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Top 7 Behavioral Based Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Lisa M. Manley -- Behavioral interview questions are the top tool hiring managers use to evaluate soft skills and to see if you are a fit for their company.

Behavioral interviewing is based on the assumption that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Behavioral interview questions focus on how you handled various work situations in the past and how you responded. Your responses display your skills, abilities, and personality and how you may fit for a specific job.

Per LinkedIn, behavioral interview questions are the top tool hiring managers use to evaluate soft skills—those important traits such as leadership, teamwork, and prioritization. More than 60% of hiring managers say that soft skills are critical, but tough to find. So, it makes sense hiring managers will be asking you behavioral based interview questions to see if you are a fit for their company.

Here are our top 7 Behavioral Based Interview questions you should be prepared to answer:

Have you gone above and beyond your job description? If so, how?

Companies are not looking for average people, they are looking for exemplary employees. You need to add value to your employer, so be prepared with specific stories about doing whatever it takes to not just get the job done, but how you have gone above and beyond. Make sure you share a story that clearly illustrates your abilities to put forth an extra effort.

Give an example of how you prioritize your work schedule

No company wants to hire employees who do not know how to manage their time and meet deadlines. Come up with examples of when you've managed your time efficiently or coped with competing deadlines.

Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it?

This question is in line with the traditional question, where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you want to grow with a company, you first need goals and then need to meet them. If you have not been promoted or something blaringly great, think about small successes. For example, if you had the goal of bringing on a large account that helped sales, tell how you did it.

Did you ever not meet your goals? Why?

It is hard to talk about when you did not meet your goals and this seems contraindicatory to getting a job. Many of us have had sales goals and MBO goals and have met them. However, at some point most people have had a disappointment in life, when a goal was not attained. It could be as simple as, not obtaining a higher education, or being a manager by a specific timeline. When answering these questions, make sure you do not blame others as to why you have not met specific goals. Show goals that point out you have career ambition and are a hard worker. Also talk about how you have not given up and plan on still obtaining those goals.

Give an example of how you worked well on a team?

Most jobs require working in a team or collaborating with others at work, so being prepared to talk about your teamwork and how well you work with a team is critical.

What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?

This question is designed to see how you handle conflict. Conflict can show up at any time and managers want to hire people who can diffuse a situation or see if you are team player. It is common to have times when we do not agree with a co-worker, we can ignore the person, argue with them, or report them to the manager! Try to come up with a situation where you ended up working out the problem with the co-worker, which was best for the work environment.

Have you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor? How?

This question is a little trickier than the last, because it is a supervisor you do not agree with, or are in a difficult situation with. Conflict can be as simple as not agreeing with a work bonus, or how to handle a customer. When handling a difficult situation with a boss mention the traits or past experiences that you depended on to work past the difficulty or conflict. Tell the interviewer about the strategies that you used to address the issue. Share what you learned about handling disputes or other problems with your superiors. Make sure you never criticize the past manager.

Whenever you are looking for a new job and interviewing you need to prepare. Although you do not know exactly what a hiring manager is going to ask, there are typical questions that give hiring managers the answers they are looking for. Prepare for traditional interview questions and behavioral interview questions and you are on your way to a having a great interview.


Lisa Manley is a medical recruiter. For up to date medical headlines and career news visit

© 2018 Lisa M. Manley

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