Behavioural Interview Questions

Many of you are moving away from a resume-driven style of interviewing to a behavioural format. The behavioural interview is very probing in nature and is based on the concept that a candidate's past behaviour and attitude will be predictable measure of future behaviour. Navigating these interviews successfully requires that the candidate know themselves very well. You can detect whether or not they are prepared for this quite promptly.

Your goal is to assess:

  • Why the candidate made the decisions they have made that have brought them to this point in their lives?
  • How they explain and defend their decisions?

Questions that you might consider asking are as follows:

  • How have you demonstrated initiative?
  • How have you motivated yourself to complete an assignment or task that you did not want to do?
  • Think about a difficult boss, professor or other person and what made him/her difficult? How did you successfully interact with this person?
  • Think about a complex project or assignment that you have been assigned. What approach did you take to complete it?
  • Tell me about the riskiest decision that you have made.
  • Can you tell me about an occasion where you needed to work with a group to get a job done?
  • Describe when you were in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked with a person who did things very differently from you. How did you get the job done?
  • Describe your three greatest accomplishments to date.
  • Tell me about a situation when you had to learn something new in a short time. How did you proceed?
  • Can you tell me about a complex problem that you solved? Describe the process you utilized.
  • Tell me about a challenge that you successfully met.
  • Walk me through a situation where you had to do research and analyze the results.
  • What leadership positions have you held? Describe your leadership style.
  • What new ideas have you generated while at school or at work?
  • Describe a situation where you successfully persuaded others to do something or to see your point of view.
  • Give an example of when your persistence payed off.
  • Describe a situation where class assignments, work, or personal activities conflicted. How did you prioritize? How did you manage your time? What was the outcome?
  • How have you most constructively dealt with disappointment and turned it into a learning experience?