7 Great Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

I think you’ll agree with me when I say that behavioral interview questions have become the norm.

The problem is, most job applicants struggle to answer behavioral interview questions properly because they don’t know know the one trick to acing this type of interview!

I’ve given thousands of interviews and know exactly how the answers should be constructed.

In this blog post I’m going to give you 7 perfect examples of behavioral interview questions and answers to each one. You will know exactly how to answer when behavioral interview questions are coming at you one after another.

Don’t Be Afraid!

You might be saying to yourself, “Man I’m kind of nervous for these behavioral interview questions!”

I assure you though, there is no need to be scared. Let me show you why…

These types of questions allow the interviewer to hear you tell a story, and show them if you are calm and cool under pressure.

So, the funny thing is, you’re already well prepped for behavioral interview questions!

That’s because you have real life scenarios that will give the interviewer the type of answers  that they’re looking for.

Trust me…

With a little prep and thought, you will crush these questions!

Avoid the One Biggest Mistake

There’s one mistake that most applicants make, and it’s easy to avoid…

The behavioral interview questions will always be asked in a similar form.

That form will be, “Tell me time when you pleased a customer.

The mistake that most applicants make is that they answer the question with a general statement.

An example of a general statement type answer is, “I always try to go out of my way to help customers and make sure they’re happy”.

That answer doesn’t give the interviewer any information about what you actually did in the scenario.

The interviewer want’s a specific example. A real life situation.

When you give a general answer about your overall philosophy, there is no proof or evidence of what you did to make sure that customers were happy!

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Also see Nick’s 9 Perfect Interview Questions for Job Hoppers

How to be a STAR and Give the Answers to They Want

Replying with the answers to the behavioral interview questions is actually simpler than you think.

So how do you do it? Easy…

Answer in the form of a story!

There is a very popular interview technique called STAR, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

As you answer, just make sure that you hit all 4 of those topics!

What was the SITUATION you were in?

What was the TASK at hand?

What was the ACTION you took?

What was the RESULT of your actions?

For example, if the question is, “Tell me about a time you had an argument with a coworker, what did you do to resolve it?

Your answer would just be the story, in detail, when you had a dispute with a coworker, and how you resolved it. That’s it!

Be sure to hit your S.T.A.R. and I promise the interviewer will be impressed, maybe even relieved, because you told the whole story start to end.

And a quick but ultra-important piece of advice:

Don’t over think it! Just tell the truth.

I cannot stress that enough!

That’s because answering with a true story, full of details, tells the interviewer exactly what to expect from you if they were to make you a job offer.

Job Interview

The Questions Will Fit the Environment

You don’t need to worry about studying for all sorts of crazy scenarios. That’s because the  behavioral interview questions will pertain to the industry you are applying for.

Let me give you a few examples…

If you are applying at a company that deals with face-to-face customers, expect a question about a difficult customer you have dealt with.

Trying to get a job with a call center? Anticipate a question about a customer using bad language and threatening you.

Are you going to be working on a team? You can expect a question about collaboration and how you make sure everyone has a voice.

Going for a sales position? Then you know there will be a question about persuading a customer or maybe the largest sale you ever made.

You see, it’s not incredibly difficult to know what to expect.

Alright, let’s get to it! Here are…

The 7 Most Common Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

Ok, here are the 7 most common behavioral interview questions and answers to each one!

Question 1. “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a coworker and how it was resolved.”

This is a great question because most people won’t tell the truth because they shy away from the work “conflict”.

Answer 1. Give them THE TRUTH about a time that you had a conflict with a teammate. What started it, how did it escalate, what did you do, who was wrong, how did you speak to the person, was there a past of issues between you, what ended up happening? Tell the story!

Question 2. “Give me an example of a time when you did exceptional work.”

This question is great because it allows you to detail a time where you excelled!

Answer 2. Your answer here should be in 3 parts; First, the thing that you killed it on! What was the accomplishment? Second, it should involve some humility. Don’t go tell them you are the best at everything and no one else on earth understands that. No, tell them you took the actions that you did because its in your values or maybe it’s how you were raised. Third and finally, your answer should involve other people. Who did you teach or who else contributed. I’m not saying give ALL the credit away, but make sure you recognize the people that assisted you.

Question 3. “Tell me about a time you worked as a team to overcome the odds.”

I love this freaking question! I ask it myself in interviews that I conduct because I want to know if the applicant can work with others and be successful, or if they are more of the Lone Ranger type. By the way, both are ok!

