Every recruitment process needs to have a strong interview stage. Behavioural interview questions are some of the best questions to use to be able to undercover more about your candidates. Behavioural interview questions use past behaviour to help predict future behaviour. It’s the same approach that banks take when deciding whether to loan people money: they look at your financial history to see if you have been responsible and are able to pay back the funds.
You want to take that same approach with behavioural interview questions: find out how candidates have dealt with challenging situations in the past to understand how they would handle situations in their role at your company.
When picking behavioural interview questions for your role, it’s important to think about the job-specific problems the candidate may face in that role. Try to be as specific as possible when asking a question about how they dealt with something similar in their past.
For example, let’s say your company has a great product that is more expensive than your competitors. This is one of the roadblocks salespeople face in your organization.
Instead of asking: “Tell me about a time you had an upset customer”, you could ask“Tell me about a time a customer was complaining that your price was too high and they could get the same product for less from someone else?”
The more specific you can be in your questions, the better you will be able to assess if the candidate is the right candidate for your company.
To help you come up with your own set of job interview questions, here are examples of 10 behavioural interview questions for 3 different roles within most organizations.
1. Behavioural Questions for Individual Contributors
An individual Contributor defined as someone who does not have direct reports. They work as an individual or part of a team to contribute to business goals.
1. Describe a problem you solved in your job in the last 12 months that others thought was particularly creative.
2. Can you tell me about a time in this past year when you took the steps necessary to resolve a problem although it wasn’t technically your responsibility?
3. Tell me about a time when you had an idea that you knew would solve a problem and your boss was not interested in hearing about it or didn’t want to support it. How did that play out?
4. Tell me about a few difficult situations in this past year when you had to deal with unreasonable people in your company or your customers. How did they turn out?
5. Tell me about a time when you had to gather information from a variety of sources and then synthesize the information in support of a business objective or project.
6. As a member of a team, how have you handled the stress of someone who is not pulling their weight? Give me an example of how you dealt with that?
7. Tell me about a time this past year when you had to juggle multiple priorities to meet specific deadlines. How did you sort them out?
8. Tell me about the last time you received some strong but deserved criticism.
9. Tell me about an experience in the last 6 months when you had to complete a task or assignment that was given to you at the last minute.
10. Tell me about some of the most effective changes you have identified and implemented in your job this past year.
2. Behavioural Questions for Managers or Directors
Manager/Director Level – defined as someone who’s main role is to lead a team
1. Tell me about the most successful business strategy you developed in your last position (and the one before . . .). Why was it so successful?
2. Tell me about the last time you disagreed with your boss’s decision – or your executive team’s decision? Why was that?
3. What was the most effective team building initiative you’ve led? Why did you do it and how did it turn out?
4. What was the most effective strategic planning process you’ve been a part of? Describe it and tell me why it was so effective.
5. Tell me about the most difficult employee situation you’ve had to deal with in your current/most recent position. Why was that and what happened? How about in your position prior to this one?
6. What was the most important change you introduced into the organization in your current position? How did it impact the organization/department?
7. Tell me about a business “risk” that you had to take in your last/current position that turned out well. How about in your previous position?
8. Tell me about a situation in your current role where you felt “results needed to improve”. How did you go about doing that? How about in your previous position?
9. Tell me about the most recent time where a conflict existed between your team members and the role you played in negotiating a solution.
10. Tell me about the best person you hired in your current position. How did you figure out they would be the best person?
3. Behavioural Questions for Salespeople
Salesperson – A salesperson focused on new business
1. Can you give me some examples of situations where you researched and developed new sales ideas or sales process improvements and then incorporated them into your sales approach? How did they work?
2. Give me an example of a time when you organized information in a creative manner in order to provide better impact on others.
3. Describe a couple of cases where you had to deal with an angry or frustrated customer. What were the long term results?
4. Tell me about the 5 most common objections you encounter with prospects/customers and how you overcome them.
5. Tell me about when and where in the sales process you have found silence to be a useful tool.
6. Tell me about a sales situation where you felt your negotiation skills were clearly responsible for achieving an important goal.
7. Tell me about the most difficult sales call you’ve faced in this past year. How did it play out?
8. Describe some of the sales or activity reports you’ve prepared. Explain what details you put into them. Did you include any items you felt were unique?
9. How would you go about identifying customers in a new market? Tell me about a time when you had to do that. How did it play out?
10. Tell me about a situation where you influenced a customer to purchase your higher-priced product when they had been buying a competitor’s similar lower-priced product.
We hope these questions help you create a good interview plan within your organization. The interview is a critical part of the recruitment process, and it is important to be prepared for the interview. If you need more assistance with behavioural interviewing Concord would love to help.