Behavioral Interview Questions And Answers 101

By Mike Simpson

Imagine you’re sitting on a black folding chair in the middle of the hiring manager’s office at your very next job interview.

You want this job. Bad.

You’re eye to eye with the hiring manager…

The hiring manager takes a long pause and after what seems like an eternity finally leans forward and says:

“Tell me about a time when a group project you were working on failed….”


This guy has been trying to prepare for behavioral questions (he clearly hasn’t read this post…)

Uh oh. One of the dreaded behavioral interview questions.

So, considering your future career aspirations may hinge on your answer…

What do you say?

Do you have a “success story” that highlights the exact qualities that particular company is looking for in an employee, and are you ready to talk about it smoothly?

Or are you sitting there dry-mouthed with a confused and rather silly look on your face as you try and come up with a stall tactic?

Don’t worry if you fell into the “confused and rather silly” camp because this article is going to demystify behavioral interviews and hand you a clear blueprint or plan for coming up with fantastic answers that will wow the hiring manager and leave your competition in your dust.

You are going to get actionable stuff that you can immediately apply in your next interview. No wishy washy info here.

Start by downloading our “Behavioral Interview Questions PDF Checklist” that gives tips on how to answer 25 common behavioral questions CLICK HERE TO GET THE BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW CHECKLIST


Behavioral questions definitely take a little practice to get the hang of, but this article is going to take you step by step through the process of getting prepared.

There are various components to a behavioral question that we we need to break down piece by piece…


Ok let’s get cracking…


What The Heck Are Behavioral Interview Questions Anyway?


In case you aren’t completely clear on what exactly behavioral questions are, here’s an explanation.

A behavioral question (also known as STAR Interview Questions or behavior-based interview questions) is a question that aims at learning about your past “behaviors” in specific work situations.  

How you have “behaved” in certain situations in the past will give them clues on how you’ll behave in those same situations when working for them in the future.

Behavioral questions can be asked at any time, but are often asked as part of a second interview.

Why do hiring managers insist on asking behavioral questions? (Don’t they know job interviews are hard enough??)

Hiring managers ask behavioral questions for a very specific reason.

They are trying to see if you possess specific qualities that they need for the particular position you are interviewing for.

Remember, as Jeff and I always say: “It’s not about you, It’s about them”

In other words, if they are looking for someone with good leadership qualities, they may ask you a behavioral question to see if your past behaviors demonstrate leadership.

An example of a behavioral question that is looking for you to demonstrate leadership qualities could be:

“Tell me about a time when you took the lead on a difficult project?”

So that begs the question, how can you demonstrate to the hiring manager that you can be a great leader?

The answer is: With Success Stories

BONUS PDF CHECKLIST: Download our "Behavioral Interview Questions PDF Checklist" that gives tips on how to answer 25 common behavioral questions CLICK HERE TO GET THE BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW CHECKLIST

Why You Need “Success Stories” To Give Fantastic Answers To Behavioral Questions


A success story is a short story from your past that highlights a specific “quality” or “competency” that you possess.

Usually a success story revolves around a past work experience. However, for recent grads or those with little work experience a Success Story can be taken from other events in your life such as school clubs, athletic teams, volunteer work etc… The point is it must highlight the quality they are looking for.

For example, let’s go back to our leadership question: “Tell me about a time when you took the lead on a difficult project?”

In order to answer this well you obviously need to relate a success story from your past that shows you demonstrating leadership qualities.

The key is, you need to be prepared with your  success story BEFORE you find yourself sitting on the hot seat faced with this question.

(Sitting there, humming and hawing awkwardly while you try and come with something is a surefire way for you to NOT get the job.)

Instead, you need to effortlessly pull out a success story that is perfect for the situation.

