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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Student Success

Behavioral Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

During a behavioral interview, job candidates are asked to provide examples of how they’ve handled work-related situations. Employers often feel that these interviews are the best way to find successful candidates. The logic is that how you behaved in the past will predict how you will behave in the future, i.e., past behavior predicts future performance.

The STAR Technique is an easy, effective way to answer behavioral interview questions:

S- Situation: Describe the situation (what, where, when, who).

T-Task: Talk about the task you were involved in.

A-Action: What action did you take?

R-Result: What was the result of your action?


  1. Tell me about a time when you influenced the outcome of a project by taking a leadership role.
  2. Describe your leadership style and give me an example of a situation where you successfully led a group.
  3. Give me an example of your ability to build motivation in your classes, classmates, or a volunteer committee.


  1. Have you handled a difficult situation? How?
  2. Have you been in  a situation where you didn’t have enough work to do?
  3. Did you ever make a risky decision? Why? How did you handle it?
  4. Tell me about a time when you had to be assertive.
  5. Have you gone above and beyond your call of duty? If so, how?
  6. Tell me about projects you have initiated. What prompted you to begin them?

Communication Skills

  1. Tell me about a time when you had to present complex information. How did you get your point across?
  2. Tell me about a time when you used written communication skills to communicate an important point.
  3. Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren’t thrilled about? How did you do it?

Interpersonal Skills

  1. Give an example of how you worked on a team.
  2. When working on a team project, have you ever dealt with a strong disagreement among team members or a team member who didn’t do their part? What did you do?
  3. What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
  4. Tell me about the most difficult or frustrating individual that you’ve had to work with and how you managed to work with him or her.
  5. Have you handled a difficult situation with a professor or another person? How?


  1. Describe a situation in which you overcame a “personality conflict” in order to get results.
  2. Describe a time when you were faced with issues that tested your coping skills.
  3. Describe a time when you received constructive criticism.
  4. Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
  5. Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.


  1. When and how did you provide a creative solution?
  2. What is the most creative thing you have done?

Planning and Organizing

  1. How do you determine priorities in scheduling your time? Give me an example.
  2. Tell me about an important goal of yours. How did you reach it?
  3. Describe a situation when you had many assignments or projects due at the same time. What steps did you take to finish them?
  4. Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
  5. Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
  6. Did you ever not meet your goals? Why? OR Give an example of a goal you didn’t meet and how you handled it.
  7. Did you ever postpone making a decision? Why?
  8. When you worked on multiple projects, how did you prioritize?
  9. Hoe did you handle meeting a tight deadline?
  10. Describe a decision you made that wasn’t popular and how you handled implementing it.
  11. What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handled it.

Decision Making

  1. Give an example of when you had to make a difficult decision. How did you approach it? What kinds of criteria did you use?
  2. Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
  3. Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
  4. Have you ever dealt with company policy you weren’t in agreement with? How?
  5. How did you handle a challenge? Give an example.
  6. Describe a time when you had to defend a decision.
  7. Summarize a situation where you had to locate relevant information, define key issues, and determine the steps to get a desired result.