Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interview questions are designed to make you describe and explain very specific situations or events.  The interviewers are looking for details rather than generalizations. They examine how you behaved in the past rather than asking how you would behave. This is their way of gaining objective information rather than making subjective judgments. When answering behavioral interview questions it may be helpful to use the SAR format:

Situation – Action – Result

  • Situation: Describe the problem/event.  What were the facts?  Who was involved?
  • Action: What was your plan?  What action did you or others take?
  • Result: Describe the outcome.  Howe did you feel?  Will this affect future actions?

Sample Behavioral Interview Questions


Communication Skills

Tell about a time in which you had to use your spoken communication skills to persuade others.
Tell about a job experience in which you had to speak up to let others know your thoughts or feelings.
Describe a situation in which you were able to positively influence the actions of others in a desired direction.
What is your typical way  of dealing with conflict? Give an example.

Setting Goals

Give an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and how you succeeded in reaching it.
What is a goal you have set for yourself right now? What is your plan for reaching that goal?
Tell about a time when you tried something new and failed.

Decision Making

Describe in detail the process you generally go through to make a decision.
Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision. What was the outcome?

Problem Solving

Give an example of a time in which you had to use your fact-finding skills to gain information for solving a problem. How did you analyze the information to come to a decision?
Give an example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

Team Work

Describe a specific time when you used teamwork to get a job done.
Describe the role you generally take during group work. Are you comfortable taking a different role if needed?
Describe a time in which you were able to build motivation in your co-workers or classmates.
Describe a time in which you felt it was necessary to modify or change your actions in order to respond to the needs of another person.


Describe a time when something unexpected and difficult happened. How did you overcome that difficulty?
Describe a time during any  job you’ve held in which you were faced with problems or stresses which tested your coping skills. What did you do?
Give an example of a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy  with which you did not agree.
Given a specific example of a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.

Work Environment

Describe the most important project/written document/presentation you were asked to complete.
Describe the most creative work project you have ever carried out.
Tell about a time when you had too many things to do and had to prioritize your tasks.