Behavioral questions at the interview

16 February 2023

Behavioral questions are questions that address a candidate’s behavior, experiences and reactions to situations from previous jobs. They are supposed to get a more accurate idea of the candidate’s personality and combined with an assessment of technical skills. This can be a good indicator of future behavior and compatibility with the team and corporate culture of the company to which the candidate is applying.

Examples of behavioral questions

Typically, behavioral questions start with:”Tell me how you acted when…”Typically, behavioral questions start with:

  • “Tell / think of a situation in which…”
  • “Tell me how you acted when…”
  • “Describe a situation in which…”

Below you will find examples of questions according to different soft skills. They will be useful for both IT Recruiters and candidates 🙂


  • Tell about a situation in which you had to speak up and be assertive to achieve a goal that was important to you.
  • Tell about a situation where you had to present a complex technical problem to a person who did not understand the more detailed, specialized nomenclature. How did you make sure the other person understood you?

If you’re looking for a person for a Team Lead position. ➡️ It’s worth asking if they’ve worked on a team in the past that included. For example, junior programmers, and what the communication was like at the time.

  • Was there a situation when you felt you didn’t communicate something the way you wanted? How did you find a solution?


  • Tell us about a team job you don’t recall well – what went wrong and why did it disappoint you?
  • What was the most difficult situation when you led the team? How did you manage to solve it?
  • When you had an important goal to achieve, how did you work with other team members to succeed?

Dealing with difficult and conflict situations

  • Tell about a situation when you had a conflict with a team member. How did you deal with it? Were you able to find a mutually beneficial solution?
  • Tell about a situation when there was a conflict in your team (between other members) – how did you handle the situation?
  • Was there a time when you disagreed with someone while working on a project? How did you manage to come to an agreement?

Goal-oriented and solution-oriented

  • What was the biggest problem you have encountered so far while working on projects? What made it difficult? How did you solve it?
  • Tell about a situation when you encountered an obstacle while working on a project – what was the obstacle? What solution did you find to solve the problem in the end?
  • Do you notice problems at the stage when they have not yet turned into something serious and try to fix them on the fly? Can you give an example of a situation?

Stress and time management

  • Give an example of a recent stressful situation at work. What did it involve? How did you deal with it?
  • Tell about a situation when you managed to work effectively under time pressure. How did you organize your work to achieve the desired result?
  • Tell about a situation when you failed to work effectively under time pressure. Why was this the case? What steps did you manage to take? What_would_you_do now looking back on this situation?

When a situation particularly interests us, in addition to asking about past events… It is also worth asking how the candidate would behave if such a situation happened now. People learn, draw conclusions and change their mechanisms of action. Perhaps the lessons learned from past experiences, make the current strategies for resolving certain situations significantly different from those of the past 🙂

Why are the proper behavioral questions so important?

After talking with the Hiring Manager and at the stage of creating a job ad, we visualize the personas we want to reach. We know what the team cares most about. And who they would see on their team. The right behavioral questions at the interview can help us better assess whether the candidate has the experience and qualities we are looking for.

And what behavioral questions do you ask at interviews?

About the Authors

Klaudia ☁️

- LinkedIn

Former Tech Sourcing Partner and now a Tech Recruiter who also acts as an IT Career Agent. She helps programmers find jobs that match their expectations.