at work. 

The interviewer is looking at how you approach challenging problems. 

Clearly define what the issue was, the approach you took in overcoming it, and what the successful resolution looked like.

Tell me about a time where you experienced failure.

The interviewer wants to know how you dealt with failure and more importantly what you learned from it. 

Don’t focus overly much describing the failure itself, but rather spend most of your time talking about what you would do differently if you had a chance.  This shows the interviewer that you can learn from your mistakes, which is an important job skill.

Check out the Job Interview Questions section of this site for many more examples of the types of questions you can expect to see in an interview, and tips on how to answer them.