How to Answer Tough Behavioral Interview Questions?

Behavioral Interview Questions Answers

Many big organizations hold behavioral job interviews while looking for candidates for a particular job profile. Job candidates often find it difficult to understand the difference between a regular job interview and a behavioral interview. There is no difference in the format of how both job interviews are conducted. The only difference is the type of questions asked during both the interviews. While regular interview questions are generic and require you to give straightforward answers, behavioral interview questions are more probing and specific in nature.


Before we talk about the common behavioral interview questions, let’s first understand–


What is a Behavioral Job Interview?

The behavioral interview is a type of interviewing technique wherein the interviewer judges the candidate on the basis of how s/he handled specific work-related situations in the past to decide whether s/he is suitable for the job position or not. A behavioral interview majorly focuses on understanding the candidate’s professional conduct.


Why do Employers Ask Behavioral Interview Questions?

The simple logic behind the behavioral interviewing technique is to predict a candidate’s future performance based on his/her past performance in certain work-related situations. As compared to the regular job interview questions, behavioral interview questions help in predicting a candidate’s future on-the-job behavior and performance more accurately. Therefore, while interviewing for job roles related to management, client handling, etc., candidates are more likely to encounter questions that focus more on the behavioral aspects.

Also Read – Behavioral Job Interview Questions asked by interviewer


Which are the Most Common Behavioral Interview Questions?

Here’s a list of behavioral questions that are commonly asked during a job interview:

– How do you handle stress / pressure?

– Tell us about a difficult work situation and how you handled it?

– What motivates you?

– Are you a team player?

– How would your colleagues describe you?


Tips to Prepare Answers for Different Behavioral Interview Questions

The best way to answer behavioral interview questions is by quoting examples from real life. Everybody faces some or the other difficult situation at work every day. Nobody can avoid difficult situations, but how one handles such situations sets them apart from the rest.

Outlined below are a few tips on how to answer different types of behavioral interview questions:


Q1. How to Answer the Interview Question: ‘How do you Handle Stress / Pressure?’

The interviewer does not want to hear that you never get stressed. Stress is an inevitable part of work and some job roles are highly stressful. What the interviewer wants to know is that how well you work in a stressful situation. The best way to answer this question is to talk about a work situation where you were given multiple difficult tasks to work on and how you successfully completed them without denying how stressful the work environment got at times. Show the interviewer how you rose above the situation and found a way to complete each task.

Also Read – Tips to De-stress at work


Q2. How to Answer the Interview Question: ‘Tell us About a Difficult Work Situation and How You Handled it?’

There are different types of situations that qualify as difficult. Sometimes it is an excessive workload while other times it could be working with a difficult boss or co-workers. Whatever situation you may decide to share during the interview just make sure that you don’t sound negative at all. Before talking about how you dealt with the situation, first explain the whole story briefly. Otherwise, the interviewer may not be able to understand the context clearly.


Q3. How to Answer the Interview Question: ‘What Motivates You?’

This is one question most job candidates find difficult to answer because it is open-ended. The most common answers include money, designation, making a difference, bringing results, meeting and interacting with different people, etc. None of these answers are incorrect, however, the interviewer wants to get a peek into your personality and figure out what gets you excited and passionate about the work. Make sure you portray your personality in the correct manner. Read More


Q4. How to Answer the Interview Question: ‘Are You a Team Player?’

The motive behind asking this question is to understand whether or not:

– You get along with teammates

– You collaborate effectively with people

– You can motivate team members

– You can help solve conflicts

– You can deal with difficult people

You don’t have to talk about each of these aspects. Just pick one or two and explain them clearly with real life examples.

Also Read – How to Answer the Interview Question: ‘What’s Your Greatest Strength?’


Q5. How to Answer the Interview Question: ‘How Would Your Co-workers Describe You?’

The best way to answer this question is to know what your co-workers actually think about you. Answering with honesty is important here. Reflect back on all the times when your co-workers appreciated you for something. Make a list and pick up the most recent incident to share with the job interviewer. However, your answer shouldn’t just stop at what your colleagues think about you. You must also share the reason behind why they feel a certain way with an example.

Hiring managers and employers use behavioral questions to get an idea whether or not a candidate has the skills and competencies required for performing a job well. Hence, preparing well for the behavioral interview questions is crucial for the job interview success.

All the best!


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Categories: Interview Tips

About Megha Raizada

Megha Raizada is a professional writer with a keen interest in the global job market. She loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. When not writing or browsing the Internet, you will find her creating furniture out of used tires.

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