Behavioral Interview Questions with guidelines for the interviewer and example good and bad answers

The article offers a large base of job Behavioral Interview Questions, explaining good and bad possible answers and guidelines for the interviewer regarding the decision to hire or reject the candidate.

The sample interview questions listed are intended for a Web developer position.

The article is a great supplement to the Human Resources Manager certification program of the BVOP.org and more precisely to the Candidates management, Onboarding, and Offboarding section.

 

Accept constructive criticism

Question: Please describe a situation where you have received feedback that is negative but useful for your work?

Answers

the best:

The candidate shares a situation where a series of omissions have occurred on the same task. The team leader paid attention to him and they had a conversation. He accepted the criticism and listened to the feedback he received because it gave him the opportunity to develop and grow.

rejection criteria:

The candidate says that the problem they were criticized for was not in it, but from everything else – the team leader, project manager, colleagues.

inappropriate behavior:

neglect of information; self-centeredness; he doesn’t think he can really learn anything; overconfidence.

Question: How did you react the last time your team leader criticized you constructively?

Answers

the best:

The candidate states that he has listened to his team leader and has discussed the matter with him so that he is fully aware of what to do next in a similar task.

rejection criteria:

The candidate said that he was already fed up with everything at that company and had never heard what to say. And also that the fault was not in him but in others.

inappropriate behavior:

neglect of information; self-centeredness; he doesn’t think he can really learn anything; overconfidence; he is above things and he knows everything.

Question: Think about a situation where, thanks to criticism from your manager, you have improved your skills. What happened?

Answers

the best:

The candidate says that at the beginning of his career he received more criticism and in one of the situations, thanks to his listening, he was able to learn good practices that still serve him. As a consequence, he learned to listen carefully when receiving feedback.

rejection criteria:

The candidate says that he is improving his skills and they are at his level. He had not learned anything from his team leaders.

inappropriate behavior:

neglect of information; self-centeredness; he doesn’t think he can really learn anything; overconfidence; he is above things and he knows everything.

Work under pressure

Question: Give an example of a situation where you needed to work in a more stressful environment. How did you feel then?

Answers

the best:

He shares that he had to mobilize as he needed to work in a more tense environment. He hopes in general that he will work in a relaxed atmosphere, but when needed he can organize himself and even work extra. This does not give him any worries or doubts about his skills.

rejection criteria:

He says if he finds himself in a similar situation, he takes a vacation or a hospital because it does not affect him well and he cannot strain himself for work.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of commitment; lack of capacity to deal with such situations; irresponsibility; rolling.

Question: Tell us about a time since your last job as the project deadline was approaching and it was uncertain whether you would be able to meet it. How did you react? What did you think?

Answers

the best:

He says he tried to catch up and even helped colleagues who were lagging behind. He did his best and it was up to him to finish on time.

rejection criteria:

He worked the same way and left on time. After all, the fact that someone else has not set the deadline correctly does not concern him.

inappropriate behavior:

transfer responsibility to another person; irresponsibility; neglects the situation.

Q: Specify the time you were given multiple tasks with the same deadline. How did you manage their implementation?

Answers

the best:

He says he sought more information about the urgency of completing each task and prioritized the importance and timing of the task.

rejection criteria:

Started with the easiest one that he likes the most and so far as he gets with the tasks for the appointed time. He was not responsible to the clients and ultimately others to bear responsibility.

inappropriate behavior:

transfer responsibility to another person; irresponsibility; neglects the situation.

Achievements Category (Common)

Q: What is your biggest professional accomplishment to date?

Answers

the best:

The candidate states that he is striving to develop constantly, thanks to which he started after 1 year of internship to do onboard training for his new colleagues. And that after 2 years he was promoted from junior to a middle-level developer.

rejection criteria:

The candidate says that his job is a job, he does not find achievements in it. Just tasks one after the other and someone who has his head on them to complete them.

inappropriate behavior:

insanity; does not like this activity; does not burn in its work; there are no goals and no desire for development.

Question: Which achievement have you been most proud of in the last year, personally or professionally?

Answers

the best:

The applicant states that, as a result of his learning ambition, he was able to complete an additional programming course, not for one year but for 8 months.

Or

The job applicant says that you are most proud of having lived with your girlfriend.

rejection criteria:

He says he can’t remember at all. He doesn’t look at his life that way, he’s not ambitious. He lives day to day.

inappropriate behavior:

boredom; insanity; does not like this activity; does not burn in its work; there are no goals and no desire for development.

Question: What do achievements mean to you? Are they important to you?

Answers

the best:

He says achievements are important to him because it motivates him to keep going, learning and developing.

rejection criteria:

He says that they are not important to him, he does not understand them and they mean nothing to him. It is good for him not to evaluate the events in his life of achievements and failures.

inappropriate behavior:

boredom; insanity; does not like this activity; does not burn in its work; there are no goals and no desire for development.

