HomeInterview Q&ABehavioural HR Interview Questions with Answers
Behavioural HR Interview Questions with Answers

Behavioural HR Interview Questions with Answers

What Are Behavioural Questions ?

These questions are mostly of the format “Tell me about a time…” where you would be asked to share your experience based on certain scenarios which would help the interviewer judge how well you handled various work situations thereby reflecting your skills, capability, and personality.

Always answer such types of questions using the STAR format to provide structured answers. STAR has the following questions to be answered in the same order:

Situation: What was the situation/event?

Task: What were the tasks involved in the above-mentioned situation?

Action: What did you do to complete the goal?

Result: What was the result of the actions?

This is the most important part which conveys if you were successful or not.

Avoid bragging and exaggerating at all costs.

 

Question 1 : Tell me about a time when you were not satisfied with your performance?

Explanation : Here, the interviewer wants to know the extent of ownership you take while performing any task. It also reflects how well you care about the job and the company.

 

Sample answer:

“When I initially joined my job right after college, there came a point where I was constantly becoming dependent on the team members to get the work done. This is opposite of my personality. I am guilty of it but at some point, I liked that arrangement as it made things easy for me. But soon, it hit me of how I was doing it all wrong.  I wasted no time and quickly learned the working dynamics of the project and received various assignments related to the project. The more assignments I worked on with minimal help, the more confident I became and the more sense of ownership is provided. I felt more independent and I was lauded multiple times for my dedication, my sense of ownership, and how quickly I was able to adapt to the project”

 

Question 2:  Tell me about a time when you were made to work under close supervision.

Explanation : Here, the interviewer evaluates how well you work in a team and how well you can work independently.

 

Sample answer:

“So, In my previous job, I was asked to work under the close supervision of my manager. It felt very overwhelming as the manager would watch everything that I did throughout the day and it felt like she was virtually sitting with me at all times. I was uncomfortable with this because of the constant pressure involved. But then, I found out that she did not trust me enough to do my job alone as I was very new to it. So I worked on building her trust by working very diligently without any complaints in the projects and once I felt the manager was convinced of my abilities, I discussed with her to hand me a project which didn’t involve such close supervision. The manager gave me one such project reluctantly and I made sure I gave my best to it and the project was launched successfully which is how I gained her complete trust”

 

Question 3.  Can you tell me about a time where you were happy with your work and what was your reaction?

Explanation : By asking this question, the interviewer wants to understand what success means to you and what feeling it brings out in you. By this, they can assess your concerns for the growth of the company along with your personal growth.

Sample answer:

“During my first job, there was a project I was handling related to Social Media Management of a high ticket client. We had to build their brand from scratch and it was a tedious project. So I worked on researching what topics would garner the highest organic traffic on their social media handles and what would help them be better. I also conducted a survey which I shared with my friends, neighbours and relatives to get better insights about this. When I finally started the work, after a month of constant postings and monitoring and numerous strategies later, the recognition that we got was tremendous. People loved how relatable the posts were and this turned out to be a significant reason behind the 90% sales of their products. I was very happy with my work as I did my part in contributing to company profits as well as converting the client into a loyal customer of ours”

 

Question 4.  Tell me about a time where you experienced difficulty at work while working on a project.

Explanation : Now, this is a broad question as difficulty can be of any type. This question is asked to assess what are the things that you consider as difficult and how you go about solving that difficulty. While answering this

  • Focus on describing a problem that was related to your work using the STAR approach.
  • Do not answer negatively or bad mouth any supervisor or any company.
  • The interviewer should be made to understand the cause of the problem.
  • Avoid bringing up personal problems in your life.
  • Focus on the learnings of the problem rather than dwelling too much on the damage.

Sample answer:

“There was a time in my current company when I received a report from our client which stated that the website was performing below the mark and would crash very often when consumers were searching for a product.

The first thing I did was checking the data to perform the root cause analysis. Doing this gave me a rough idea regarding where the issue started appearing. I scanned the codding through and through and found out the point of issue.

I fixed this code quickly and did a round of performance testing on the application to ensure that this doesn’t occur again. The issue was fixed at the end of the day and we were able to get the server up and running with enhanced performance. We learnt an important lesson to perform regression testing after every phase of releases to ensure the old functionalities were working fine along with the newly developed ones”

 

Question 5.  Tell me about a time where you displayed leadership skills.

Explanation : This question is asked to check how competent you are in a particular situation. You have to ensure that you are not sounding lazy or unprofessional.

Sample answer:

So, every year my company organises a fun Sunday for all the employees. There was an event company that used to handle that event every year. But this year, due to some internal reasons within their company, they had to drop our event from their calendar. Since it was a last minute thing, getting everything started from scratch was tedious. That’s where I chimed in and offered to help.

I took help from a friend of mine who had his own event planning company. Together, we set up a fun Sunday for everyone that included a range of activities and some lip smacking food. To make sure that the employees were happy with the activities and food, I conducted a survey amongst the employees to understand their idea of fun Sunday .

I made sure to send out notifications, create the hype and make sure everyone had a good time.

The day of the event was an amazing one. As we had everything planned, the event went on smoothly and everyone had loads of fun. I received great appreciation from the higher management for my organizational skills and everyone said that they had a great time.

 

 

 

Question 6 :  Was there any point in your career where you made any mistake? Tell me about it.

