Site Loader
How to succeed in your JOB INTERVIEW: Behavioral Questions

Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I am
going to teach you how to do really well on your interview. So, if you’re looking for a job and you have
an interview coming up, I’m going to talk to you about a type of question you
might hear during your interview. I’m going to tell you how to recognize this
type of question, and how to answer this type of question, along with many
tips that can help you. Okay? So if you’re about to do an interview,
don’t stress out – we can do it. All right, so let’s look at the types of
questions we’re going to talk about today. Today we’re talking about behavioural
interview questions. Okay? So let’s look at some examples to understand what
I mean by “behavioural interview questions”. Okay, so we have this question: “Tell me about a
time when you worked effectively under pressure.” So take a moment to think
about that question. “Give an example of how you worked on a team.”,
“Describe a time when you had to deal with a very upset customer.”, “Have
you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?” Okay, so when we’re talking about behavioural
questions, it’s important to think about: What is being asked of you? Okay? So, the main thing with these types of questions
is this word here: “Give an example”. Behavioural questions… behavioural interview
questions require that you give an example of how you have dealt with
or handled a situation. So, my next question to you is: Do you think
we’re talking about an example of the past, something that’s happened; the present; or
the future, something that could happen? So look at these questions. Are we talking about a past example, a
present example, or a future example? If you said: “Past
example”, you are correct. When we talk about behavioural interview questions,
what the interviewer is asking is they want you to give a past example.
Okay? Something you have
done in the past. How can you recognize
these types of questions? Because there are many different interview
types of questions, these are just one type, so how do you know if it’s
behavioural interview question? That’s a very good question. One way to know is by looking
for key words. Okay? So, a lot of the times behavioural questions
start off with some sort of hint or clue. “Tell me about a time”
is an example. Okay? “Tell me about a time when you worked effectively
under pressure.”, “Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.”, “Tell me about a time
when you had problems with your co-workers.” Okay? So lot of the times you will hear: “Tell me
about” or “Tell me about a time”, and that’s a signal: Okay, this is probably a
behavioural interview question. You might have this as a starter to the question,
they might ask you: “Give me an example of how you worked on a team.” or “Give me an example of a time
when you showed leadership.” Okay? So those would both be
behavioural questions. Again: “Describe a time”. A lot of the times you’ll hear the
word: “a time” or “an example”. So this is another common phrase you will
hear with behavioural interview questions. You might also have a question like this:
“Have you ever made a mistake?”, “Have you ever had difficulties working with somebody?”,
“Have you ever had a conflict with a customer?”, “How did you handle it? What did you do?” So these types of questions, they don’t have
the same key words as the ones above, but usually they’re written or they’re said with
the present perfect tense, and usually you’ll hear a second follow-up question:
“How did you handle it?” Okay? So, key word here: “did”. If you hear the past tense in the question,
then they probably want you to answer the question using a past example. Okay? So, this might be a little bit confusing,
you might be a bit worried, you know: “Oh, these questions
seem really hard.” Well, the very first step is recognizing these
questions, so that’s what we’re going to do right now. We are going to practice recognizing
behavioural interview questions. Okay, so now we are going to practice identifying
behavioural interview questions. Okay? So what I want you to do is I want you to
pause the video, but before you do that I want you to get a piece of paper and a pen,
and on a piece of paper I want you to make something that looks like this.
Okay? And once you’ve done that,
then we can get started. So, pause the video
and draw this. Okay, so welcome back. What we are going to do now is I am going to say some
typical or some common interview questions. Okay? And you need to decide if they are behavioural