Here is an example of Success Story that is both appropriate for the leadership question above and based on some of my own past experience.  In this case, I was working at a car dealership as a service advisor (a nice way of saying I was there to help you fix your car and sell you overpriced floor mats):

"I volunteered for (and was nominated the head of) a committee of 4 people tasked with investigating poor customer reviews. I analyzed reviews and discovered that customer wait times were the largest contributor to negative reviews. I then lead brainstorming situations with my team to find a solution. This solution was a change in workflow for mechanics. After implementing my suggestion, wait times dropped 18%."

Now don’t forget, on its own this is not an answer to a behavioral interview question, but merely a success story to reference in your interview answer.  You will want to frame your answer around this success story (more about this coming up below).

I know what you’re thinking:

“So Mike, what you’re telling me is that I have to have hundreds of these success stories ready and waiting to tackle any behavioral question they could throw at me!?? Sounds…terrible.”

Don’t worry, there’s a shortcut and a trick that will let you sidestep all that work and we will get into it in the next section.

How To Pick The Right Success Stories


Instead of slogging through trying to come up with a success story for every possible behavioral questions there are 2 things you can do instead.

  1. Only prepare success stories for the most common categories of behavioral questions.
  2. Do some cutting edge company research in order to find out what specific qualities your company is looking for and then craft a few success stories that highlight those specific qualities.

Time Saving Tactic 1

First I want to give you the 5 categories of common behavioral questions.

The fact is, there are certain types of behavioral questions that are asked more often than others. By knowing these common types, you can prepare a success story to address each category.

Let’s take a look at the common behavior based question categories:

  1. Teamwork oriented
  2. Problem solving
  3. Initiative/Leadership
  4. Interpersonal Skills
  5. Challenge/stress/pressure

If you prepare a success story to cover each these 5 categories then you will be covering your bases pretty well and be saving yourself a lot of time in preparation.

You just need to be able tweak your success story to whatever question comes down the pipe.

For example, here’s another example (from my past) of a good success story that can be used when answering a problem solving type behavior based question.  In this case, I was working for a pro sports team as a Season Ticket Sales Representative:

"Facing low sales numbers for full season ticket packages and the possibility of many empty seats for the upcoming season, I developed, created and spearheaded the implementation of a new sales strategy, which allowed for the sale of smaller “game packs” as opposed to only “full season” ticket packages. This strategy directly increased overall sales by 44%."

Your task is to come up with one good success story for each of the common behavioral categories. You can look to the “problem solving” example above for inspiration.

Time Saving Tactic 2

The next thing you’ll want to do, is mine your job description to find qualities you know the company is looking for.

Grab the job description and go through it with a fine toothed comb  and tease out any qualities that the company is highlighting and jot them down.

Do they bring up “collaboration” as a requisite competency for the position?

How about “problem solving”?

You’ll quickly notice that most job descriptions you come across will very clearly state the qualities the company is looking for in their “Perfect Candidate”.

So go ahead, grab the job description and do some detective work!

Ok, done?

Great! Now that you have a list of these qualities, you now know the types of behavioral questions you are most likely going to be asked and can craft your success stories accordingly!

Ok, now that you have your success stories locked down it’s time we go through some actual examples of behavioral questions.

BONUS PDF CHECKLIST: Download our "Behavioral Interview Questions PDF Checklist" that gives tips on how to answer 25 common behavioral questions CLICK HERE TO GET THE BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW CHECKLIST

Common Behavioral Interview Questions


  • “Describe a Situation Where You Disagreed With a Supervisor.”
  • “Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work.”
  • “Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem.”
  • “Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own) that was implemented primarily because of your efforts.”
  • “Do you feel you work well under pressure? If so, describe a time when you have done so…”
  • “Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.”
  • “Tell me about a time where you had to delegate tasks during a project”
  • “Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.”
  • “Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.”

Can you see how these questions are all trying to find out how you behaved in the past in order to predict how you will behave in the future?

So now that you know that you have to use success stories and you have an idea of what a behavioral question looks like, how the heck to you actually answer them??

