Behavioural interview questions

Behavioural interview questions require more than a theoretical understanding of a skill, and this is where some candidates come unstuck. Increase your confidence in responding to these questions by learning about the purpose behind them and how to craft effective responses.

What are behavioural interview questions?

Unlike traditional questions that may be more theoretical, behavioural interview questions ask candidates to give specific examples from their work history that demonstrate how they approach a business challenge.

Some examples of behavioural interview questions include:

How to predict which behavioural questions you’ll be asked

Behavioural questions are great ways for recruiters to gauge a candidate’s future performance. This motivation should make it easier for you to predict what kind of questions they might ask. Go back to the job description, and identify the specific skills and competencies they seek. Now, ask yourself—what experience do you have in meeting these skills and competencies?  

Keep a bank of examples to draw upon

It’s not easy to pull memories from nowhere, and some candidates make the mistake of responding at length when a much shorter answer is required. Avoid logorrhoea by practising five of the best-case examples from your work experience that cover areas like resolving conflict, time management, and managing expectations.

How to craft your behavioural interview responses

Practice the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) or the CAR (Context, Action, Result) method. How did you come to be where you are, and what behaviours helped to get you there? Think of when you’ve been challenged before, and then respond to the following:

Keep the focus on you

This is no time for being the wallflower: This is your moment to talk about yourself, so use it wisely. Focusing too much on the team’s efforts might feel like you’re coming across as a team player, but the recruiter is ultimately looking to see your responses to a problem.

Know your audience

Whatever your responses, make sure that they don’t run contradictory to your interviewer’s work practices! This is where research into the company once again proves its importance. Using this type of example will only show that you’re a poor culture fit and probably have a lack of judgment for using this example.

Be objective and positive

When you are talking about past experiences, recruiters will pay great attention to how you communicate. Was your response clear and concise, and did it end on a positive note? Recruiters remember the emotional response the candidate gave them – whether they gloated about success or expressed negative emotions towards a co-worker. Resist the urge to badmouth and keep it all professional.


Had a bad interview? Don’t take it to heart. It happens to the best of people, and behavioural questions are often where people are most self-critical. Think of each one of your interviews as a learning experience and the next step in a bigger process that is getting you closer to the perfect job. If you’re struggling at the interview stage but you know the value you can bring to the job, get in touch. We’ll help refine your interview approach and increase your confidence in the process.