Category Challenges

Question: How do you accept difficult situations, such as problems or challenges? And why?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant says he takes difficult situations as a challenge. He uses the opportunity to learn something from any situation and to draw conclusions that will help him in the future.

rejection criteria:

He says he accepts them as problems. He wants to be light and easy in the day, not to deal with cases and problems, probably due to the fact that someone has not done his job.

inappropriate behavior:

boredom; insanity; does not like this activity; does not burn in its work; there are no goals and no desire for development.

Question: Remember a challenging situation, what happened and how did you deal with it?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant states that it is challenging for him to convince the project manager that he must agree with the programmer before giving a client a deadline. Often the opposite happened to him and he was put in a situation of working overtime or under pressure. The next time he had a conversation with the project manager (read Are you a good manager?) and they were able to come to a mutually beneficial solution.

rejection criteria:

He says that it is challenging for him to convince the project manager that he must agree with the programmer before giving a client a deadline. Often the opposite happened to him and he was put in a situation of working overtime or under pressure. He then decided to stop complying with the deadlines and worked at his discretion. Accordingly, problems arose and he left.

inappropriate behavior:

disinterest; neglect of the situation; easy exit; passivity.

Question: In challenging situations, are you active, or are you looking for someone else to take the initiative to resolve it? What makes you active or what stops you?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant states that he / she is active and is actively involved in resolving the situation so that he / she can continue with his / her job.

rejection criteria:

The candidate says he usually goes up to someone else to get a job. He does not like to be proactive because he is too responsible.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of willingness to take responsibility; insufficient interest;

Category Communication skills

Q: How do you interact with people who are very different from you and generally dislike you but have to work with them?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant states that he is trying to accept them as they are and is looking for different options to communicate so that the work goes. It does not take things personally and does not delve into unnecessary discussions.

rejection criteria:

He says he avoids communicating with these people because they have nothing in common. Sometimes it interferes with his work, but there is always someone to engage in communication to continue the work process forward.

inappropriate behavior:

enclosure; assumes no responsibility; avoids conflicts at all costs; accepts everything personally; disinterest.

Q: Tell me about a conflict situation with a colleague, what happened and how did you react during the interview process?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant said they had a deadline to complete a joint task, but his colleague was lagging behind. Both were strained by the approaching deadline and a dispute arose. Subsequently, however, the candidate was able to cope and through calm tone and openness to discussion, managed to reduce the tension and continue calmly forward.

rejection criteria:

The candidate said they had a deadline to complete a joint task, but his colleague was lagging behind. Both were strained by the approaching deadline and a dispute arose. They stopped talking and working, and the team leader and the Human Resources department needed to get involved in order to suppress the conflict.

inappropriate behavior:

low teamwork skills; not a team player; disinterest; assumes no responsibility; carelessness.

Q: When you receive a job that is somehow not clear to you but you already have a deadline, what do you do?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant states that he or she is seeking information from a team leader and/or project manager so that he or she can begin work on the assignment.

rejection criteria:

The job applicant says that because he doesn’t know what to do exactly, he does something completely different. The job of a team leader and/or project manager is to inform him in detail.

inappropriate behavior:

non-initiative; running away from responsibility; carelessness.

Category Persistence

Q: Usually, how do you proceed when you encounter something new to you in the work process that you do not know and need to learn more in order to continue on the job?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant says that he first tries to find the information himself on the Internet and does his own research. If there is still hesitation, comment with colleagues and the team leader.

rejection criteria:

He says he always asks the people around him and even expects if they don’t know, they will do the research. He prefers not to waste time digging into the internet.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of initiative; transfer of responsibilities and obligations.

Q: What do you do when you have difficulty completing your task?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant says that he first tries to find the information himself on the Internet and does his own research. If there is still hesitation, comment with colleagues and the team leader.

rejection criteria:

He says he always asks the people around him and even expects if they don’t know, they will do the research. He prefers not to waste time digging into the internet.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of initiative; transfer of responsibilities and obligations.

Question: How would you react if you wanted a position/salary promotion, but your manager refuses you right now?

Answers

the best:

He says he is stubborn and ambitious. He wants more information about the denial to get detailed feedback. Then he starts to fulfill the requirements so that there is objectively no reason to refuse him at the next moment.

rejection criteria:

He says he is demotivated and his enthusiasm for completing his tasks is drastically reduced. Accordingly, he begins to look for new opportunities in the market, as he has actually reached the position in our company.

inappropriate behavior:

risky from the point of view of the firm; easy to refuse; he is not looking for the causes in himself, but out.

Category Dealing with difficult people

Question: Give an example of a colleague from your team who has had the most difficulty communicating with you. How did you handle this communication?

Answers

the best:

He said that he had to communicate with one of his colleagues on a regular basis, but he had difficulty because he was a very prisoner. The candidate accepted this and in his communication with him put more patience in order to be able to work in a team. And it worked.

rejection criteria:

He says he had to communicate with one of his colleagues on a regular basis, but he had difficulty because he was a very closed person. But this was not the candidate’s problem, the colleague was just lightly shabby. This sometimes hindered their work but did nothing.

inappropriate behavior:

not a flexible communicator; uninterested; neglects the situation; assumes no responsibility.