Answer 3. This is as easy as telling them about your job at McDonald’s, how you all banded together on a Saturday when the drive thru speaker system went down and you all had to work together to ensure customers didn’t suffer.

Question 4. “Did you ever have a time where you had a policy that you didn’t agree with?”

It sounds like a trap!!! But it’s not I promise. Just tell the truth. Every large company has countless policies, and every employee has at least one they don’t agree with!

Answer 4. Just tell them the policy or procedure that was implemented, and why you disagreed with it. But, be sure not to roll your eyes, or become visibly negative. The interviewer wants to see how you handle this, because they know it’s going to happen again. Tell your story about how you implemented it even though you didn’t agree with it, and if you can, inject some details about how you supported others to implement the policy as well.

Question 5. “Tell me about a time that you saw someone doing something wrong and what you did.”

This seems similar to question 4, and it can be, but to really ace this question, go for the moral issue detailed below!

Answer 5. This can be a tough one because it can be answered two ways. Way 1; You describe a time that a coworker was doing a procedure wrong and how you stepped in and supported them. If you go that route, be sure to include what you taught them! Way 2 to answer; Describe a time that you witnessed someone doing something immortal and how you addressed it. It could be stealing time, or taking office supplies, or even a situation where there was someone being bullied! Either answer is fitting, but way 2 is much more impressive!

Question 6. “Give me an example of a time you handled a difficult customer/client.”

Great question, and maybe the most common for any business that has face to face contact with customers/clients.

Answer 7. Tell the story from the beginning, but hold back from scoffing or being extra dramatic when you start the story! A vast majority of applicants start the story like they’re complaining about the customer. NO! Go through and detail what you did to fix the issue the customer had, how you eased the tension, and then what the end result was.

Question 7.  “Tell me about a time when you trained or mentored someone.”

This is where you’re going to talk about anyone that you’ve taken under your wing.

Answer 7. Tell a story about your favorite person that you ever worked with, and how you mentored them in some way! Be detailed and outline the interaction that you had with them to help them grow. Any tough conversations you had to pull them aside for? Any big praise that you gave them? Did they end up maybe winning employee of the month? Brag a little about the person you mentored!

Perfectly ACE the Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

So now you’re ready to crush the behavioral interview questions and answers!

Lets go through and do a quick recap…

  • Answer in the form of a story
  • Tell the truth!
  • Give good details
  • Involve others in the stories
  • Be a STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result)

Glad we could get you ready to go for your your next behavioral interview!

-NG

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9 Perfect Interview Questions for Job Hoppers

I think you’ll agree with me when tell you that job hoppers can be hard to spot.

The problem that hiring managers have is that job hoppers are “professional interviewers”, meaning they’re great at acing job interviews by telling you what you want to hear.

In this blog post I’m going to give you my exact strategies for spotting job hoppers.

Job Hoppers Are Sneaky

Through years of trial and error conducting interviews I was able to master the art of catching a job hopper.

It was hard work and frustrating at times, but once I started asking the right questions, I was able to weed out the fake answers of job hoppers easily.

And there’s one reason why job hoppers are so hard to spot…

interview questions for job hoppers

It’s because they go to a lot of job interviews!

They’ve gotten good at making it seem like they are ready to come aboard and be an amazing asset for your company.

Truth is, you’re just going to be the job hopper’s “next paycheck”, until something else grabs their attention and they leave you shorthanded again!

Spotting Job Hoppers is Mega Important

If you are the next victim on the job hoppers list, then it’s going to cost you money!

A report from the Center for American Progress, which studied 11 research papers published over the course of 15 years, found that turnover can cost organizations anywhere from 16% to 213% of the lost employee’s salary.

16% represents the cost of turnover for positions earning less than $30,000 annually.

Higher paid jobs tend to have disproportionately higher turnover costs ranging up to 213% of the replaced employee’s salary!

For example, if a highly-trained employee was making $150,000 annually, the cost for the organization to replace that employee could be as high as $320,000!

job interview questions for job hoppers

It’s pretty obvious that you need to catch job hoppers before it’s too late!

I have used my 15+ years of interviewing experience to put together the complete list of questions for job hoppers.

Now you can you can spot them in the interview, instead of after they leave you high and dry!

Know that You are In Control

The strategy we’re going to use to properly ask the interview questions for the job hoppers is a technique that I came up with called “Established Total Control”.

Established Total Control” is a series of questions designed to put you in the driver seat of the interview.

It’s not to say that they can’t talk, because the opposite is actually true!