questions or not behavioural questions. Okay? So what you can do is when I ask you a question,
you can just put a checkmark in either of these categories. And so we’ll do the first one
together so you can see what I mean. Before we begin, just remember: When we’re
trying to figure out if it’s a behavioural question, we can listen
for the key words. Oftentimes you’ll hear something about an
example or “Describe a time”, or the key words I mentioned before, or the question
might be in the past tense. So those are two clues that this is a
behavioural interview question. Okay? So let’s get started. So, the first question is: “Give an example
of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it. So: Give an example of a goal you reached
and tell me how you achieved it.” Is this a behavioural question? The answer is: Yes it is. Okay? So, again, this is asking you to talk about
a past experience of a goal you had and how you reached that goal. Okay, so let’s ask
another question. Number two: “Where do you
see yourself in five years? Where do you see
yourself in five years?” So, is this a
behavioural question? Okay, so again you need to ask
yourself: “Did you hear any key words? And are we talking about the past,
the present, or the future?” This question is not a
behavioural question. Okay? “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
we’re actually talking about the future; we’re not talking about an example that
happened to you in the past. Question number three. Okay, so are you ready?
Yes? Okay. “Can you describe three
strengths and one weakness? Can you describe three strengths
and one weakness you have?” So is this a behavioural question?
No. This is not a
behavioural question. When we’re talking about strengths and weaknesses,
we’re talking about the present, we’re talking about, you know, our… The things that we’re good at and the things
we’re not so good at, but we’re not talking about a past example. Okay? So this is not a
behavioural question. Okay, number four: “Tell me about a time when
you had a challenge or conflict you faced at work, and how you
dealt with it.” So, again, the question is: “Tell me about a
time where you had a challenge or conflict you faced at work, and
how you dealt with it.” Okay, so this one is a
behavioural question. We heard the key word there: “Tell me about a
time”, so we know right off the bat: “Okay, ‘tell me about a time’, that’s going
to be a behavioural question.” And the question was asked in the past tense,
so we know we have to give an experience to answer the question, something
that happened to us in the past. All right, let’s do number five. What’s a time…? Or: “Describe a time you disagreed
with a decision that was made at work. Describe a time you disagreed
with a decision made at work.” Okay, if you said this is also a behavioural
interview question, you are correct: “Describe a time”, so that’s, again, a key word, and
we’re talking about something that happened in the past.
Okay. Question number six: “If you were an
animal, which animal would you be and why? If you were an animal, which
animal would you be and why?” So this question is not
a behavioural question. Okay? This is talking about
an imaginary situation. We’re not talking about the past, we’re talking
about something imaginary that hasn’t happened. Okay, and the final question: “Tell us
about a time when you were a leader. Tell us about a time
when you were a leader.” Okay, so is this a behavioural question
or a different type of question? If you said this is a behavioural
question, you are correct. Okay? And, again, we have the key word: “Tell me about”,
“Tell me about a time when you were a leader”. Okay? So what we want in the answer is we want you
to talk about a time in the past where you have an example of this. So now what we’re going to do is we’re going
to learn what makes a really good answer to a behavioural
interview question. Okay, so we’ve seen some examples of behavioural
interview questions, and there’s a lot of other types of questions they can ask, a lot
of other examples of behavioural interview questions. Now what we’re going to talk about is:
How do you answer these questions? So, an answer to a behavioural
interview question has four parts. First of all, you need to talk about a past
experience or a past example, and so you need to talk about when and
where did your… You know, when and where did something happened,
what happened, what your actions were, and: What were the results
of your action? Okay? So, for example, if the question was: “How
do you handle stress?” or “Tell me about a time when you had a stressful