Question: If your team leader is someone who is not easy to talk to. How would you communicate with him?

Answers

the best:

The candidate states that he would try to get to know him better and look for common points of contact. He would ask him more questions, even about his hobbies, during his workday breaks. In this way, he believes that communication between them will improve.

rejection criteria:

The job applicant says he would reduce his communication with the team leader to a minimum. He generally did not know how to deal with difficult people and preferred to avoid them.

inappropriate behavior:

cannot declare himself or try to please himself.

Q: Describe a situation where you found it challenging to communicate with someone? And why?

Answers

the best:

The job candidate says that when he started his previous job, his team leader was very distant and very busy. His challenge was to prove himself to the team leader to start paying more attention to him when asking questions and in need of assistance.

rejection criteria:

He says he finds it most difficult to protect his position against more than 2 people. At that moment he becomes confused and everything disappears from his head.

inappropriate behavior:

A lack of confidence and strength to declare himself.

Initiative Category (Common)

Question: In which situations do you feel most confident about taking the initiative?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant says he feels most confident about taking the initiative on the substance of his job. Feels stability in this regard. Even if he does not know something, it would just be an occasion to learn new things and not disturb him.

rejection criteria:

He says he does not usually take the initiative because he does not feel confident about his colleagues. He prefers to remain silent and wait for another to do so.

inappropriate behavior:

stiffness; lack of commitment; uncertainty.

Q: Are you usually proactive or do you rely more on others to take the initiative? Tell me a specific situation.

Answers

the best:

The candidate says he usually takes the initiative. Especially in situations where one of his colleagues needs assistance or is looking for a volunteer to complete a task, and he has the time to do so.

rejection criteria:

He says he usually relies on others. It does not want to overload or stand out in any way.

inappropriate behavior:

non-aggression; stiffness; does not want to take responsibility; uncertainty.

Question: What is your initiative about your work?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant says he usually takes the initiative. Especially in situations where one of his colleagues needs assistance or is looking for a volunteer to accomplish a particular task.

rejection criteria:

He says that only in doing so is fulfilling the tasks assigned to him.

inappropriate behavior:

non-aggression; stiffness; does not want to take responsibility; uncertainty.

Category Teamwork (General)

Question: What do you do when a colleague with whom you work on a common project lags behind and it will hurt the deadline for completing the project?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant shares that when he notices such a thing, he talks to his colleague and they find a common solution to the situation. If necessary, it helps to complete the task so that they meet the deadline of the project and submit it in good form.

rejection criteria:

He says it is important that he himself has kept the deadline for his part of the job. His colleague seems to be working slowly, but that’s not his concern.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of thinking about the common; lack of commitment;

Question: How do you participate when a case appears in your project implementation team?

Answers

the best:

He shares that he is actively involved with a proposal and an idea to deal with. He is open to discussion with his colleagues so that they can find a solution together and work continues.

rejection criteria:

He said he expects another to take the initiative and monitor the situation. It is very rare to be proactive only if he is in the mood or knows 100% the solution of the case.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of thinking about the common; lack of commitment; poor overall motivation;

Question: Tell me about a situation where you and your colleagues had to decide together on a specific task. What happened?

Answers

the best:

The candidate says that he has actively participated, but he has also listened to his colleagues. As a result of the discussion and joint efforts, they were able to find a solution. So everyone was pleased and pleased to continue working.

rejection criteria:

He says he does not like to waste time in discussions because most of the proposals are not good. In the end, it is always the team leader who makes the decisions and finds it pointless to participate actively.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of thinking about the common; lack of commitment; poor overall motivation;

Category Training / Personality

Question: What are your goals and aspirations to develop in the profession?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant says he wants to develop in his career. His next goal is a senior position and then possibly a team leadership position. He likes his job and wants to continue to develop in the field.

rejection criteria:

The job applicant says he is not sure about his development goals, has not thought about the topic. It depends on how profitable the profession is in the future and will decide on the go.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of purpose and direction in life; poor motivation; carelessness.

Question: What type of training would you like to upgrade your knowledge and skills? What is your motivation in this direction from 1 to 10?

Answers

the best:

The job applicant states that he would like to deepen his knowledge in another programming language and also in soft skills. His motivation is 9 on the scale.

rejection criteria:

He says his motivation is 2. Now his knowledge is enough to do his job, and that is enough.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of purpose and direction in life; poor motivation; lack of any ambition.

Question: Describe your personal qualities, skills, and abilities that you possess and do you consider relevant to your particular position?

Answers

the best:

He shares that they are: a desire to develop and learn new things, organization, good logical thinking, perseverance, teamwork skills.

rejection criteria:

The job applicant says it’s hard to name them. But for example, that he loves and works well with a computer, he is calm and good.

inappropriate behavior:

lack of confidence; poor motivation; lack of purpose and direction in life; does not go into the heart of things.

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