You will talk 10% to their 90%! But the series of these 9 questions for job hoppers is designed to make sure that they don’t take you on a ride and lead you all over the place.

YOU are in control and you will establish it clearly.

What you may notice is that the questions aren’t all that different or probing, but rather the order that you ask them in is the importance!

Let’s get into its! Here are my…

9 Perfect Interview Questions for Job Hoppers

Question 1. Where are you working now?

This sets the stage that you are going to ask questions about their employers, and puts you in control for the next question.

As they answer, take mental note of anything that needs a follow up question, and anything that is interesting.

Also be on the lookout for them to start bashing their employer. It may not happen this early, but it’s likely coming!

Question 2. How long have you worked there?

Obviously, this answer will be pretty revealing if they are in fact a job hopper.

If they haven’t been at their current job long, then you ask follow up questions as to why they’re looking for another job so soon (the employer bashing chances greatly increase here).

If they are talking poorly about the employer and they haven’t been there long, chances are getting better that they are a job hopper!

Question 3. Where did you work before that?

Once you have talked a little bit about where they are now, and how long they have been there, you’re going to keep digging going further and further back in time.

There’s a chance that they’re going to get uneasy at this point! Stay calm, be yourself, and just keep asking follow up questions!

Question 4. And what were the dates that you said you worked here? And what are the dates that you started your current job again?

OK, here is where the Established Total Control technique really comes into play.

Clearly, you just talked about their past 2 jobs, but then you go back in and ask for the dates of employment again.

This communicates that you are not going to just breeze over these jobs, and that you want details in your answers.

It also puts you in FULL control!

Pay close attention to see if anything the dates change!

What we’re doing here is looking for a pattern. Short time of employment and very likely large gaps between jobs!

Question 5. Ok, I see, and what was the reason you left your previous job?

You ask this question really quick after they tell you the dates of their last 2 jobs.

You want to be sure they have no time to make any stories up.

If they’re a job hopper, you’ll start to really get them on their heels here as they start to sweat, adjust in their chair, touch their face, etc.

You’re looking for more patterns! They may start to blame management, or the most likely answer is that the jobs didn’t match what the employer described in the interview.

Be thoughtful, and ask any follow up questions where you need clarity…

Then we just keep going!

Question 6. Ok and where were you before Job B?

Now we go even further back in time. We’ve talked about where they work now, we talked about where they worked before that (job B) and now we’re going 3 jobs into the past.

They may try to get the interview back under their control by being extremely passionate about this job.

Don’t take it for face value, but also don’t completely write it off.

Save your follow up questions at this point and go straight to question 7.

Question 7. How long were you there?

More searching for patterns. If they job hop, then they weren’t there long!

Again save your follow up questions…

Question 8. What was the reason you left?

No surprise with this question.

By this time, if they are a job hopper, they’re getting very uneasy. They will sense that you see what is going on, and you will be FULLY in control at this point.

Objective 1 accomplished, you have Established Total Control of the interview!

And now we go in for the killshot!

Question 9. It looks like you have moved jobs quite often…any reason that would be?

Call a spade a spade, but then let them explain!

There is always the off-chance that they moved often for one reason or another.

Or, like a college student that can’t decide what their major is going to be, they can see themselves as successful in one field and then they change their mind.

Click here for PDF version of the 9 Perfect Interview Questions for Job Hoppers

Devils Advocate: It’s not BAD to be a Job Hopper

In the past, I have hired people that were job hoppers, and had them become extremely productive and loyal employees!

The fact of all interviews is this:

The goal is NOT to get a “good” interview.
To goal is to get an ACCURATE interview.

When you know what you have, you can make an informed decision.

If the applicant appears to be a job hopper, but is a great fit for the position, by unearthing the fact that they change jobs a lot, you can then address it simply…

Just tell them you’re concerned that they change jobs a lot and you are looking for a long term employee to invest in.

The realness of that statement will set you up for a more honest conversation. If they open up, and you two can talk, then good!

If they keep feeding you stories and excuses, you know what you need to do…

You know you need to move on to the next candidate!

 

inspirational quotes for employee appreciation

17 Inspirational Quotes for Employee Appreciation

These inspirational quotes are going to be a bit different than what you would think.

It’s not going to be a bunch of RA-RA cheerleader stuff…hell no.

These quotes focus on building relationships that will raise performance and SHOW employees that you appreciate them. Not just some words that say it.