NOTE: This article focuses on Behavioral Interview Questions.  For more information on how to answer traditional interview questions, please check out our other in-depth article "Job Interview Questions and Answers 101."  For information on how to answer situational interview questions, you can check out our article "Situational Interview Questions and Answers"

Why You Need To Use The S.T.A.R. Method To Craft Your Behavioral Answers


Now that you know the importance of having your success stories planned out, you now need to understand how to use them in your interview answers.

The best way to organize your behavioral answers is to use the S.T.A.R. method (which is why behavioral interview questions are often referred to as STAR Interview Questions).

The STAR interview method gives you a simple framework to use when crafting your answers.

Here’s what STAR stands for:

1. Situation: Open with a brief description of the Situation and context of the success story (who, what, where, when, how).
2. Task: Explain the Task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraint (eg deadlines, costs, other issues).
3. Action: Describe the specific Actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.)
4. Result: Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible.


Your success story should be between 1 and 3 minutes. No more!

How To Use The S.T.A.R. Method


Now let’s bring everything we’ve gone over together and come up with a fantastic behavioral answer that will knock the hiring managers socks off!

Ok let’s go back to the leadership question we were dealing with earlier in this article:

“Tell me about a time when you took the lead on a difficult project?”

I’m going to include the Success Story I have and use the STAR method to deliver a succinct, yet detailed answer that highlights the fact that I can bring good leadership qualities to the table.

Take a look at my answer:

A few years back I was working as a Service Advisor at car dealership. One morning in our department staff meeting the Service Manager announced that we had been receiving an unacceptable amount of negative reviews for the service we had been providing our customers. His solution was to create a committee that would analyze the situation and put forth actionable improvements, and for this he asked for volunteers.

I had been looking for an opportunity to show that I was capable of taking on more responsibility, and being a person who enjoys working in group situations, I was the first to volunteer. My Service Manager was quick to make me the leader of the committee, which put me in the position of the leader of a group of 4 other people who were tasked to come up with a solution.

Over the next three weeks we analyzed each of the customer services reports and discovered that the vast majority of negative reviews were a result of lengthy wait times for customers.  Knowing that we had to come up with a solution to decrease the amount of time our customers were left waiting, I then lead brainstorming sessions to find a way to fix the problem.  We zoned in on changing the way our mechanics worked on each work order.

After implementing my suggestion, mechanics were able to focus mainly on their specializations, which meant they worked faster and more efficiently, which translated to wait times dropping by 18%.  This was a situation that required me to manage 4 people and find a solution that created a positive outcome and solved a critical issue, which I believe I was able to do.

Ok now take a look at the answer in a new way, where I breakdown exactly whats going on in the answer so you can see exactly how the answer is crafted:


So hopefully that little graphic Jeff cooked up, makes it clear how the success story, the leadership quality and the STAR method all work together in a well crafted answer.


Note the specificity of the Result in the example answer: "wait times dropped by 18%." It's always a great idea to demonstrate a clear and numbered result in your answer.

If you want to get some more examples of other behavioral interview questions, download our “Behavioral Interview Questions PDF Checklist” that gives tips on how to answer 25 common behavioral questions CLICK HERE TO GET THE BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW CHECKLIST

A Word Of Warning


You’re almost ready to head off and crush your behavioral interview, but first I want to give you a little word of warning.

Often when being asked a behavioral question, the hiring manager will give you a clue as to what quality he’s looking for.

For example, if he or she asks you to “Tell them about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem…”  then it it’s pretty clear that the quality they’re looking for is: problem solving.

Makes sense right?

But as Mark Murphy explains in his illuminating article on Forbes “The Hidden Flaw In Behavioral Interview Questions”, hiring managers may soon be shifting away from this type of “leading” question and moving towards a more open ended behavioral question that aims to be more challenging to the average interviewee.

Take a look at this excerpt from Murphy’s article (geared towards employers):

“These [behavioral] questions give away the right answers; cuing candidates to share success stories and avoid examples of failure. But how are interviewers supposed to tell good from bad candidates if everyone shares only success stories? Wouldn’t you rather change the question so that candidates feel free to tell you about all the times they couldn’t balance competing priorities? Or failed to persuade people? Or couldn’t adapt to a difficult situation?”

