Behavioral Based Interview Questions

cf.: Interview Questions Regarding Change (Connor)

Action Oriented – pursues work with energy, drive, and a strong accomplishment orientation.

  • Tell me about a time when you saw an opportunity that required immediate action or the opportunity would be lost.  What did you do?
  • Tell me about a project you worked on that had an aggressive timeline.  How did you proceed?  what did you do to ensure project objectives were met?

Composure – maintains a constructive and composed focus in facing and overcoming tough situations.

  • Tell me about a time when you observed others getting frustrated.  Were you able to do anything to get them moving forward?
  • Tell me about a time when you were extremely frustrated.  did you let others know you were frustrated?  How did you work through this situation?

Conviction and Courage – shows a strong sense of certainty and stands firm when appropriate.

  • What is the most unpopular stand you have taken at work?  what was the situation?  How did you handle it?  What was the outcome?

Creativity – develops original ideas, approaches, and solutions to typical, unusual, or difficult situations or problems.

  • Tell me about the most unusual or creative idea you’ve come up with?
  • How do you foster creativity in your staff?
  • How do you get people to think “Outside the box?

Dealing with Ambiguity – works effectively in situations involving uncertainty or lack of information, and responds flexibly to change.

Tell me about a time when you started working one way, but events dictated a change.  What was the change?  What did you do?  What was the outcome or result?

Communication Skills – writes, speaks, and presents information effectively and persuasively across communication settings.

  • Tell me about a project in which you needed to keep others informed.  How did you do this?  Was it effective?  How did you know your communication was effective?

Hiring and Staffing – is a good judge of talent, and seeks out, sizes up, and selects the most effective people.

  • How do you decide when to hire for potential vs. immediate results?
  • Tell me about a bad hire you made.  Why was the person a bad hire?  What did you learn?

Interpersonal Skills – develops and maintains good working relationships with others.

  • Tell me about a time when you worked with someone who had a different working style than you.
    Describe your styles and how they were different.
    How did you handle the situation?
  • Tell me about a job in which working relationships were key to your success.
    How did you build the relationships you needed?

Negotiation and Conflict Management – negotiates or mediates sound agreements in business or organizational situations where there is disagreement or differences in interests.

  • Tell me about the last significant conflict you needed to deal with.
    How long did the conflict continue?
    How was it resolved?

Open Communications – engages others in active, open, and productive dialogue.

  • Tell me about a job experience you’ve had when people weren’t open or speaking up.
    Why weren’t they being open?
    How did you handle the situation?

Developing People – Provides job-relevant learning, developmental experiences, and feedback to enhance individual performance.

  • Tell me about one of the most high-potential people you’ve had the opportunity to work with.
    What did you do to support the person’s development?

Strategic Leadership – Creates a shared purpose, vision, or direction for his/her group or organization, and inspires others to work toward it.

  • Tell me about the last time you had to get a group of people energized or on board to achieve a common purpose or goal.  What was the situation?  What did you do?  Was it effective?

Strategic Thinking – understands the business, and anticipates and develops business priorities for future action.

  • What is the key business issue facing your group in the next six months?

Innovation Management – thrives on leading groups to advance technology and products

  • Tell me about a time you saw that a project needed a new direction.
    How did you spot the need for change?  What did you do?  What was the outcome?

Drive for Results – continually focuses on achieving positive, concrete results contributing to company’s business practices.

  • How do you decide what to work on each day?
    How do you decide what your priorities are?
  • Tell me about an important deadline and the steps you took to meet it.

Managing Systems and Processes – effectively uses systems and process to measure, monitor, manage, and impact performance

  • Tell me about a recent project you worked on or managed, and the systems and processes you put in place to ensure the project delivered on its objectives.

Performance Management – sets clear goals for self or others; assigns responsibility; measures performance; and seeks and delivers feedback to achieve quality, timely results

  • Tell me about your most recent performance review.
    Were you successful in meeting your goals and objectives?
    How do you know you were successful?

Planning, Organizing, and Coordinating – efficiently develops and implements plans to accomplish goals

  • Tell me about a project you had to plan, organize and coordinate from beginning to end.
    Was it successful?
    Give me an overview of how you planned, organized, and coordinated it.
    If you had it to do over, what would you do differently?


Problem Solving – gathers and analyzes information and uses it to develop effective solutions to difficult problems or situations

  • Tell me about the most difficult problem you had to solve in the past year.
    Did you make this decision alone or did you engage others in the decision?
    Why did you approach it this way?

Customer Focus – investigates and takes action to meet customer’s current and future needs

  • Tell me about the last time you had an unhappy customer or set of customers.
    How did you handle this?
  • Who are your customers?  How do you determine their needs?  How do you meet their needs?

Representing – projects a positive and professional image in all contacts

  • Why do you want to work for <company>?
  • Tell me about a time when someone outside your company made derogatory comments about your employer to you.  How did you handle this situation?

Building Team Spirit – develops and maintains productive, effective, high morale teams

  • Tell me about the best team you’ve worked on.  What was your contribution to the team that helped make it a good team?
  • When has the morale of your team been the highest?  Why?  What did you do to create a feeling of belonging in the team?

Technical Passion and Drive – seeks out and becomes immersed in the challenge of creating great products that stretch technology and empower customers

  • Tell me about the most interesting or exciting technical problem you’ve tried to solve in the past year.  Why was it interesting or exciting to you?
  • How do you keep yourself current and abreast of technology?



Primary Goals sits at the intersection of three core ideas about communication:
  • Leaders create vision by communicating a compelling future to their teams.
  • Teams create success based on how effectively the communicate and coordinate with each other.
  • Entrepreneurial ventures are successful only when they communicate value to people with a concern that the business can take care of
In all cases, it’s about Conversations for Committed Results.  That’s our Primary Goal.  



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