Behavioural Interview Tips

Behavioural interviews are a structured style of interview that has become increasingly popular due to their effectiveness. They are based on the premise that your previous behaviour will indicate your future performance. These types of interviews can be intimidating if you aren’t prepared.

Below are a few examples of behavioural interview questions which highlight specific competencies and behaviours in the workplace. These can be used as a guide to prepare for an interview.

Q: Tell me about a time when a project you were in charge of fell behind schedule. What did you do about it?

A: The best project managers identify potential problems before they occur and build time into their schedules to deal with unexpected obstacles. The aim of this question is see how you responded to problems in the past and how effective your actions were in keeping the project on schedule.

Q: Give an example of an instance when you worked with someone who you found difficult to get along with. How did you handle the situation?

A: This question is used to assess how you have handled difficult interpersonal relationships in the past. Good responses will show that you have had experience dealing with various personality types and are comfortable with your ability to handle such situations. Your attitudes toward dealing with difficult people will be closely looked at. Are you open and understanding, or easily annoyed? Looking back, how do you feel today about “difficult” people from your past?

Q: What are some of the biggest responsibilities you’ve had in the past?

A: This question is used to find out how much responsibility you have taken on in the past. The interviewer will then probe you on specific types of responsibilities in which you were entrusted. You may also be asked whom you reported to and how frequently. Responsibilities you have held in previous roles will be compared with those you will have in the position being applied for. How similar is the reporting structure in this company to the one that you are used to?

Q: Have you ever had difficulty getting others to agree with your decisions? How did you handle it?

A: This question is used to assess your openness to input and feedback from those below you. The interviewer will look at how you prefer to receive feedback from the people you work with. They may also want to gauge how you synthesize information, and ask how you have incorporated others’ feedback into a specific decision.

Q: What different approaches do you take in talking to different people?

A: This question is directed at how observant and flexible you are in communicating with different types of people. You may be asked to explain how you might approach people differently depending on different people’s personalities.

Q: Give me three examples of the types of problems you like to solve.

A: Your answers will be compared to the type of problems you will face in the position for which you are applying. You may also be set a sample problem that you would be likely to face on the job. The interviewer will gauge whether your approach would make sense in the position for which you are applying.