Mark Murphy, Author and founder of Leadership IQ

So if hiring managers take Mr. Murphy’s advice (and they probably should, so you need to be ready…) a more traditional behavioral question goes from something like: ““Tell me about a time when you were bored on the job and what you did to make the job more interesting.” to ““Could you tell me about a time when you were bored on the job?”…

Notice how the first question gives away exactly what the hiring manager is looking for whereas question #2 leaves things a lot more open ended and gives the interviewee ample opportunity to put his or her foot in their mouth!

So, what do you do if you’re faced with one of Mr. Murphy’s trickier, open ended behavioral questions?

Simple, you use tactic #2 from earlier on in this article.

You mine the job description and find out exactly what qualities the company is looking for in their perfect candidate and you craft your success stories accordingly.

This way, even if you get an open ended question you will be ready to answer with a success story that highlights a quality you KNOW they are looking for.

Trust me this works amazingly well. This approach really turned things around for me in my own interviews and will do the same for you.

Ok so in summary you now know:

  • What behavioral questions are and why hiring managers ask them.
  • You also know that there are specific qualities or behaviors you have to show the hiring manager you possess through your well crafted answer.
  • You know you need Success Stories and you know how to pick them.
  • You know the common behavioral interview question categories.
  • You know that you need to do some digging to find out exactly what qualities your specific company is looking for.
  • You also now know what the STAR method is and how to use it to craft a fantastic answer.

Now you should really be ready to tackle any behavioral question that comes your way.

Please be kind and rate this post 🙂

Behavioral Interview Questions And Answers 101
4.8 (96.45%) 428 votes


To make sure you’re 110% prepared we’ve prepared a cool PDF checklist that you should download

FREE: Behavioral Interview Questions PDF Checklist

Ok the next thing you should do is download our handy "Behavioral Interview Questions Checklist PDF".

In it you'll get 25 common behavioral questions along with tips on how to answer them and the traps you need to avoid....

All in a beautifully designed pdf Jeff spent hours working on. ---- He made me put that in 😉



  • Peter Bergeris

    Reply Reply January 21, 2015

    I went thru those same questions and found it hard to come up with examples. Most of my jobs were in trade support and I do talk about some trade problems and resolutions.But I do not get the job.Tired of this type of interviewing.You don’t know what to expect and , but I do my homework, but feel it hard to know what behavioral questions will be asked.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply January 21, 2015

      Hi Peter!

      Uggh…I couldn’t agree more. These types of questions can be a real pain in the neck! The frustrating part is that they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, hiring managers are turning to behavioral questions more than they ever have. While I understand the reasoning, it doesn’t make things any easier for job seekers like us!

      Okay, so the question remains…what would I do if I were you?

      Well, it really depends on the type of company you are interviewing with, the industry it does business in and most importantly, the “qualities” that the company feels like their perfect candidate must have. What type of research are you doing on the company before your interview? This is a good place to start.

      Companies will leave clues about the types of people they hire all over the place; from their corporate website to their Facebook page, and from their YouTube channel to their Twitter feed. You have to pay close attention to the knowledge, skills and abilities that they constantly reference. This will usually give you a big clue as to what to expect in your interview – the kind of person you need to be in your interview

      Once you get a good idea of the type of candidate they are looking for, it helps to have some success stories from your past that help show that you possess those qualities with flying colors! Now, you can’t always predict exactly what they are going to ask you, but this should still give you a good foundation. And don’t be afraid during interview to subtly guide the interview toward your success stories. After all, it’s a conversation, not an interrogation!

      If you apply this method and still continue to have difficulty achieving any kind of success, it’s possible that there is another aspect of your interview that you may need to brush up on.

      Keep checking back to the blog because we are going to have a ton of articles addressing all facets of your job interview.

      Hope this helps!

