Behavioral interview questions

Interviewers will ask you about various work-related situations, such as a situation when you felt pressure in work, a conflict you had with one of your colleagues, a goal you achieved,or failed to achieve, etc.

The logic of the behavioral interview is that if you approached a certain situation in a certain way in the past, you will likely act in a similar manner in the future.

And because science has proved several times that we follow certain way of acting, and formulas of thinking throughout our entire adult life (most of these formulas we develop in our childhood), behavioral interviewing certainly makes sense.

Of course, people can change, and they do change, but more often than not the way you acted in the past tells a lot about the way you will act in the future….

Summarized and underlined, behavioral questions belong to the most popular questions the interviewers use. Unless you apply for a very simple job (think waiter, lifeguard, stocker), you will have to deal with them in your interview, even if you apply for your first job, and have no previous working experience.


Most common questions

  • Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.
  • Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service (for the customer, for the colleague)
  • Describe a situation when you reached a goal and tell us how you achieved it.
  • Describe a situation when you had to motivate someone in work.
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset client.
  • Describe a situation when you did not agree with the opinion (or decision) of your superior or supervisor, and knew that they were wrong. How did you handle that?
  • Describe a time when you struggled with motivation in job. How did you overcome the crisis?
  • Describe a time when you were tempted to start a relationship with your colleague (or a client, or a customer).
  • Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a customer. How did you manage to get your message over?
  • Describe a difficult decision you had to make in your professional career. How did making this decision affect you?
  • Describe the biggest failure of your professional career.
  • Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?


A rule of thumb is that you should always try to narrate a situation that had a positive outcome (when you handled the stress, solved the conflict, achieved the goal, etc). Another important thing is to not show any negativity when you speak about your former colleagues and bosses. And when you talk about a negative experience (failing to achieve a goal, struggling in work, etc), you should always try to point out the lesson you learned in the situation, and how it helped you to become a better worker (manager, designer, nurse, doctor, programmer, etc).

If you would like to see sample answers to the common behavioral interview questions (including great answers for people who apply for their first job), check our Interview Success Package.