How To Answer Any Behavioral Interview Question

  • Published: 07 February 2018
  • Work It Daily's Free Job Search Resource:

    8 Smart Questions To Ask Hiring Managers:

    Don't get STUMPED by tricky interview questions! Instead, learn how to answer them effectively. In this video, career expert J.T. O'Donnell reveals her SECRET to answering behavior interview questions so you can crush your job interviews every time.

    A behavioral interview questions is an open-ended questions, meaning it doesn't result in a one-word answer like “yes” or “no.”

    Instead, it requires the interviewee to elaborate and give a more personalized answer. Hiring managers use behavioral interview questions to help determine if candidates have the skills or experience to do the job.

    The best way to answer these types of questions is to structure your answers using the Experience, Learn, and Grow model.

    Experience + Learn = Grow.

    - Explain your experience. Share a situation you dealt with in the past. What was the problem or challenge that had to be overcome?

    - Talk about how you overcame it and how you accomplished it.

    - Explain how you’re going to take this lesson and use it to keep growing as professional so you can add even more value in similar situations in the future.

    Here are some common behavioral interview questions you could get asked in your next interview:

    - What's your greatest accomplishment on the job?

    - Tell me about a difficult situation you encountered and how you overcame it.

    - If I was to ask a co-worker about you, how would they describe you on-the-job?

    - If someone came to you with an enthusiastic, yet unrealistic request, how would you handle it?

    Take these three questions and start practicing structuring your answers using the Experience, Learn, and Grow method.


    If you’re having a hard time even getting interviews, check out our free resource that could help address some issues that could be holding you back.

    And, if you want J.T. and her team to help you become a pro at interviewing, negotiating and more, then you need to check out our Premium Subscription:

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Comments • 300

  • lars11577
    lars11577  1 years back

    Thank you so very much for your videos. I prepared for my interview using your tips particularly on follow-up questions and behavioral questions and they were so impressed with my answers they hired me on the spot. I admittedly struggle in interviews and I believe your advice really helped me polish my presentation. I was able to land the dream job I have been waiting for for over 4 years. So thank you thank you thank you!!!! I cannot say enough good things about your resources!

  • Yanna Felicia
    Yanna Felicia  4 days back

    Wonderful tips 👍🏽

    • A Nomad
      A Nomad  6 days back

      great stuff

      • MaDonna Williams
        MaDonna Williams  7 days back

        I used your tutorials took help prepare for my interveiw. Thank you I landed my dream job.

        • Tez .W
          Tez .W  2 weeks back

          im young , I have no accomplishments yet..
          yea that didn't go over well..

          • Beach Girl
            Beach Girl  2 weeks back

            I love your videos! Too much cleavage peeking out though...

            • Anni CHEN
              Anni CHEN  3 weeks back

              It's useful but can you speak a little bit slowly? It's very busy to listen to your speech in the mean time to watch the suggestions written.

              • Jasmine Vardy
                Jasmine Vardy  4 weeks back

                I have issues remembering those situations when I'm in an interview. What if you didn't experience anything difficult or too challenging and don't really have an answer to their questions?

                • Liz
                  Liz  4 weeks back

                  Could you help with this one please? Twice now I've been asked at an interview, "How would I handle a situation with a difficult colleague, who was always rude and unhelpful"? I did reply, "I would in the first instance, politely speak to the colleague about it and if they didn't stop I would get my line manager involved". Was this okay or could you suggest a better answer please? I'd be grateful for your opinion. BTW thank you very much for your amazing site and helpful content.

                  • Aser Dada
                    Aser Dada  1 months back

                    Kudos for the video content! Sorry for butting in, I would love your initial thoughts. Have you heard the talk about - Trentvorty Kids Science Theorem (Sure I saw it on Google)? It is a smashing one of a kind guide for becoming an excellent parent without the headache. Ive heard some super things about it and my friend at very last got excellent results with it.

                    • Rinyotsu
                      Rinyotsu  1 months back

                      How much should a person focus on attendance?
                      The number one reason I'm leaving my current job is because of attendance. Despite never being in trouble attendance-wise, in fact in three years, I only recently received an attendance coaching which is before any warnings and I've already completed an "earnback" putting me back in great standing again. The reason I'm leaving due to attendance is because over the past 2 years, I've had 3 catastrophic engine failures in 2 cars while having a 30 mile commute. Luckily I was able to get a temporary shift change while I repaired my car and used a combination of bicycle and bus to get to work and back. I'm still surprised my attendance didn't even get out of the green during that time. However, my contract was purchased and the new company issued a stricter attendance policy. I personally have no problem with the new policy and to the contrary I'm highly supportive of it just based on the company wide results in attendance that was plaguing the company before.
                      Because of the history of car trouble, I am not confident that I can maintain my attendance with a 30 mile commute because I no longer have the option to change the schedule under the new company, my only backup plan for getting to work has been eliminated. I have tried to get my schedule permanently changed, even to an overnight position. I have considered my options for moving closer to work but it's a college town so the rent that I could afford is in areas of town that I want no part of. As a result the only option has been to find employment close enough to home that bicycling to work is a viable option if I happen to be put in that position again. So I'm curious how much I should focus on how important my ability to maintain perfect attendance is to me during an interview and also phone interviews? Specifically, how much is too much focus?