      • Doug Herman

        Reply Reply August 9, 2015

        I have a problem with behavioral interviews because past behavior doesn’t have a lot to do with predicting future performance. I think that they are not used as a selection tool, but rather an elimination tool. The truth is that in today’s poor employment market hiring managers are swamped with qualified applicants. The behavioral interview is a useful tool for whittling down the volume.

        • Terri Mc

          Reply Reply September 16, 2015

          Doug –
          I disagree with your first statement. Past performance is the BEST indicator of future behavior regarding people. Early successes are a bellwether and can be used to spot the extraordinary people in a sea of average. That is not to say that people do not evolve, but for the average hiring manager, finding someone who was successful using the same skills the hiring manager needs is an appealing choice.

          • Jim

            June 28, 2017

            Past performance is lead indicator of future performance only in predictable context. World is changing and a strength that made you successful so far could easily be your major weakness in your next job. Who fails to see this fails to understand the complexity of the world today.

    • Joyce

      Reply Reply October 17, 2016

      You should have someone interview you for practice!I had a previous Supervisor whom I was cool with to interview me for practice. Trust me….it helps!

      • Jeff

        Reply Reply October 18, 2016

        Great tip Joyce!

  • ChristopherGiannotti

    Reply Reply May 19, 2015

    Hello Mike,

    I have a question regarding interviewing for school administrator positions. Do you have any suggestions for potential candidates when having to in front of a hiring committee that is composed of different stakeholders of the school community?

  • hanna stocksick

    Reply Reply July 17, 2015

    I’ve been applying to manufacturing technician positions in the pharmaceutical companies and one thing that is on my way is the fact that they always ask about troubleshooting equipment, putting together equipment, etc and I have no previous experience in that. I mean, I always come up with answers like I installed a printer to my computer, or something like that, but I was a teacher before having never worked with equipment. What can I do to overcome this? Any suggestions? I have to say, I have learned a lot with you guys! thanks a lot!

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply July 21, 2015


      It sounds like this is a very important part of the position you are applying for and that basic tasks like installing a printer are not technical or advanced enough to prove that you are able to do the job.

      In this case, you may need to brush up a little on your skills. I recommend looking around for a course or workshop that you could take to add to your skill-set and ultimately make you more attractive as a candidate.

      I know it’s not the ideal solution but unfortunately, sometimes it is impossible to get around the most technical aspects of a position.

      Good luck!

  • Always looking to improve

    Reply Reply August 26, 2015

    This article is excellent! Having taught interviewing for years and then used the skills to land the jobs and promotions I wanted, I definitely agree with everything said. However, when you mention stories, I see where you don’t mention that one story can suffice for several of the 5 categories. While you don’t want to use the same story for everything, you can add details to it to aim it toward a second category and that cuts down on the number of stories you are trying to remember doing a nerve-wracking interview. The STAR method and then the actual parsing of the story was an excellent example. I have already sent this to several people I know are interviewing.

  • Jennifer Henry

    Reply Reply September 15, 2015

    I have a question, big behavioral interview tomorrow (first one in 5 years) what if you don’t hAve any examples or success story that pertains to the questuon? For example I have never had a conflict at work personally, or argued with a coworker and had to resolve it. Should I make up a success story? Or just say honestly I’ve never been in that situation? Tour tips are so helpful and entertaining to read thank you for your help!

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply September 16, 2015


      Since you don’t have an office-specific conflict to offer, try to think of another situation from your past that demonstrates a conflict that you had and how you resolved it. Perhaps it was on the soccer field, at a volunteer site, during a class project or even with a family member. Your goal is to demonstrate that a conflict existed that you were able to find a solution to.

      Honesty is always the best policy. It’s just to easy in today’s world for a hiring manager to get background information on you, and telling lies or making up stories is a dangerous game to play.

      I hope this helps. Good luck!