situation at work. What did you do?” That’s an example of a behavioural interview
question, so your answer needs to talk about a specific example, so you need to be very
specific and you will have to talk about all four of these parts to
have a complete answer. So, I have here two examples. One of these examples is good, and one
of these examples is not so good. I want you to guess: Which is the best example
and which is the worst example for an answer? So the question was, you know: -“Tell me about
a time where you had a stressful situation at work.” -“I work really well
under pressure.” Is this a good answer or a bad answer
to a behavioural interview question? Well, this is actually not a great answer
and the reason is because: First, it’s not specific; secondly, we don’t know when you
had this stressful situation, we don’t know where you had a stressful situation, you didn’t
tell us anything about what happened, you didn’t tell us about your actions, what you
did to help yourself in this situation, and you didn’t tell us the results. So this answer would not do well
in a behavioural interview… This would not be a good response for
a behavioural interview question. Let’s look at a
different answer. “When I was a student at XYZ College I
had 4 projects due in the same week. I created a schedule in advance
to best manage my time. I broke each project up into
smaller manageable steps. I finished all the projects. And my professor was happy
with the quality of the work.” So, is this a good answer? Well, let’s check. Did we talk about when
and where this happened? Yes, we talked about where, it was at XYZ
College; and when, when I was a student. Okay? So we’ve talked about the background
to the story or the setting. Did we talk about what happened? “I had four projects
due in the same week.” Okay, so this is the stressful
situation, so we… We did talk about what happened. Did we talk about your
actions, how did you manage? What did you do?
Yes. “I created a schedule. I broke each project up into
smaller manageable steps.” So, yes, we talked about our action,
what we did to solve this problem. And finally, the results. Did we talk about the results? “I finished all the projects. And the professor was very happy
with the quality of my work.” Yes, we talked about what happened in
the end; we talked about the results. “The professor was very happy and,
you know, I was able to manage.” So, this is an example of how to answer
a behavioural interview question. So now I’m going to give you some tips that can
also help you with these types of questions. Okay, so now we’ve covered how to identify
a behavioural interview question, as well as how to answer a behavioural
interview question. Now what I’m going to talk about is some important
tips to keep in mind when you’re dealing with these types of questions. Okay? So, the very first tip is probably one of
the most important on this list, and that is: You must listen very
carefully to the question. A lot of students, and not just students, a lot
of people, even native speakers of English have the most difficult
time at this part. They don’t realize a behavioural interview
question is a behavioural interview question, so they give an answer
to something else. They don’t answer the question correctly,
they don’t realize what the employer or the interviewer is looking for in a response,
so they give the wrong information. Okay? So it’s very important to listen carefully to
the question and make sure it’s a behavioural question, and then
answer it accordingly. Another tip is, you know, if English isn’t
your first language, it can be very stressful during a job interview when the interviewer
asks you a question and you don’t understand it. Okay? If you don’t understand it, you
can ask them to repeat it. I’m not saying it’s good to do this for every
single question, but it’s better to actually ask, you know: “I’m sorry,
I didn’t catch that. Can you please repeat
the question?” This is better than to just guess what the interviewer
was asking you and to answer something else. Okay? So if you’re not sure what the question
was, ask the interviewer to repeat it. Okay, my next tip is also very important,
this is another mistake a lot of people make: They don’t prepare
before an interview. An interview is
almost like a test. You have to prepare. You need to take some time to think about the
questions and think about your answers. Okay? The reason why people do… The reason why people have bad interviews is
because they’re not prepared for the questions. They don’t know what to expect, and then they
hear a question, and they’ve never thought about it before so they don’t