Let’s get right to it…

Top 3 Inspirational Quotes for Employee Appreciation

  1. The key to performance isn’t about trying push new conversations about strategy in, but rather clearing out the clutter.-Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
  2. If you aren’t in over your head, then how do you know how tall you are? -T. S. Eliot
  3. Notice the difference between asking ‘Can I do this?’ And, ‘How am I going to do this?’Keep reading for the full list of all 17 Inspirational Quotes for Employee Appreciation…

How To Use These Quotes

These quotes are INSPIRATIONAL in that the goal is to inspire the employees to think for themselves, solve problems, and exploit opportunities!

They are not about cheering people on…

I call that kind of feedback MOTIVATIONAL because you’re trying to motivate people to try harder.

To use these inspirational quotes, you need a few things to be set up already:

  • Strong business relationships
  • Team of motivated individuals
  • Respect from the team

Let’s take a quick look at each of these…

Why Do You Care In the First Place?

Why do you want inspired employees and why do you want to show them appreciation?

If the answer is…

  • Morale is low
  • They don’t seem motivated, or
  • There’s a rumor that you don’t appreciate your employees

…then we’ve got bigger issues to tackle my friend!

So, listen closely…

The Toughest Work a Leader Can Do

There is no number of inspirational quotes to fix a dysfunctional relationship with an employee.

And fixing a strained relationship is the toughest work that a leader will ever have to do!

Before venturing any further I suggest you read this post. It’s about how impactful a leader’s words can be, for the better and for the worse!

When your relationships with your employees are all healthy, they begin to resemble more of a partnership.

If that describes your connection with your team, then we’re on the right track!

Before we talk about the inspiration quotes for employee appreciation, some food for thought…

Leaders Don’t Motivate, They Inspire

If your employees aren’t motivated, you’re going to need more than some badass quotes.

Here’s why…

Motivation = The Desire to Try
Inspiration = Feeling or Seeing the Leader’s Vision

Maybe you do the hiring, maybe you don’t…but this BONUS QUOTE cuts to the bone:

“If you want motivated people you have to find them, not motivate them.”

Let’s break that down a tad…

So, Why Can’t I Motivate?

Face it, you just can’t motivate someone.

I know, that’s not a very popular take, but it’s true, and here’s why…

It’s the employee’s responsibility to bring the motivation to you. This would mean they are SELF-MOTIVATED.

From there you can inspire, by helping them pinpoint their dreams and goals, and then pushing them to achieve those goals by teaching, training, holding them accountable, and following up on progress.

I actually have another BONUS QUOTE that I like to use to make this point…

“I’d rather inspire my varsity team to championships than motivate my JV team to try”

If they don’t want to try, you’re going to waste your time!

That’s why I say that leaders don’t motivate, they inspire.

OK one last thing…

Before we get to the list of inspirational quotes for employee appreciation, I’ve got one last thing that I want to touch on, and that is R E S P E C T.
(high five if you spelled that out like the song)…

People Work for People

How Much Do Your Employees Respect You?

People work for people.

That means when someone quits, they didn’t quit the company, THEY QUIT YOU. This is true 80% of the time.

Tough to hear? Find yourself getting defensive?

Sure, there are employees that quit that weren’t a good fit and are better off leaving, but a majority of them quit the leader, not the organization

More food for thought: That’s STILL the leader’s fault for hiring the wrong person!

Check out THIS oldie but goodie (which is actually the 1st thing I ever published to the internet!) about garnering more respect from your team.

OK, OK…And now, without further adieu…

17 Inspirational Quotes for Employee Appreciation

The key to performance isn’t about trying push new conversations about strategy in, but rather clearing out the clutter. -Book: 3 Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
This is one of my favorite quotes because in business, we almost always look to ADD when we want to affect performance, yet most often we need to REMOVE so we can focus on what’s important.

 

There are no bad teams, only bad leaders. -Jocko Willink
This one is in here because it’s all about ownership. If you have employees that feel under appreciated, or uninspired, you need to own up to your mistakes before you can move on. This is in direct correlation with the 1st quote, as that “clutter” COULD be gossip about you!

 

Notice the difference between asking ‘Can I do this?’ And, ‘How am I going to do this?’ -Book: Will it Make the Boat Go Faster? By Ben Hunt-Davis and Harriet Beveridge.
In both questions there is an unsure nature of how to start, but one comes with confidence and the other communicates doubt and fear.

 

Many people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions. -Charles H. Brower
This quote is perfect for a time when a teammate is complaining about a process and not adding any value to the situation.

 

Tough times don’t last forever. Tough people do. – Robert H. Schuller
Great 
quote for showing appreciation when an employee as working super hard, or the work gets super hard. (Busy season, corporate visit, high pressure deadline, etc.)

