Behavioral questions play an important role in an interview since they help the interviewer analyze a candidate’s underlying nature. In addition, they are used to examine prospective employees’ professional qualities such as collaborative problem solving, time management, leadership, and adaptability.
Behavioral questions often come within a particular context. The interviewer presents the candidate with a situation and a requirement. After gathering all the information, the candidate should come up with a possible solution to the issue or share a reaction to that particular situation.
Designing behavioral questions can be a tricky thing. Here are some examples that can get you started with this type of question.
Top 7 behavioral questions you should ask in an interview
1. What’s your reaction when you receive criticism at work?
This question helps you determine the ability to handle adverse situations. In most corporate jobs, employees receive criticism for their work. The ideal candidate should be able to internalize that criticism and learn from it. Thus, the ability to take criticism without getting defensive is very important.
2. How do you handle disagreements with your co-workers?
In typical office scenarios, disagreements between co-workers are common. It just means that 2 people have different perspectives on a situation. However, it’s also important to resolve such conflicts quickly and appropriately.
Asking this question will help you evaluate a candidate’s empathy. It’ll also help you identify any underlying issues with assertiveness. For example, a strong candidate should be able to maintain diplomatic relations while conveying their ideas. Playing an opposing role during this question and standing against the candidate’s answer can help you see how they react to disagreements.
3. Describe an experience where you had to take on additional responsibilities for a project.
When an employee is on leave or has left the company, their co-workers have to take on additional responsibility. This might mean that the employee has to take up roles/challenges that fall outside their scope of expertise.
This question helps the recruiter understand how a potential candidate tackles difficult problems. Furthermore, this question allows the interviewer to gauge the interviewee’s ability to ask for help if needed.
4. How do you deal with strict deadlines/pressure at work?
Deadlines are an integral part of any job. They help monitor progress and determine a candidate’s productivity. But sometimes, they can lead to high work pressure and stress.
This question will determine a candidate’s time management and consistency skills. A decent candidate should be able to respond to obstacles and learn from their struggles. If they’re unable to handle the workload (or have no bandwidth), it’s their responsibility to inform their supervisor so that they can take appropriate action (assigning that task to someone else, or by using a team augmentation approach to fix the project).
5. How do you react if your work hinders your personal life?
When employees are overburdened, that feeling tends to seep into their personal lives. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a good work-life balance to avoid burnout. Sometimes, employees with a bad work-life balance can also be seen as inefficient. However, every situation is different, so you shouldn’t judge anyone’s choices.
This question is important as it helps you understand a candidate’s priorities. It also allows you to see how that candidate deals with work pressure. A great candidate should come across as responsible, not as a workaholic.
6. How do you handle low points at work?
Everyone has low points in their job. Maybe you did something wrong, or you’re unable to deliver on a project. Low points can seriously hamper productivity and affect performance if not dealt with.
Asking candidates about handling low points is essential for checking their adaptability skills. Good employees motivate themselves and recover from low points quickly.
7. How would you react if you were unhappy at work?
There can be many reasons why an employee can become dissatisfied with their jobs. Maybe it’s their co-workers. Maybe there are problems at home they’re not addressing. Or maybe they feel stuck in their current role and want to move on to something challenging.
This question will help you understand how an employee will handle the challenging phases of their corporate career. This will also assist you in analyzing how the candidate maintains accountability and accomplishes work goals while handling low moments.
Behavioral questions allow you to analyze a candidate’s personality and understand how they behave in a professional environment. Asking these questions in an interview will help you filter candidates and choose one that’s most suited for the role.
However, it’s important to mention that asking these questions and assessing the answers they might prompt can be a complex endeavor. That’s why you need to plan your questions carefully and in detail. Alternatively, you can use team augmentation for audit and feedback to make sure you have the best questionnaire.