  • Christine

    Reply Reply October 6, 2015

    I have applied for the same position multiple times. My job does the behavioral question method and the star method. For me it has been very difficult because I come across a hard time being able to explain myself and walk them thru the process of how I identified the problem and resolved it. My issue is I tend to jump around. I’ve been told they know I can do the job just need to interview better basically. Im getting ready to apply one more time I’m just wondering what else I can do to work on this.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply October 9, 2015


      If you jump around a lot, it’s likely because you are lacking the confidence to give a really clear answer, and this generally comes from being unprepared.

      Now, I’m not saying that this is the case for you, but it is a possibility you should consider.

      Our article lays out the step-by-step method for answering a behavioral question. So knowing this, you should be able to track down all of the common behavioral interview questions you could be asked and simply prepare answers to each one, step-by-step.

      If you spend the time on each individual question you will have the confidence to give clear and concise answers when the time comes.

      Good Luck!


  • Jay

    Reply Reply October 27, 2015

    Your comments really make a lot of sense. the only way to be clear and concise is to prepare and rehearse

  • Ayanna

    Reply Reply December 19, 2015

    I really liked this article Mike! I’ve been using the STAR method and it works – or seems to work based on the feedback I’ve been getting. I see the STAR method as my mini playbook that I use to pull out several ones depending on the situation. I usually have a standard that I stick with.

    Question: what about scenario questions? Do you think these are the same as behavioral questions? What I’m asking is when an interviewer presents a scenario to you and then says: “what would you do?” I’m a PR/Comms professional and I’ve been getting lots of these questions.

    Aren’t these like hidden behavioral questions? Aren’t they still trying to find out your skills/strengths/weaknesses? Do you have any tips on how to answer these since they can be tricky as well? I think your readers may be interested in how to work with these types of questions. Thanks!

  • AnthonyMusto

    Reply Reply January 12, 2016


  • sac875

    Reply Reply January 28, 2016

    I absolutely despise STAR questions!!!!! I have an introverted personality and need some considerable time to think about these questions. Also though I’m in my 40s my career has been in clerical/administrative and haven’t really been exposed to much, many of these situations they ask about. Also I don’t have kids so I’m not into and don’t hang around with the parent types, etc as far as social activities and issues that could take place. For people who share in my personality, I’m sure they would agree that it is utterly dreadful being put on the spot like this.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply January 29, 2016

      Yes, behavioral questions aren’t exactly fun for everyone… but I hope you were able to take some of the lessons from this article and use them to your advantage!

      Let us know how it goes.


    • Denise

      Reply Reply February 5, 2016

      I have the same problem I lost out on numerous job opportunities because of this. I haven’t had many job since I was on my last job for 15 years and wasn’t interviewed for that job, which was my only job prior to me relocating. Now I’m unemployed and cant seem to pass these interview questions because some of the questions asked I was never put in that scenario.

      • Amanda

        Reply Reply February 8, 2016

        I agree as well. I just had one and had no idea it was going to be a behavioral interview or that there was such a thing until I was sitting in front of the interviewer. I was like your going to do what? I had perfect 10+ years of experience for the position and didn’t get it. When I asked for and got feedback their reason was I didn’t have enough experience working directly with customers. I worked with customers on a regular basis but from the questions I was being asked I didn’t know that is what they were trying to figure out. If I had known that I could’ve explained that I did work with customers. Too me the questions being asked were trying to find out how I solved certain situations not how much I worked with customers. It seemed to me like they were trying to be tricky about it. If you want to know specifically if some one does “A” then just be direct and ask them.

  • StephenYurachek

    Reply Reply February 12, 2016

    Hey Guys,

    Just wanted to say thank you. I followed your system step by step and I got the job! Thanks again.


    • Jeff

      Reply Reply February 13, 2016

      Fantastic news Stephen! Congratulations from Mike and I… I hope you enjoy the new job, well done!

  • Ashwin Bansod

    Reply Reply February 14, 2016

    Hi Guys,

    What if the question demands a reference to a situation that I have not faced in my professional life..?? How should I tackle these questions? Is it ok to say that, I have not faced such situation ?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply February 15, 2016

      In the event that you cannot reference your professional life, do you best to pull examples from other life experiences, such as schooling, sports, volunteer work or another similar area.


