Behavioral style interviews take place with the interviewer asking the candidate, how they would react to a certain situation, or how they had reacted to a situation in the past.
The basic questions relate to asking candidates to list their accomplishments, the challenges overcome, situations of going beyond what was required, perseverance, leadership experiences, and more. Other common questions may include asking the candidate to narrate the last time they demonstrated initiative, a situation where they motivated themselves to complete a boring or difficult assignment, the approach to complete a complex assignment, a situation where the candidate took an instant decision, a risky decision, or how the candidate approached undertaking a totally unfamiliar task.
The questions can also extend to probing how the candidate approached a difficult boss or coworker, the candidate’s interactions and role in teamwork, how a candidate persuaded a coworker to do something difficult, out of the way, or an undeserved favor, instances of some conflict with a coworker or boss, and the like.
Other possible questions include asking the candidate to reveal a bad experience or a bad decision, and the lessons learned from such episodes, a time when the candidate missed an obvious solution to the problem, the candidate’s biggest failure, or regret, some unpopular decisions made by the candidate, how the candidate resolved any ethical dilemma, and other negative questions.
One good way to determine likely questions, is looking at the job description to understand key skills and traits required for the position. For instance, if the position involves teamwork, likely questions would relate to probing the candidates ability to work in a team, or lead a team.