                      • Rob Gregory
                        Rob Gregory  1 months back

                        I’ve noticed that as companies shift to more behavioral based interviews they tend to hire people that are not technically proficient enough to actually do the job. It’s great to know that new manager guy trained really well for behavioral questions, but when when you ask him to back you up on a technical decision and he makes a technically idiotic comment it makes the people who work under him not only wonder why they hired him, but also loose confidence in the upper management that hired him and the future success of the company. But at least he can give a confident polished answer on why he thinks 2+2=5.

                        • Raneshia Karsten
                          Raneshia Karsten  1 months back

                          Hi JT, can you give more examples of behaviorable questions?

                          • Anuj Chauhan
                            Anuj Chauhan  1 months back

                            Amazing in back - Life is either a daring adventure or nothing

                            • Nasilele Mataa
                              Nasilele Mataa  2 months back

                              What if I'm asked about a behavioural experience that didn't occur in my life?Do I tell the interview panel plainly that I'm sorry that never went through that or??

                              • Trend-O-Rama
                                Trend-O-Rama  2 months back

                                Thank you. Heading out to an interview right now.

                                • Amanda Allen
                                  Amanda Allen  2 months back

                                  I wished that I had found this video yesterday! I had an interview with these ? Types today and pretty sure I failed! Anyone else feel like they are being set up to fail for these question types?

                                  • Ellen Lawrence
                                    Ellen Lawrence  2 months back

                                    The problem for me has a couple of twists that I don't see anyone addressing. I don't know how to pick one time when I made a mistake, or whatever it is. Maybe I haven't made a really big mistake? Or maybe it's because of my personality type - I'm an Intuitive and I just don't look at everything as a process when I respond to. Maybe I just respond to things intuitively, based on experience. I don't have recall of every mistake I've made -- I have much more important things to keep track of! Any thoughts? I see others sometimes have trouble with these kinds of questions, and maybe they have the same reasons.

                                    • DHamilton Sherman
                                      DHamilton Sherman  3 months back

                                      What happens if memory blanks out on you when the question is asked?

                                      • Elena Munoz
                                        Elena Munoz  3 months back

                                        I 'm so glad I found you, all of your videos are so helpful thank you so much.

                                        • Vivian Martinez
                                          Vivian Martinez  3 months back

                                          Can you please list more behavioral questions, and answers to each question. I really have a hard time with those, never know what to say.

                                          • Vivian Martinez
                                            Vivian Martinez  3 months back

                                            Thank you so much for providing an answer, it helped so much. Just got an interview 3 days ago was asked that question. I didn't know what to say. If would be so helpful if you would have provided answers to all the questions not just the first one.

                                            • kp1832 p
                                              kp1832 p  3 months back

                                              I got interview by a video game company not going to mention there name . During the interview they were aggressive about the question if I don't answer it quickly they are annoyed with me. I have a learning disability ADHD sometimes I don't understand it the question.

                                              • S Sherman
                                                S Sherman  3 months back

                                                Thank you for reminding me of the behavioral questions because these are standard questions.

                                                • Shrikar Narwade
                                                  Shrikar Narwade  3 months back

                                                  Please make video on some tricky questions asked in interview? For example How long you will give service to this organization?

                                                  • Yueju Su
                                                    Yueju Su  3 months back

                                                    Amazing Video!

                                                    • manali patil
                                                      manali patil  3 months back

                                                      Amazing videos!! Thanks and pls keep making them frequently👍🏽

                                                      • ForestofTooMuchFood
                                                        ForestofTooMuchFood  3 months back

                                                        Either, darling, adventure, nothing???

                                                        • listen CLOSELY
                                                          listen CLOSELY  3 months back

                                                          Thank you for making this video. This advice/format has a more natural flow to me than the STAR approach. Very useful!

                                                          • MsMagnetic
                                                            MsMagnetic  3 months back

                                                            My biggest mistake in preparing for interviews is that my STAR stories can take too long with so many details. I am learning from JT's example, how to shorten the story to get to the pertinent facts and focus on what steps I took to get that accomplishment and state what I learned from the experience to bring forward.