  • Linette

    Reply Reply March 7, 2016

    I am finding the more I practice the possible question scenarios, the more prepared & confident I feel in an interview. (1st one felt like a brural interrogation before I found your tips tricks!) What do you suggest for the questions where they ask you to describe your weaknesses or a situation where you failed? I know I need to spin it to somehow have a positive outcome (“It became a learning experience & helped me improve my planning & overall performance.”) …but what would be considered an ‘acceptable’ weakness or failure to talk about?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 7, 2016

      Hi Linette,

      I’m glad you’re feeling more confident the more you read and practice! Here’s the trick with answering any questions about weaknesses: A. You want to be honest. B. You want to show what you learned and the steps you are taking to overcome the weakness (as you mentioned!) and C. You want to talk about a weakness that DOESN’T interfere with a core competency of the job you’re interviewing for.

      For example, if you’re interviewing for a job that requires you to interact with colleagues on a daily basis on group projects, then highlighting your “shyness” as a weakness might not be a good idea! Your “shyness” would interfere with the core qualities of the job. Study the job description in detail and come up with a weakness that is not going to interfere with the qualities they’re looking for. Picking a good weakness depends both on you and the specific job you’re interviewing for.

      For more info check out these 2 other blog posts:

      Hope that helps!

  • shazz

    Reply Reply March 27, 2016

    hey guys I have an interview this coming Friday with an estate company but the problem is there is no job description or anything about the position and wen I call to enquire they just say it will depend on the interview so I am not even sure about the qualities they are looking for since I just sent them my CV via email and they then invited me for an interview .Please help

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 28, 2016

      Hi there,

      In that case I would do some exploring on their company website and on their social accounts (if they exist) (Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube…) They may feature some of their employees, include info on the types of people they hire. These properties can give you a lot of hints into the type of candidate they’re looking for.

      If you can’t find any, then you’re going to have to simply prepare answers that highlight your qualities that in your opinion are best suited to the position. Make an educated guess…

      Good luck!

  • Szilvia

    Reply Reply April 10, 2016

    Hey Guys,

    Sending you a big thank you cause I got the job! 🙂



    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply April 11, 2016


      This is wonderful news! We’re so happy that our teachings helped you get a job. Good luck with your new position!


  • Shelly

    Reply Reply April 12, 2016

    I have a tendency to overstress important situations, and I had (somehow) landed an interview for a professional position, that usually requires at least an associate degree, with absolutely no training or experience in the field! Luckily I found your page, and studied it like it was the only thing keeping me alive! I took notes, practiced in the mirror, and created mock worst case scenarios to dig my way out of. Then after a night full of anxiety ridden insomnia, I walked in to the interview this morning incredibly unsure, but completely prepared!!! We talked for over an hour. (I say talked, because in no time he was laughing and opening up about his own life.) As I was leaving he said that he had four other applicants to meet with, but I would be hearing from him! You are AMAZING!!! Now to write a charming thank you email, and sit back with my fingers crossed! Even if I don’t get this position I feel prepared to go to the next one (without feeling nauseous)!! I can’t thank you enough!!!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply April 25, 2016

      Amazing work Shelly!

      Sounds like you really took some of our advice to heart and went above and beyond in your preparation…and were rewarded! So happy for us to hear from blog visitors like you!

  • mike

    Reply Reply May 25, 2016

    I have been on a number of behavioral interviews in the past year, I can say they start getting a little easier with more practice, however I still hate them and find them difficult. I have been on an interview that was 2 hours long and almost all the time is spent on the behavioral questions and hardly any time on my resume and “what I know and can do”. To me it begs the question, in regards to engineering jobs at least, the best candidate might not be the best at BSing thru the questions, do you want the best engineer you can find or someone that can sell you a bill of goods? (because that’s called a Sales guy!). Engineers solve problems and deal with tough situations on a daily basis, team work, planning and consensus building, check, check and check. Sorry, I would rather deep dive into someone technical skill set and just leave the behavior stuff to a minimum.

