The Top Behavioural Interview Questions To Help You Identify High Potential Employees
When it comes to recruiting new candidates, there’s a number rounds they have to go through. The most common ones begin with an online application that is then screened. The screened online application will then follow through with a testing phase which then determines whether they get to the interview process stage or not.
During the interview process stage, that’s where the real deal happens. It’s where you and the candidate get the chance to know each other – whether it be personally or professionally. Getting to this stage is a critical part in recruitment because no matter how intelligent one candidate may appear during the online application process, it all comes down to how they get put on the spot to answer questions about themselves.
Whilst you still ask the common interview questions, the real the focus should be on behavioural interview questions. Behavioural interview questions stem from core behaviours that you or your company deem to be the most important. In other words, you’d like your ideal high potential employee-to-be to have specific competencies for the role.
Why it’s important to identify competencies through behavioural interview questions in a candidate is so that they are aligned with the role they’ve applied for. There’s no point in hiring a candidate who can’t perform a task that their position entails them to do so.
Let’s look at some common behaviours and behavioural interview questions that most organisations look for and should ask:
Top Behavioural Interview Questions
- How do you deal with work-related setbacks? Tell me when you were faced with one?
- Tell me a time when you have found yourself in a competitive situation professionally. How did you handle the situation?
- Tell me a time when you were resilient in a professional setting. What was the result?
- In a team setting, how do you set short term and long term goals for both you and your team? What steps did you take in the process to ensure you were kept accountable?
- Tell me a professional goal that you did not fulfil. What did you do as a result?
- Tell me one of your career goals that you have fulfilled thus far. Were there any obstacles and how did you overcome them?
- How do you handle a situation where your integrity was challenged? Give me an example.
- Tell me a time when you’ve experienced a loss for doing something right. What was your reaction?
- Discuss a time in a business situation where you felt honesty was inappropriate. Why did you think that and what did you do?
- Give an example of where you did not conform to a policy that you didn’t agree with. Why didn’t you agree with it?
- Tell me about a time where you had to take charge of a team project. What did you have to do and what was the outcome?
- Describe a leadership role you have outside of work. What was your reason for committing to it?
- Give me an example of when you had to lead a difficult group. How did you handle the obstacles along the way?
- Tell me your greatest leadership achievement in a professional environment to date. What were the steps you took to fulfil it?
- When building/growing a team, what has been greatest obstacles you’ve faced?
- Tell me a time when you had to juggle leading a team and doing the same work as your team members. How did you balance the two roles?
- Describe a time when you had to work with others who disagreed with your ideas. What was your reaction and what did you do?
- Give me an example of when you worked with a colleague who did not do their share of the work. How did you rectify the situation?
- Describe to me a time when you had to compromise or help others compromise. What was your role and what steps did you take? What was the outcome?
- Describe a time when you had to work with a team that did not get along. What did you have to do and what was the outcome?
- What has been the biggest mistake you’ve made in delegating work for a team project?
- Tell me when you’ve had to settle a dispute between your team members. What did you do to identify the issues and what was the outcome?
- What do you find difficult in being a team member in a team? How did you handle this difficulty?
- Give me an example of when you thought “outside the box”. How did you get there and why?
- When was a time where you solved a problem in a unique or unusual way? What was the result and how did you feel about it?
- Tell me when someone can to you with an odd or unusual new idea. What was your reaction?
- When was a time you brought an innovative idea to your team? How did you team members react?
Planning & Organisation/Time Management
- Tell me a time when you had to juggle a number of things simultaneously. How did you do it and what was the result?
- Tell me how you prioritise tasks when scheduling your time? Give me an example?
- Give me an example of when you planned a project. How did you organise and schedule the tasks?
- Tell me when an event or project you’ve planned not gone accordingly? Why and what happened?
Sales & Negotiation
- Give me an example of when you were successful in building a customer base from the start. What were the steps you took?
- Tell me one your greatest sales-related achievement. What were the steps you took?
- Describe a time when you successfully convinced a resistant customer to use your services?
- What was the most difficult professional negotiation you’ve been involved with? What did you do?
- Describe to me a time when your efforts were the reason why a project was implemented. What was your role and the result of it?
- Tell me a time when you’ve identified an opportunity in a potential problem. What were the steps you took and what was the outcome?
- Give me an example of when you’ve initiated a project. Why and what did you do?
- When was a time your initiative caused a change to happen?
- During your professional career, what has been the best idea you’ve thought of so far?
Attention to Detail
- What steps do you take to ensure you have the right details from a customer?
- Tell me a time when you identified a mistake that was overlooked by a colleague. What was your reaction and what was the result?
- Can you tell me when you’ve been confused by a customer’s request? What did you do to clarify?
- Give me an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to work with. Why was the person difficult? How did you rectify the situation? Did it affect your relationship after?
- How do you handle a situation where you had to deal with someone you didn’t like?
- Describe an unpopular decision you’ve had to make recently. What was others’ responses? And how did you deal with it?
- In your opinion, what do you think is important in guiding and growing a successful business relationship? Give me an example?
- Give me an example of when you’ve successfully communicated with someone who did not like you (or vice versa)? How did you handle the situation?
- Give me an example of when you’ve had to work with someone you did not like in a team setting. What did you do in that situation?
- Describe a situation where you and another individual had a conflict. How did you deal with the situation and what was the outcome?
- Describe to me a time when you’ve had to make a decision when you did not have all the information you needed. How did you handle the situation?
- Tell me a time when you’ve had to make a fast decision. What were the obstacles you took?
- What has been the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make in a work setting? What steps did you take to get to your decision? And what was the outcome?
- Tell me a time when you’ve regretted a business decision you’ve made. What did you do?
Analytical Skills & Problem Solving
- Tell me about a situation or project that demonstrated your analytical abilities best. What was your role?
- When was a time you had to analyse information and make a recommendation? What was your thought process and was your recommendation accepted?
- Describe a time when you had to solve a difficult problem. What steps did you take and what was the outcome?
- What are the steps you take to study a problem before coming to a decision?
- Tell me your most recent experience in making a speech and/or presentation that was successful?
- When was a time you had to do a presentation with little or no preparation? What were the obstacles you faced and how did you handle it?
- Has there been a time where you had to “sell” an idea to your co-workers? If so, how?
- Have you ever found it difficult in communicating your ideas to a manager? Describe the situation to me?
- Describe to me a time when you had to use written communication skills for an important point to come across?
- Tell me a time when you chose to communicate via person instead of email when via email would have been more efficient?
Client Focus & Customer Orientation
- Tell me when you’ve dealt with a difficult an angry customer. What did you do and what was the outcome?
- When have you gained a new customer? What were the steps you took to establish a relationship with them?
- In the past, how have you handled a situation where your customer has changed the brief?
- When was a time you went well out of your way to ensure a customer received superior service from you?
- Have you ever defended a customer? Describe the situation.
Ability to Handle Stress
- How do you handle a stressful situation you are caught in?
- In the past, what have you done to prevent a situation turning stressful for you or your colleagues?
- Give me an example of when you had to adjusted to changes. What did you do?
- Tell me when you’ve had to adjust to a colleague’s working style to complete a project?
- Tell me about your transition from high school to university. What were your obstacles and how did you handle the situation?
Each of these behaviours and behavioural interview questions align with core competencies that most organisations look for. They build the foundations to asking the right behavioural interview questions. These behavioural interview questions are what will help you identify your ideal employee to be – helping you build a world-class team!