Mastering the Art of Responding to Behavioral Interview Questions

When an interviewer started a question with, “Tell me about a time when…,” did you flinch?  These are behavioral interview questions, which many candidates find challenging to answer. 

Employers frequently use behavioral interview questions to gauge your soft skills.  It takes thought and concentration to respond correctly to behavioral questions, and there is a certain art to doing so. We can support you there.

Continue reading to find out what types of behavioral interview questions to anticipate, how to respond to them, and general advice.

What are Inquiries about Behavior during Interviews?

You are asked to discuss how you have handled genuine work situations in behavioral interview questions. They aid interviewers in determining your work ethic and how you handle challenging situations you might run into at work.

In the second interview for a job, behavioral questions are usually asked. More general questions about your work history are typically asked during the initial phone interview for the screening process.

How to Recognize a Behavioral Interview Question when it is Being Asked

The majority of the time, it is simple to identify behavioral interview questions. They begin with expressions like:

  • “Describe a time when…”
  • “Explain a time when…”
  • Have you ever encountered a circumstance where…
  • How do you respond to circumstances where…
  • “Can you give an instance of…”

A behavioral interview question is one in which your interviewer requests an illustration of a specific soft skill.

Common Questions to Expect

  • Changing with the organization
  • assigning tasks
  • dealing with conflict
  • either motivating oneself or others
  • accepting failure
  • Skills for group collaboration and teamwork
  • Leadership qualities

Depending on the position you’re applying for and the company culture, you’ll be asked different questions. For instance, behavioral questions about your conflict resolution skills may be asked during an interview for an HR position. Preparation is required.

Suggested Read- 10 Most Common Interview Questions and Their Answers

If your interviewer asks one of the following frequently asked questions, don’t be shocked.

  • What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to adjust to change.
  • Describe a time when you overcame failure.
  • Describe a time when you had a challenging situation to deal with.
  • Have you ever had to settle a significant conflict at work?
  • Give an example of a time when you were able to inspire someone else.
  • Tell me about a time when effective written communication was important.

Step-by-step: STAR method of answering questions

For responding to behavioral interview questions, use the STAR method. STAR is short for:

Situation: Describe the situation’s background information, including who, what, when, where, and why.

Explain how you are responsible for the situation. What were you required to do?

Action: Describe how you addressed, resolved, or finished the task.

Result: Describe the result. What did you manage to do? What effect have you had?

The technique offers a structure for developing an engaging narrative about your actions in various work-related scenarios.

It demonstrates to interviewers what they can anticipate from you based on past behavior rather than telling them how you hope to behave.

The best way to ace behavioral interview questions:

List your “greatest hit” Stories.

Make a list of instances at work where you showed professionalism or had a positive impact before the interview process starts. Having a list of examples to choose from makes it simpler than trying to remember every possible behavioral question and its corresponding response.

You can modify your tales to answer various kinds of queries. A tale that you believed would be appropriate for a question on adapting to change, for instance, could also show leadership.

Regularly review your list. During the interview, you should quickly recall stories.

Avoid personal examples and instead use ones from your professional life.

Keep your personal stories to a minimum and focus only on your professional experiences. The interviewer is interested in how you conduct yourself at work. Different types of behavior are required for our professional lives than for our personal lives.

Introducing personal experiences will come across as awkward and inappropriate.

Suggested Read- Interview Preparation Checklist: 18 Tips to Get the Job

Mastering the Art of Responding to Behavioral Interview Questions

Think Things Through Before Responding.

Before responding to questions, take a brief pause to gather your thoughts. While a protracted silence isn’t ideal, it’s preferable to forgetting your story or the question you’re responding to in the middle of speaking.

To avoid stuttering in the middle of an answer, prepare your response in advance.

If you make a mistake with an answer, try not to let it make you feel insecure. The remainder of the interview and your email thanking the interviewer will still give you a chance to impress them.


Are you ready to conquer behavioral interview questions with confidence and finesse? The ultimate secret lies in the power of practice, especially when coupled with professional interview preparation classes. By enrolling in these classes, you’ll gain valuable insights into the techniques, strategies, and frameworks needed to excel in behavioral interviews.

With hands-on practice, you’ll fine-tune your responses, improve your communication skills, and develop a keen understanding of what employers are looking for. Unlock your potential and enhance your chances of acing behavioral interview questions by embarking on this transformative journey through interview preparation classes.

Give numbers and details.

Give specific responses that highlight the quantifiable outcomes of your actions. Put another way, pay attention to the bottom line. 

Did your capacity for change result in higher earnings or productivity? Perhaps your dedication to innovation resulted in a number of new collaborations. The quantifiable is preferred by your interviewer over the abstract.

Be Upbeat in your Responses.

Focus on remaining optimistic. You’ll almost certainly guarantee your interviewer has a negative impression of you if you come across as insecure or overly critical of yourself.

You must draw a lesson from the experience, even when discussing failures. Even though nobody is perfect, concentrate on your advantages.

Try not to memorize.

Word-for-word answers from memory will make you sound stilted and artificial. Instead, concentrate on internalizing your STAR story outlines as you outline your stories. When responding, follow the outline as a guide, but be loose and genuine. If the humor fits the question’s context, it’s acceptable to use a little humor.

Be truthful.

Give truthful responses. Your sincerity will most likely be discovered if you embellish or lie. 

Additionally, avoid being a blusterer who always presents themselves as the victim. You’ll only cast doubt on your true abilities in front of the interviewer. Own your accomplishments and mistakes.

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