  • mary

    Reply Reply November 30, 2016

    Hello Interview Guys

    After reading some of your comments to some questions frequently asked, I thought to myself this is the right place.
    I am applying for this vacancy for Clerical Officer (Ledgers) and also assistant accountants for this department I have worked for earlier and have never done this kind of behavioral interview before.
    Please assist

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 5, 2016

      Hi Mary,

      Well we wrote the behavioral article above just for this purpose ha! We really go through everything you need to know in the article above when it comes to behavioral questions. (Hence why it’s called 101) We crammed everything we know into it lol! So if didn’t help you, I’m not sure how I can assist. Good luck!

  • Justine Murekatete

    Reply Reply December 28, 2016

    Hi Jeff & Mike,

    Thanks a million for your interview guides.
    The behaviour questions guidelines were spot on.

    They asked me on all the five you listed.Leadership,teamwork,problem solving,interpersonal skills and conflict management.I had prepared a SUCCESS STORY on all five.

    Since i was in a clinical health care position and was applying for a managerial position it took me a while to come up with Success Stories that highlighted my strength/the quality that i wished to convey in the stories. Because of you and your wealth of helpful information i went to the interview feeling more confident.

    I was shortlisted as part of the top three candidates.

    Recently i was informed that i was the best candidate and chosen for the position i was interviewed for.

    My heart felt thanks to you, Jeff & Mike.

    Guess what?.My husband is looking to change jobs.I have already forwarded him some of the data i got from you,and told him to look no further for help than to The Interview Guys.

    Many thanks and Happy holidays,

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply January 4, 2017

      Wow Justine that is fantastic news!

      A huge congratulations from Mike and I!!

      And yes, send your husband right over haha…

  • Simone

    Reply Reply January 17, 2017

    Just wanted to send a huge thank you for all the valuable information on interviewing. I considered myself a horrible interviewer and blew a lot of potential jobs because I wasn’t equipped with the new way of answering interview questions.

    Had a second interview today which was face to face, I feel I nailed it, just hope the people conducting the interview felt the same. After studying your method for about two weeks, I walked into the interview confident, equipped with my three success stories and used a lot of key words from the job description when answering questions. While I’d love to move forward to the next round, but if I don’t I know I’m a better interviewer because I was prepared.

    Thanks so much!

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply January 18, 2017

      Great to hear Simone! We’re thrilled you felt more confident after studying our method.

      Please let us know how it goes.

      – M

  • Harjit

    Reply Reply January 30, 2017

    Just come across your article. Found it very useful and easy to understand. Got an interview tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Will Def come back to your article for future interview prep etc. Thanks

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply February 8, 2017

      Thanks Harjit! Stop by any time…

  • Brian

    Reply Reply February 7, 2017

    I wanted to thank you I used your tips for the S.T.A.R Interview and others from around your site. The Final result was I got the job (which I thought was out of my league)and the two gentlemen interviewing me said they had never had someone do so well with it Thank You

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply February 8, 2017

      Great news Brian! Congratulations and good luck at your new position!

  • Pankaj

    Reply Reply March 4, 2017

    I am a health care worker and did so many interviews. I am so sorry to say that I am not able to make any of them and then started goggling about behaviour question and how to answer them. Meanwhile i found your site and going through it. I dont know wheather i trust your technique or do it my own way. There are tons of ways in internet and all of them say they have the best technique. I dont know what to do now. I am so confused

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply March 6, 2017

      It’s true, there are a lot of sites out there offering their own techniques… and I agree, it can be confusing.

      What we did was set out to study all of the techniques, combine the best elements of each, and present them in one easy-to-digest-and-implement method. I think you’ve found the right place!

      Give our method a try… you won’t be sorry!

      – M