What are behavioural interview questions?

Behavioural interview questions are designed to assess actions and reactions in a professional situation. This helps employers determine skills and qualities, such as problem-solving, customer service, critical thinking and communication.

So rather than ask what you might do in a situation, interviewers ask for actual examples from an interviewee’s professional history.

Behavioural interview question examples

Instead of saying “how do you act under pressure” ask, “tell me about a time that you were in a high-pressure situation and how you were able to handle it”?


Instead of “How do you deal with conflict at work?” ask “tell me about a time when you disagreed with a team member. How did you resolve the problem?”

This way they will have to share their actual experiences, giving you an indication of how they will act in the future.

An employer asks behavioural questions of their interviewee.

What are the responses you need?

What you need to hear from your candidates are concrete examples of their experiences that clearly answer the question.

Experienced interviewees will use the STAR technique, this is a framework that describes examples of the Situation, Task, Action and Result.

Which frame the answers as below:

  • Describing the Situation in which they were involved?
  • What was the Task to be completed?
  • Explaining the Actions taken?
  • Defining the Results achieved?

What if they keep saying “we” not “I”?

If they were part of a team effort, ask them what their specific role was in the situation. It is important you establish a persons’ responses, not a shared result.

Some useful behavioural question examples

Here is a list of some of the top questions to ask that will work for a wide range of industries.

  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with someone who was your supervisor. How did you overcome this?
  • What is the most difficult/ challenging situation you’ve ever had to resolve in the workplace?
  • Give me an example of when you had to assume leadership for a team.
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake, how did you react?
  • Tell me about a time when you took on some work outside your usual responsibilities. What motivated you to take on these extra duties?
  • When have you seen a colleague acting inappropriately or unethically? How did you deal with this?
  • Tell me about a time when you received constructive feedback from others? How did you feel and what did you do as a result of this?
  • Tell me about a time when you were on a team, and one of the members wasn’t doing their share.

Feel free to use these in your next interview.

If you would like to get some more tips, please get in touch with RED https://redappointments.com.au/contact/adelaide