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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

100 Behavioural Interview Questions – Tips and Examples

18 min read
 100 Behavioural Interview Questions – Tips and Examples
Artwork by:Nadiia Zhelieznova
Behavioural questions will form the bulk of any interview. Hiring managers are most interested in the behaviours that helped you get to your career achievements.

While hiring managers will likely get excited about your long list of outstanding career achievements, they are most interested in how you behave. 

Do you have what it takes to replicate that success in different circumstances and with different people around you? Do your preferred behaviours match the employer culture? Are you the sort of person who is deliberate about how they go about their daily work?

There are countless behavioural questions that a hiring manager can ask during an interview to tease this insight from a candidate. In this blog, we look at twenty separate areas for behavioural interview questions.

  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Personal development
  • Motivation
  • Resilience
  • Decision making
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Ambition
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creativity
  • Resourcefulness
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Willingness to learn
  • Problem solving
  • Work ethic
  • Empathy
  • Cultural awareness

These skills are much discussed in the context of an interview, but the variety of nuances that lies beneath these categories is astounding. Hopefully, this blog will make you think about how you would answer the questions. 

Always remember to answer from the perspective of the hiring manager. What answers would they like to hear – from the point of view of the specific role? Bear in mind the employer culture – that should also inform your answer.

100 Behavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural questions: Teamwork

There won’t be many jobs where you will work entirely alone. Teamwork takes many forms, so expect plenty of questions about how you collaborate with those around you. Lone wolves need not apply. Remember to use the pronoun “we” in such situations.

  • Describe when you had to collaborate with a team from a different department.
  • How do you handle a situation where a team member isn't contributing?
  • Share an example of how you've resolved a conflict within a team.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to step up and lead a team unexpectedly.
  • What strategies do you use to motivate a team during a challenging project?

Behavioural questions: Time management

Time is a commodity that will always be in short supply at work. If you have too much, are you challenging yourself enough? Employers need to feel that they will get the most out of your potential, so tell them just how you are able to walk that fine line between productivity and madness. Make sure that your time management processes are clear in your head.

  • How do you prioritise your tasks to meet challenging deadlines?
  • Describe a situation where you had to juggle multiple projects at one time.
  • What tools or techniques do you use for time management?
  • Can you give an example of when you had to adjust your schedule at the last minute?
  • How do you delegate tasks in a team to ensure timely completion of a project?

Behavioural questions: Personal development

There is nothing wrong with seeming like the sort of person that puts your development right at the top of the priority list. When you develop, your employer inevitably benefits. Talk about personal development goals that align with the demands of the role.

  • What recent skill have you learned that enhanced your performance?
  • Share an experience where feedback led to significant personal growth.
  • How do you stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in your field?
  • What strategies do you use to overcome your personal limitations?
  • How do you approach goal setting when it comes to your medium-term career?

Behavioural questions: Motivation

Motivation is sometimes tough to explain to a stranger. Telling them that you are driven by success is not enough. Talk them through some difficult moments in your career and how your motivation got you to the other side. Know your motivators, both intrinsic and extrinsic. Let them in on what exactly makes you tick — they will be fascinated.

  • How do you maintain high levels of motivation during long-term projects?
  • What strategies do you use to stay motivated when facing repetitive tasks?
  • Share an example of how your personal motivation led to a breakthrough.
  • How do you inspire motivation in others within a creative team environment?
  • What motivates you to continue learning and growing?

Behavioural questions: Resilience

When the going gets tough, do you get going? Resilience is one of the most important behavioural qualities for anyone who wishes to have a fulfilling career. Challenges will appear out of nowhere, but you will not always be successful in conquering them. Being able to bounce back and live to fight another day is a key quality that many employers value.

  • Describe a moment when you faced adversity during a project.
  • Can you share an experience where you had to adapt quickly to a major change?
  • How do you stay focused and productive during times of uncertainty?
  • Describe a time when you had to bounce back from a career setback.
  • Share an example of how you've dealt with a difficult team dynamic.

Behavioural questions: Decision making

Your CV should be a record of great decision making, but it is often the intricate nature of the journey that is more interesting than the eventual result. What decisions did you make? How did your exact input influence the course of events? Business achievements are often a result of many people, so how did your decisions sway the room at that vital moment?