                                                            • Cheryl Ann
                                                              Cheryl Ann  3 months back

                                                              I agree. I like this version of EGL instead of STAR, because when you finally get down to results, you’re talking about the benefit for the other party versus how you learned and grew from the experience.

                                                          • Wallace Rollins
                                                            Wallace Rollins  4 months back

                                                            Thank you for the useful tips in your videos! I have recently been through three frustrating interviews with negative results due to these types of questions, now knowing clearly how I failed them. I haven't interviewed for a job in many years and I can understand better how things have changed with time and the new perspectives in the hiring department. It's sad though that a company would rely on behavioral answers rather than people being properly trained and having many years experience versus someone who has little to no training but can "fit the behavioral bill". In my field of work (20 + years experience transporting heavy equipment and cranes exceeding 200,000 lbs) that can get someone killed.
                                                            Thank you again.

                                                            • Gaurav Sharma
                                                              Gaurav Sharma  4 months back

                                                              I like all the tips and feel it will make a big difference in Interview process.Thanks

                                                              • Robert Van Kesteren
                                                                Robert Van Kesteren  4 months back

                                                                It is good to know to personalize the "why do you want to work here" letting them know a bit about you and to let them know that you know about the company and they you belong there

                                                                • LETMEC4FREE
                                                                  LETMEC4FREE  4 months back

                                                                  How many of you are RNs?

                                                                  • FinestFotos, LLC.
                                                                    FinestFotos, LLC.  4 months back

                                                                    JT stand sfor???

                                                                    • FinestFotos, LLC.
                                                                      FinestFotos, LLC.  4 months back

                                                                      Love this!!!

                                                                      • sagala40
                                                                        sagala40  4 months back

                                                                        another fantastic video from you!! thank you!!

                                                                        • Hephzibah Enright
                                                                          Hephzibah Enright  4 months back

                                                                          Great video! Thanks for helping me pass my interview.. I feel like it saved my but at my last interview!!

                                                                          • pinaplw catcake liveson
                                                                            pinaplw catcake liveson  5 months back

                                                                            What if you've never had a previous job?

                                                                            • Yunfeng Zhao
                                                                              Yunfeng Zhao  5 months back

                                                                              Awesome content. Only one suggestion is that could you speak a little bit slower so that we could have a couple of breaks during the talk. Thanks.

                                                                              • thanh Chanti
                                                                                thanh Chanti  5 months back

                                                                                You speak too fast,cant understand clearly

                                                                                • Vincent McNally
                                                                                  Vincent McNally  5 months back

                                                                                  Thank you J.T. for the great advice!

                                                                                  • Sushmita Singh
                                                                                    Sushmita Singh  5 months back

                                                                                    I followed everything on this video and I GOT THE JOB! Highly recommended!!!

                                                                                    • Sushmita Singh
                                                                                      Sushmita Singh  5 months back

                                                                                      @Sonia King Hi :) it is Candidate Experience Intern, also known as Recruitment Coordinator at a Fortune 500 company

                                                                                    • Sonia King
                                                                                      Sonia King  5 months back

                                                                                      what job was that if you dont mind me asking?

                                                                                  • AJ Santana
                                                                                    AJ Santana  5 months back

                                                                                    so with behavioral questions, how do you know if the Star method or Experience, Learn, Grow method is best?

                                                                                    • eylassie
                                                                                      eylassie  6 months back

                                                                                      I'm curious to know how to handle the negative aspects that are brought up when an interviewer asks questions like, "tell me about a problem you had with a coworker and how did you solve it" These kind of questions seem like I'm going to bring up issues that may be invasive or make me seem bitchy (especially as a woman) when I talk through a problem I had at work. It sort of seems like a trap and oversharing sensitive information. Any suggestions on how to handle the negativity that is sometimes brought into behavioral questions?

                                                                                      • kkidd1108
                                                                                        kkidd1108  6 months back

                                                                                        Wow.. subscribed!

                                                                                        • Work It Daily
                                                                                          Work It Daily   6 months back

                                                                                          Thanks kkidd1108! We hope you find all of our current and future videos useful :)

                                                                                      • HITEN SHUKLA
                                                                                        HITEN SHUKLA  6 months back

                                                                                        please hide your cleavage !!!

                                                                                      • Tyler Jay
                                                                                        Tyler Jay  7 months back

                                                                                        I have autism which has caused me to fail at interviews therefore I can’t get a job, then when i interview they ask about a time blah blah blah and I don’t have any situations to give, as far as school I got bullied when doing group projects so I gave up and dropped out so I can’t use those experiences either, I’m 21 and have little to no job experience.