BPS - Bio Pharmaceutical Solutions

Examples of Behavioural-based Interview Questions

In a behavioural interview, an employer has decided what skills are needed in the person they hire (competencies) and will ask questions to find out if the candidate has those skills. Instead of asking how you would behave, they will ask how you did behave. The interviewer will want to know how you handled a situation, instead of what you might do in the future.
 
Some examples of these behaviours (competencies) and questions are as follows:
 
 
Time Management / Planning & Organising:
  • Describe your involvement in a task or project that had to be done within an agreed time frame and be of an excellent standard.
  • Tell me about a time when a project you were in charge of fell behind schedule. What did you do about it?
  • Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks. 
  • Tell me about a time when you had a lot to do in a short space of time. Explain how you managed to complete all of our assigned tasks.
  • Give an example of a project that you have had to plan and organise from beginning to end.
  • Tell me about a time when you had a lot of work to do? How did you cope? Where did you start? What did you do to ensure it all gets done?
 
Attention to Detail:
  • Describe a project you worked on that required very close attention to detail.
  • How do you stay organized?
  • Can you provide some examples of instances when you've discovered errors in your work or someone else's?
  • How do you know if a project you are working on is going well?
 
Initiative:
  • Give me an example of a time that you showed initiative and took the lead.
  • Tell me about a time when you identified that a policy or procedure needed changing. Explain what you did in order to bring about your suggested changes.
  • Describe a time when you had to overcome a difficult problem on your own. How did you go about it?
 
Creativity:
  • What type of working environment makes you creative?
  • What is the most innovative thing you have done in your previous job?
  • What types of changes did you implement at your last job?
  • How do you encourage creativity in co-workers?
 
Communication:
  • Tell me about a time when you had to convey complex information to someone. Explain to me how you made sure the person(s) understood.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone's opinion.
  • If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something, how would you handle this?
 
Customer-service orientation
  • Tell me about the last time you received really great customer service.
  • What was the most difficult customer service situation you ever had to deal with? How did you handle the situation?
  • Describe a time when the customer was wrong.  How did you handle it?
 
Problem Solving:
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  • What kind of problems have people recently called on you to solve? Tell me about your contribution to solving that problem.
 
Conflict Resolution:
  • What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example
  • Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
  • Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.
 
Managing Change / Adaptability:
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way
  • Tell me about a time where you had to adjust quickly to changes in organisational priorities. What did you do? How did you adapt the way you work to incorporate the change?
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  • Please tell me about a time when you had to deal with an uncertain situation.
 
Leadership
  • Have you ever had difficulty getting others to agree with your decisions?  How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever had to discipline or counsel another employee?  What was the nature of the situation and how did you go about it?
  • Can you recall a work experience where a problem arose and your manager or boss was unavailable?  How did you handle the situation, and how did things turn out?
  • Describe a time when you had to build a team to accomplish a task.  How did you go about building the team, and was it successful in attaining its goals?
 
Teamwork
  • Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked with a classmate or colleague who was not doing their share of the work. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or help others to compromise. What was your role? What steps did you take? What was the result?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work on a team that did not get along. What happened? What role did you take? What was the result?
 
During the Behavioural Interview:
During the interview, if you are not sure how to answer the question, ask for clarification. Then be sure to use the 'STAR' (see our fact sheet on 'Behavioural Based Interviewing Strategies' for further information) method to structure your responses:
    • Situation - a brief outline of the situation
    • Task - what tasks needed to be achieved
    • Action - the steps you took to complete the task
    • Results - what outcomes were achieved?
It's important to keep in mind that there are no definite right or wrong answers. They are being asked simply to understand how you behaved in a given situation. How you respond will determine if there is a fit between your skills and the position the company is seeking to fill.
 
So, listen carefully, be clear and detailed when you respond and, most importantly, be honest. If your answers aren't what the interviewer is looking for, this position may not be the best job for you anyway.

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