  • Describe a time when you had to make a quick decision.
  • How do you approach risk assessment when making strategic decisions?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to decide without all the information.
  • How do you prioritise tasks and make decisions under tight deadlines?
  • What is your approach to making ethical decisions when profitability is tight?

Behavioural questions: Communication

The working day is filled with words — written and spoken. Sadly, not all of these words help us to do a better job. Communication skills are essential if you want to cut through the noise and tell colleagues, clients, and customers about what is truly important.

  • How do you ensure effective communication during remote work?
  • Can you give an example of how you've handled a miscommunication?
  • What strategies do you use to adapt your communication style?
  • How do you approach delivering difficult feedback to a colleague?
  • What methods do you use to ensure your written communications are effective?

Behavioural questions: Leadership

You don’t have to manage a team to be considered a leader. Leadership centres around having something of value to offer to those around you, so much so that they will likely follow your lead next time. You develop trust, you empower others, and you drive change. Think about what leadership means within your business segment.

  • Describe a leadership challenge you faced and how you resolved it.
  • Can you share an example of how you've mentored someone in your field?
  • How do you balance being a leader and a team player in a startup?
  • Describe a situation where you had to make a tough leadership decision.
  • How do you identify and develop potential leaders within your team?

Behavioural questions: Ambition

You have a fire in your eyes and a yearning in your heart. Is that ambition? Well, no. The desire to do well in life is present in most of us. Ambition is having that desire and working out a way to get there, no matter what the cost. Achieving unreachable goals won’t happen often, but it makes for a great interview story when you do. Employers welcome ambition.

  • How do you plan to achieve your long-term career goals?
  • Describe a time when your ambition drove you to go above and beyond.
  • How do you balance your personal ambitions with the goals of your team?
  • What's the most ambitious project you've undertaken?
  • Describe a time when your ambition helped you overcome a significant challenge.

Behavioural questions: Conflict resolution

If you work with others in any kind of pressure situation, conflict is eventually inevitable. When everyone has slightly differing goals, butting heads every now and again might even be seen as healthy. After all, the best decisions are sometimes made when the survival of the fittest (ideas, etc) kicks in. Conflicts do happen — resolving them is the key to harmony

  • Describe a time when you successfully resolved a conflict within a team.
  • Can you give an example of a conflict you faced during a project?
  • What strategies do you use to mediate conflicts between team members?
  • How do you approach conflict resolution when it involves key stakeholders?
  • What methods do you employ to prevent small misunderstandings from escalating?

Behavioural questions: Creativity

The origins of creativity are not simple to explain. Being open to new ways of doing things and exploring the impossible is often a way to innovation and growth. This is a journey filled with failure and disappointment, so creativity comes hand in hand with the drive to pick yourself up and try another idea. How do you tap into your creativity at work?

  • How do you incorporate innovative thinking into your projects?
  • Can you describe a solution you developed for a challenging problem?
  • Share an example of how you've used creativity to improve a process.
  • How do you foster a creative environment within your team?
  • How do you balance creativity with practicality?

Behavioural questions: Resourcefulness

Are you the type of person to find a way when others give up? Smashing through the seemingly impenetrable wall is not always the way to cross to the other side. Get a ladder. Resourceful people delight in finding the path less trodden and are not afraid to try things. They also tend to be great sources of incremental profitability.

  • Can you provide an example of when you utilised limited resources?
  • Share an instance when you had to think on your feet.
  • How have you leveraged existing tools or processes in a creative way?
  • Describe how you managed to maintain productivity during a resource shortage.
  • How do you identify and utilise untapped resources within a team?

Behavioural questions: Innovation

If you are the type to conjure a rabbit out of a hat, people will flock to be around you. The ability to think of innovative solutions out of thin air will prompt your colleagues to try to work out your brand of genius. An innovative approach can have a halo effect on a team — when one person isn’t afraid to innovate, others will be sure to follow.

  • Can you describe an innovative project you spearheaded?
  • How do you stay ahead of industry trends to drive innovation?
  • Share an example of how you introduced a new process or technology.
  • How do you foster a culture of innovation within your team?
  • How have you incorporated innovative training methods into the workplace?