know how to answer it. So if you actually look at common interview
questions, especially common behavioural interview questions, you can think about the question
in advance and you can think about your own experience and how you
can answer it. Okay? So very, very important to
prepare before the interview. So, again, it’s great to find common
questions, you know, there are many. And the questions might differ depending
on what job you’re applying for. So, for example, if you’re going to apply
for a store clerk job, you know, they might have a behavioural question
on customer service. You know: “Tell me about a time when
you dealt with an angry customer.” Versus if, you know, maybe you’re applying
to be a project manager, then a behavioural interview question might be something like: “Tell me
about a time when you made an unpopular decision.” Okay? So based on the job you’re applying for, you
can often kind of predict or you can guess what kind of questions
they’re going to ask you. Okay? So, think about: What’s
important for this position? And, you know: What in my own past experience can I
talk about to answer these types of questions? Okay. A lot of people, especially students or people
who have a new career, they don’t have a lot of experience, so they hear a question
and they think: “Well, I’ve never… You know, I’ve never dealt
with an angry customer. I’ve never had co-workers
I didn’t get along with. I don’t know how to answer this question
because I don’t have this experience.” Well, if that’s true, it’s okay. You can be creative. Okay? Your experience isn’t
only work experience. You can talk about education. Maybe there was a class, maybe you had
a classmate you didn’t get along with. Okay? Maybe you had a professor or a
teacher you had problems with. Maybe you volunteered somewhere, so maybe
you could talk about volunteer experience, or maybe you were a part of a club or some
sort of activity, maybe you were on a baseball team. There’s a lot of things
you can talk about. The most important thing, though, is
that you answer the question. Okay? Okay, a lot of people, you know, they hear the
question and they don’t know what to say, so they’ll say: “I’ve never
been in that situation before. I can’t answer that.” It’s important that you always answer the
question, so ideally, first thing is try to think of other experience,
and if you still… You know, as hard as you try thinking, you
still can’t think of anything, then the next best step is to say something like this: “I’ve
never been in that situation before, but if I were”, and so in this case
you imagine what you would do. Okay? This is better than not answering, but again,
the best thing you can do is talk about a real experience in the workplace, or you know,
an educational experience; and if you don’t have any, then talk about what you
would do in that situation. Okay. Tip number six. A lot of students are very
worried about their English. “Oh, my English isn’t great. I’m worried. I, you know… I’m not good with the
present perfect. Sometimes I make
English mistakes.” It’s okay. You know, a lot of the times in an interview
what’s the most important thing is actually your ideas. Okay? The content, what
you have to say. So, English is important, yes, but often the
most important thing is your answers and the content. Okay? The ideas you have and
what you’re talking about. So it’s important to take some time to
really think about your experience. And finally, number seven is also very
important: Practice, practice, practice. I can’t say that enough. Practice with your family, practice with your
friends, practice with the mirror, practice with your dog.
Okay? It doesn’t matter who
you practice with. The point is: Practice these questions as
much as you can so then when you actually are asked, you don’t have to be
really nervous and unprepared. You’ll have practice so you can speak
confidently and smoothly. Okay? So practice is very important. So I want to thank you
for watching this video. I’d like to invite you to come check out our
website at; there, you can find a quiz on everything you’ve just learned
on behavioural interview questions, as well as a lot of other great resources that can
help you with English or, you know, preparing for jobs or, you know, resumes, all sorts
of different types of things that you might be interested in. I also invite you to subscribe to my channel; I
have a lot of other resources there on vocabulary, grammar, IELTS, idioms, all sorts of different
types of topics that you might be interested in. So thanks again for watching;
and until next time, take care.

