Sample Behavioral Interview Questions

Use the following behavioral interview questions as you prepare for any upcoming interview:

Introduction/General:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why did you choose Yale?
  • What have you done that you are proud of? What is your greatest accomplishment?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • How would you describe your ideal job?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Who do you admire most and why?

Position-Specific:

  • What personal traits make you stand out for this role?
  • What interests you most about a career in __________?
  • Why are you interested in this position? What appeals to you about the role?
  • What in your background best qualifies you for this position?
  • What differentiates this organization from other organizations you are interviewing with?
  • What are the greatest challenges you think the industry is facing? Our organization is facing?

Leadership:

  • Walk me through your resume. Tell me a little more about each of your leadership experiences.
  • Describe a leadership role you’ve held and tell why you committed your time to it.
  • What would you say were the most important responsibilities in your most recent leadership roles?
  • What has been the most difficult project you’ve tackled in your academics or leadership roles?
  • Give an example of your ability to build motivation with your classmates.
  • How did you build a shared vision/goal?
  • How do you instill in others an atmosphere of support, responsiveness, and respect?

Creativity:

  • How do you define creativity?
  • Which of your creative accomplishments has given you the most satisfaction?
  • Provide an example of a time when you offered an innovative solution to a difficult problem.

Analytical:

  • How would you describe your approach to problem-solving?
  • Tell me about a complex problem you solved—walk me through your thinking as you solved it.
  • Describe a situation in which you had to apply your skills to learn a new technology/ process.
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

Teamwork:

  • What makes you a good team member?
  • How do you determine the role you play in a group?
  • What makes you most effective with people? What kinds of people do you find most challenging?
  • How have you handled a difficult working relationship?

Communication Skills:

  • How would you describe your communication skills?
  • Would you rather write a report or give a verbal presentation?
  • How would you rate your writing abilities? Listening skills? What have you done to improve them?
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.

Management Skills:

  • How do you prioritize your schedule and handle different priorities?
  • How do you make important decisions?
  • Describe a situation demonstrating your ability to transition quickly and effectively between tasks.
  • Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.
  • Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.
  • Describe a difficult situation that you feel you should have handled differently. What did you learn?
  • Provide an example of a situation where you had to manage multiple competing deadlines?

Drive:

  • What does success/failure mean to you?
  • Give me an example of how you demonstrate initiative.
  • Tell me about a time when you aspired to reach a goal. What were the obstacles and how did you overcome them?
  • Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.
  • Tell me about the most successful project you’ve completed and why you consider it successful.
  • Are your grades a good measure of your ability to learn? Are they a good indicator of your academic achievement?

Conclusion:

  • Is there anything else you’d like me to know about you?
  • Summarize your candidacy – why should we hire you?
By Yale Office of Career Strategy
Yale Office of Career Strategy Yale Office of Career Strategy