Hiring the wrong person for the job is an unnecessary cost. To minimize the risk of such a situation, companies use a variety of recruitment methods and techniques. One of them is the so-called behavioral interview, which allows them to evaluate candidates quickly and accurately. In today’s post, we will explain what a behavioral interview is and provide you with a list of sample questions to ask job candidates in such an interview. Read on to find out more.

What is a behavioral interview?

A behavioral interview is a method of collecting information about an individual’s behavior to understand their attitudes, habits, thoughts, and emotions. This technique is often used in psychology and therapy, but also in career counseling where it’s important to understand human behavior.

For this reason, it’s also a part of the recruitment process – a recruiter asks a candidate questions about their past behavior in certain situations. The purpose of this technique is to assess whether the candidate has the qualities and skills needed for the job, in the belief that past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.

behavioral interview

A behavioral interview is a conversation between a recruiter and a candidate that is not much different from a standard recruitment interview. This is because the representative of the company wants to learn as much as possible about the person’s hard and soft skills, as well as what behaviors are typical of them. To do this, they ask open-ended questions, usually starting with “Describe a situation…”, which requires the candidate to provide specific examples:

  • a description of the situation or task,
  • a description of the actions taken (and why),
  • the achieved results and how they were measured.

The benefits and drawbacks of a behavioral interview

A behavioral interview allows recruiters to assess a candidate’s specific competencies, such as teamwork, time management, conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, or leadership skills. The questions help determine the candidate’s fit with the organization’s culture and the team they would join.

In addition, this method ensures that interviews are standardized, which helps maintain objectivity. At the same time, it is not without drawbacks. The biggest risk is that candidates will give false or idealized answers, making it impossible to achieve the desired result. You should also be aware of the fact that:

  • Candidates may have trouble recalling specific situations from the past.
  • You will not collect empirical data for analysis as in the case of a recruiting task.
  • The process can take significantly longer than a standard interview, as it is more time-consuming to run.

Behavioral interview questions

The questions you ask during a behavioral interview will depend on the position the candidate is applying for. A specialist will be asked different questions than a candidate for a manager. However, you can use ready-made suggestions and then tailor them to the needs of a particular interview. Here’s a useful checklist:

  1. Describe a situation in which you had to deal with a difficult customer/business partner.
  2. Do you like learning new skills? Can you think of the last time you had to learn something new at work or in your personal life?
  3. Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
  4. How do you deal with solving problems in difficult situations? Can you give an example of a situation where you had to come up with a creative solution?
  5. Tell me about a time when you had to work under time pressure. What actions did you take and what was the result?
  6. You work with different people in a team. Can you give an example of a situation in which you had to resolve a conflict between team members? What steps did you take to resolve the conflict?
  7. Describe a situation in which you had to demonstrate your teamwork skills.
  8. How do you manage your time and priorities at work? Can you give examples of how you organize your responsibilities?


A well-prepared and conducted behavioral interview can be a very helpful tool in selecting the right candidate for the job. However, you must be aware of its drawbacks and try to minimize its risks by supplementing it with other recruitment techniques. In order to make it easier to hire new employees, it is worth taking advantage of the possibilities offered by Firmbee. Its highly intuitive Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will allow you to complete all tasks in the recruitment process – from sourcing candidates to evaluating them.

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How to conduct a behavioral interview? A useful checklist with 8 sample questions nicole mankin avatar 1background

Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.