Explanation : Now here is a tricky behavioural question and if you don’t answer this carefully, you would be digging your own grave. The interviewer wants to understand what kind of mistakes you made, how did you approach it and how well you would perform if you are hired for the job. Some tips to answer the question:

  • Talk about a mistake you made which you were able to rectify and which didn’t cause any critical damage to your organization.
  • Talk about what you learned while working on fixing the mistake.
  • Avoid any mistake that represents any flaw in your personality.

Sample answer:

“I remember an instance when I joined my first company. I was asked to work on two projects simultaneously and I accepted it even though I knew I would not be able to handle it. I did not want to tell my manager that I cannot handle it as I did not want him to think less of me. I was not supposed to tell either of clients that I was working on another project which caused me double stress due to which I was not able to meet the deadlines for the assignments. I realized I should have clearly communicated this with my manager and then my manager understood the situation and allocated a new resource to work with me to complete the project delivery. I learned the importance of keeping my supervisors updated with any task and being open to them if I am facing any roadblocks.”

 

Question 7 . How did you handle disagreements with your manager?

Explanation : The interviewers want to know how well you deal when your ideas are disagreed by your manager/supervisor. Disagreements are part and parcel of working in a team. Hence, the recruiter wants to know if you are capable of handling such disagreements and how well you plan to develop the relationship with the manager.

Some tips to answer this question:

  • Explain what the disagreement was and how did your overcome that ?
  • What was your learning outcome?
  • Make sure to not speak ill or abuse your manager. This would tarnish your image and the interviewer may view you as an ill-mannered individual.

You cannot say that you never had a disagreement before as it would just prove that you do not have a sense of leadership or you lack creativity.

 

 

Sample answer:

 

“This reminds me of an instance where I and my manager had a disagreement on why a certain feature has to be included in the product and he was against it. We had lots of discussions regarding the pros and cons of that feature. During this, I explained to him why adding that feature to our website would be the best thing to do and how it would make the lives of our users easier.

I gave him various scenarios and good reasons why that feature would be a great idea. My manager was convinced as he felt the reasons were good enough and we got his green signal to work on it. In the end, when we unveiled this feature to our client, the clients were indeed very happy and praised us all as we went out of our way to add this feature. My manager was very happy with the result.

I learned that effective and graceful communication is the ultimate key. Ideas should be respectfully conveyed to people when there are disagreements as we belong to a team and the collective vision of the team is to launch the project successfully. In case my manager’s idea was best for the project, then I would gracefully accept that too.”

 

Question 8.  Tell me how you will handle it if suddenly the priorities of a project were changed?

Explanation : Here, the interviewer wants to know how the you will act in the situation when priorities are changed. This will also reflect your ability to handle stress and solve problems.

Some tips to answer this question:

  • Make sure that you convey the right things to the interviewer.
  • Give instances of how well you are capable of handling pressure and stress.
  • Avoid boasting and no matter how frustrated you were during these situations, do not tell the interviewer.

Sample answer:

“I understand that there might be valid reasons for a company/client to change the priority of a project. The vision of a project may change during the course of its completion due to any reason. If the priority of a project that I am working upon gets changed, I will try to understand the cause of that change. I will also make sure to change the trajectory of my thinking and start working on the new requirements. I will also try not to dwell on things for longer than necessary as in the end, my priority is to finish the project with flying colours and prove my capabilities.”

 

Question 9. What is the most difficult thing that you’ve ever accomplished? or What is the most difficult thing you have ever done?

Possible Answer #1:

“I have never been a great public speaker. The very thought of facing a crowd used to make me nervous. When I started college, my best friend advised me that I had to get over this roadblock to shine through.

Even though I had joined several socities and tried building my confidence, It did not do much to my displeasure. So, last year, I took the bold step of trying my hand at public speaking. I joined the Debate Club in my college.

Since then, I have participated in multiple contests. Initially, I stammered, forgot my lines, dropped the microphone once due to my sweaty palms. This one time, I even got scolded by the judge for being flimsy and underconfident.

Yet, I kept on participating. Last month, for the very first time in a year, I won the third prize. It was a great boost to my self-confidence. I believe that it is my greatest feat so far, and I will not stop until I let go of this fear completely.”

 

Possible Answer #2:

“I have helped my father set up a new business from scratch. This was our second family business and It was important for me because I had helped in it. The initial days were really very tough as I had to learn and apply everything at once. Be it sales, marketing, leadership, management, finance, finance, human resources etc.

I became a jack of all trades overnight. It was really difficult to running and grow the business. Nothing was so difficult or stressful as this one. I often doubted my decision and imagined the future if I failed. Needless to say, it wasn’t very bright. I even made up my mind to quit my job and focus entirely on my father’s dream, but thankfully the business took of due to our collective efforts.

Today, I am free to focus on my career once again, and do what I love the most.

The accomplishment bit here is that I feel whole and complete, as my family business is running smoothly and my career is undisturbed.”

 

Question 10 . What makes you angry?

Possible Answer #1:

“I get angry when I get falsely accused of something that I did not do.

 

Lack of order and discipline also irritates me, but 4 years of hostel life have taught me to cope and adjust with other people.”

 

Possible Answer #2:

“In a team, there are times when I and some of my peers work hard to achieve a goal, while there are some people who leave their modules incomplete or quit mid-way.

At such a juncture, this load also gets assigned to us, the hardworking lot.

I don’t mind helping my peers out, but when an extra load of work gets assigned to me in the 11th hour, I get irritated.

Sometimes, when I know that I cannot do justice to this new module, I politely refuse to take it up.”

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