Behavioural questions: Integrity

It isn’t enough to look the interviewer in the eye and insist that you have integrity. Tell them about situations where your honesty was tested. Have you been trusted with confidential information? Did you do the right thing when you had the chance to bend the rules? There are so many industries and roles where absolute integrity is essential.

  • How do you ensure integrity is maintained when dealing with confidential information?
  • Can you share an example of a time when your integrity was tested?
  • How do you foster an environment of honesty within your team?
  • Describe how you would handle a situation where you noticed unethical behaviour.
  • How do you maintain personal and professional integrity under pressure?

Behavioural questions: Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is not something that is easy to talk about. It will come across as you tell your career stories. Interviewers will probe into the origins of your decisions. How aware were you of those around you? How do you harness your emotions to make things happen?

  • How do you manage your emotions and remain effective under stress?
  • How do you ensure you are attuned to your team's emotions and morale?
  • Describe a scenario where you had to lead by example in managing emotions
  • How do you balance assertiveness with empathy in leadership roles?
  • How have you used emotional intelligence to motivate and inspire your team?

Behavioural questions: Willingness to learn

If your eyes do not burn with a desire to learn and develop your career, the interview won’t last long. Potential employers understand that you are not the finished article — show that you have a track record of picking up new things quickly. 

  • How do you stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in your field?
  • Can you share an example of a skill you recently learned?
  • What strategies do you use to incorporate continuous learning?
  • How do you approach feedback and criticism in your work?
  • Can you give an example of a time when you had to quickly learn a new process.

Behavioural questions: Problem solving

Not all problems have obvious solutions. The easy answer is not always the best answer,  so show that you are someone who is not afraid to look deeper for different ways of getting there. Problem solving is often a process that will uncover new possibilities and pose fresh questions. Employers want to hire someone who will find these unexplored pathways.

  • How do you approach identifying and solving unseen challenges?
  • How did you handle a situation where the standard procedure didn't work?
  • What steps do you take to ensure a thorough analysis of any problem?
  • How do you balance speed and accuracy when solving problems on a deadline?
  • How do you involve your team in the problem-solving process?

Behavioural questions: Work ethic

Working hard is a basic expectation for any employer, right? Well, you might think so, but you would be surprised at just how many candidates fail to mention it during an interview. Leave the employer in no doubt that hard work is at the core of your success. Talent without hard work is not worth much — get ready to tell some stories of hard graft.

  • How do you maintain high standards of quality in your work?
  • What strategies do you use to stay motivated and productive?
  • Share an example of how you went above and beyond for a client or customer.
  • How do you balance your workload to ensure timely delivery?
  • How do you contribute to a positive and productive work environment?

Behavioural questions: Empathy

It is hard to tell a story about how you show empathy, so your answers should be deeply embedded in the situation and demonstrate how an understanding of those involved helped you to achieve your objective. Interviewers can sense your levels of empathy without too much trouble — are the feelings of others central to your decision making at work?

  • Share an example of how you used empathy to handle a difficult customer.
  • Describe a time when showing empathy towards a colleague helped resolve a conflict.
  • How do you balance empathy with maintaining professional boundaries?
  • How do you approach conversations with team members who are resistant to change?
  • How do you ensure your communication reflects empathy?

Behavioural questions: Cultural awareness

This one is the last example of behaviours that employers are looking for, but it is actually one of the most important. In a multicultural and diverse workplace, awareness of a whole range of cultural markers is crucial. If you care about those around you, adapting your behaviours to suit them shouldn’t be too difficult to do. 

  • How do you adapt your communication style to respect diverse cultural backgrounds?
  • Describe a challenge you faced while working in a culturally diverse environment.
  • How do you approach learning about new cultures?
  • What steps do you take to address and prevent cultural misunderstandings?
  • How do you ensure that your leadership style is inclusive and respectful?

Key takeaways

The behavioural questions that you will encounter during an interview will depend on the nature of the role, but they will also depend on the personality of the hiring manager. They are impossible to predict ahead of time, but you can be sure that any such question will have a deeper meaning for your potential future boss. Take your time to answer any behavioural questions carefully — your answers will be analysed carefully.

  1. Answer with evidence from career stories where possible.
  2. Be honest and open with your answers — don’t be evasive.
  3. Think through a list of potential questions beforehand.
  4. Make sure that you talk about behaviours — not achievements.
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