 

If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing wrong. What holds us back is fear of failure. Just try…go…fail, and then adjust!! -Joe Calloway 
Joe wrote the book Be the Best at What Matters Most and it’s a book that I suggest. This quote means that if you’re going to screw up, do it with 100% conviction. I’d rather see an employee comitted to their dream and do it wrong, than do nothing at all.

 

Most people have a desire to look for the exception instead of a desire to be exceptional. -John Maxwell, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
One of the most important leadership books ever written, and a quote that speaks volumes. Most people would rather find the excuse or reason they failed instead of working to be a success.

 

No matter how bad things are, you can always make them worse.
This is a funny one because it’s a positive statement said in a negative way. It’s a great reminder that things really aren’t that bad, even when they seem desperate. Stop worrying and go fix it!

 

If you aren’t in over your head, then how do you know how tall you are? –T. S. Eliot
The reason I LOVE this quote so much is because I’m a hustler. I like a lot on my plate and when I’m not working like a maniac, then I ask for more. You can’t grow unless you’re pushed!

 

Your abilities say win. What does your attitude say? -Nick Glassett (me!)
Smart, driven, and talented means nothing when the person is negative and toxic!

 

The essence of competitive advantage is doing different things, and doing things differently. -Book: 3 Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
This is a great reminder that when “they” zig, you’ve got to zag! And the second quote from this book (it’s that good of a read, I suggest it to all leaders!)

 

Short term easy means long term difficult and short term difficult means long term easy. -Book: Take The Stairs by Rory Vaden
This is a discipline quote. Do what’s easy now, and you’re going to have to kill yourself later to catch back up. Do what’s hard now, and you’ll be ahead of schedule.

 

Successful people do what others don’t want to do and they in turn get extraordinary results. -Book: Take The Stairs by Rory Vaden
Another one from Rory! I call this, The Winning Formula: Do the things that cause winning. Simple, but not easy. It’s the studying, the practice, the rehearsal, and the work that causes great things to happen.

 

Get good at being a trouble maker and saying sorry when you really screw up. –Book: 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
This may seem like an odd quote to tell your employees…after all, you don’t want trouble makers do you? I don’t just say yes, I say HELL YES. It’s an empowerment and a trust thing. Nothing communicates “I trust you” like this Tim Ferriss Quote.

 

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is taking action in the presence of fear. – David Cunningham, Landmark Forum Leader
I heard this when I did the incredibly powerful Landmark Forum, and I use it often. Anytime there is a situation that has one of my teammates nervous, this quotes causes action to take place (especially public sharing at a meeting).

 

Find the sense of who you are, then it will translate into an ease and confidence in how you come off to others. -Unsure of where I got this from
I firmly believe that when you help people be themselves, and not some “improved” or different version is when you truly get inspired action!

 

Change what you do so you can change how you feel. -Nick Glassett (me)
When people are failing, you would thing they would change what they are doing, but they don’t. Instead they double down and try harder instead of trying something else.

Put in the Time With the People

So there you have it, 17 of my favorite inspirational quotes for employee appreciation.

Many of them are different than your ordinary, optimistic, cheerleader stuff.

I hope you enjoyed it, and would love if you dropped a comment with your opinion and if you used any of these 🙂

Thanks,

-NG

 

Two Things That Got Me Here (The Lesson)

Good Tuesday Morning!!

So, at the end of every interview I ask, “What questions do you have for us?”

Last week, a gentleman named Devin asked me…

“What was the thing you focused on that helped you be successful?”

Good question, right? So what was my answer?

I said…

“100 things had to happen, including hard work, dedication, LUCK, timing etc. However, I’ll break it down into the TWO things that got me here…”

“First, sales. I figured out pretty quick that better sales mean more hours, and more hours mean more opportunity. I make goals by more, I get more responsibility. So I honed my selling skills by asking for help! As I got better and better, I got promoted again and again.”

“Second was people. I focused on sales for close to three years and it got me to a certain point. But I actually remember where I was when it hit me that sales can’t get me any further, and developing people was the next piece of the puzzle that I had to get, and accomplish.”

“I put a major focus on those two things, I got A TON of help from my bosses and mentors, and with a ton of hard work and luck, here I am!”

So as you get your day started today, I invite you to learn a valuable lesson that took me three years to “get”, so you too can have the opportunity to answer that great question that Devin asked me last Friday.

The lesson: Crush all goals and develop others.

Start the lesson TODAY with the first customer you help, and the first teammate you work with.

-NG