Reynold King

100 Replies to “How to succeed in your JOB INTERVIEW: Behavioral Questions”

  1. I get disgusted just looking at job postings. I think it would discount my experience to call it anything less than traumatic.

    There is nothing I can really say about it.

  2. WOW! I can't thank you enough for this teaching, Emily. it's fantastic! I really need it for my Saturday's promotion interview.
    and the way you teach it is superb! Thank you, thank you, 10x.

  3. Hello Ema (or Emma)… I am learning English with you and others web teachers, but you are very clear and nice. Now, I will go to a interview full of confidence… Thanks a lot…

  4. How do you handle an interviewer who is as beautiful as you and you get distracted and get a boner?

  5. I approach interviews not expecting a job, but to shutdown the interviewer at every opportunity. I like to think of myself as successful.

  6. I am glad of having found this channel, Currently I am into looking for another job, a better job where I can make much more money, I have been taking some English courses for like 2 years in a row, an attending it only on sundays and I have to admit that I have learnt a lot, It seems thatI will have an interview soon, and, I have found this video super helphul, you´ve got another subscriber.

    Grettings from México. 🙂

  7. I am very interested to join your channel of communication and I would like to say thank you for your program .and I need to maximize my English language capabilities and I would have follow your program .then from the time onward I would have being your follower
    Joins again in the next program

  8. Wow, this is such a good tutorial. I really like the lecture format, it will stick in my head. Going to share this with some of my colleagues.

  9. I have the most important interview of my career coming up this week and I was told that it is a "Behavioural Question Interview" with few technical questions sprinkled in the interview. This video will most certainly help me to prepare. I have never heard the term "Behavioural Interview" before and have been researching the subject since then. This instructional lesson with visual aids has certainly helped. I will utilize this during the interview. God bless us all. Thank you for sharing. ~With Love~

  10. Thank you for a wonderful education video, I have 3 interviews this week, this will help to be my best, thank you, JA

  11. i have really big problems with this questions and I hate them, with my job position I have nothing to say. Can smbd help? I am a Paramedic and everything what I have imagine I could say, it sound's really stupid 🙂 just take a preview….Your the best goal? hmmm I saved a human's life,what can I say….I was very happie after 30 min reanimation I saw a heart impuls on a monitor,but it happens like twice or more in one day of work,so which one was the best hmmm maybe this blond hair guy? or maybe me best work success I was when I have memorized whole farmacology book? or my best work success was when I have realized that I can worked 12 houers without using toilett?…hmmm or; how I deal with difficult patients? I give to them calm meds,mostly cases they were aggressive……what mistake you have done and how you deal with it? hmmm I cannot made any mistakes becouse I have to go to the jail when I did it… or: desagree decision in work-I cannot tell this to you because that woulb be included a medical sensitive data in and therefore you wouldn't understand nothing from medical decisions I was have to made ….I hate those questions! those questions said nothing about person. imagine that I worked in a factory,I did every day one thing, I have any job successess but in private life I could be a surf or race champion and that tell's more about me than my work duties….or try to imagine that I have hudge work pause because I was a houswife with 3 kids and I had a lot of managing works with that but it is not a job experience and nobody asked for that! Work is for earning money not for exciting goals in most of cases,which goals you can achieve in supermarket? even if your job was your passion on the start the routine always came through. I think better resolution for job interviews for any job position is to made some exam's with simple job tasks and normal talk, with questions about interests and the best book or movie with telling why was so important for you, what is your life motto or convincion you drive in your life or ask what do you think about…put some top global problem in or whatever topic…… I think the interviewers didn't make their job well,because they did not prepare themselfs for interview like for ex; research which specifications has a job which a person who applied was doing in past for asking a good reasonable questions and how by using a little psychology check interpersonal cues or manual tests or knowledge tests for any job position (or by using psychodrama).personally I think the perfect job interview for me have to take a couple days and consist diferent tasks and little trainings- I was on few like this…

  12. Never have had I an interview when they ask this. the interviews i have had are straight to the point

    So what do you know about AD, GPO, DHCP, DNS?

  13. oh is very useful and interesting this lesson ….and the teacher is beatiful, congratulations, greetings from tlaxcala, mexico

  14. Omg, i love this video and what i love the most is that you speak so clearly, every thing is understandable. You are amazing. I love it so much that i think I'm gonna watch it over and over again. Thanks a lot.

  15. Hi Emma
    Many thanks for u miss Emma actually it's very useful video and helpful as well
    so I have been keep watching your video's for about a month and I'm very exciting and Im really get much benefit
    So my comment about this video is concentrated as mentioned about what the experience of somebody or what he did in past so I ask you to provide some videos about the unexpected question the interviewer may ask for example qestion related to the future or the present
    Please after you see my comment if it's possible let me know my mistake and the correction as well.

  16. Thank you, but in general as they maybe common interview questions but I still fail to see how these questions are supposed to show my ethic as an employee

    Thanks still for this, hoping to get an office job! 🤞

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *