Rock Your Next Interview: Mastering Behavioral Interview Questions

March 1, 2017

Behavioral interview questions are the “Tell me about a time...” questions. They prompt you to talk about your past experiences so you can demonstrate you have particular skills. Demonstrating you have these “soft” skills is incredibly important to proving you’re the right candidate for the job, but the questions can be tricky.

Here’s what hiring managers had to say about behavioral interview questions during a recent survey*:

  • Behavioral interview questions can be the toughest part of the interview and top the list for what hiring managers use to evaluate soft skills. Often, they’re looking for skills such as teamwork, leadership, and time management.

  • More than 60% of hiring managers say that soft skills are critical but tough to find.

These two findings are just the tip of the iceberg. To help you get ready for your next interview, we unearthed the questions hiring managers love to ask so you can be prepared.

Sneak peek: top soft skills and behavioral interview questions

Hiring managers report that these are the top three soft skills they look for in candidates, and why they’re important:

Adaptability: 69% of hiring managers say adaptability is the most important soft skill they screen for. By screening for this trait, hiring managers aim to empower team members to solve problems, and adapt to changing situations within the organization.

Culture fit: 89% of hiring failures are due to a poor culture fit, which impacts both the employee and the organization. However, with the right culture fit, employees can thrive in a new work environment.

Collaboration: 97% of employees and executives believe that a lack of collaboration and team alignment directly impacts the outcome of a task or project. Diverse teams that work together are more likely to come up with novel solutions and, as with culture fit, are more likely to succeed within an organization.

Take a closer look at these three critical skills, the top-rated questions that hiring managers use to screen, and examples of how to best answer these questions. We also outline a simple framework you can use to help you nail each answer by digging deep into the specifics of a situation to give the hiring manager an understanding of your thought process and motivation.

So what are you waiting for? Jumpstart your interview prep by focusing on the behavioral interview questions that matter.

*Methodology: In May 2016, LinkedIn surveyed 1,297 Hiring Managers in the US, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Australia and India. Hiring Managers are defined as those who currently manage people and either recently hired, are currently trying to hire or are planning to hire new people for their team (based on survey responses). Members were selected at random to take our survey and are representative of the LinkedIn sample.

The LinkedIn sample (and our analysis) is influenced by how members choose to use the site, which can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility. These variances were not accounted for in the analysis.