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How To Answer Common Behavioral Interview Questions

I’m a recruiter and really want to communicate that behavioral questions aren’t meant to trick you. We want to see how you’ll get along with teams, if you’re really interested in working at our company, and how you’ll interact with clients (if it’s a customer oriented role).

Now onto how you should answer common questions:

Tell me about yourself
Did you read the job description closely? How do you meet the requirements of the position and why are you a good fit?

Tell me about a time you failed
What lessons did you learn from this failure? How did you resolve the issue and what were the final results?

What is your greatest strength?
We know you are competent, but which of your qualities or skills best match the job requirements?

Why X company?
What is the company’s mission and how do your career goals align with the mission? Why is it a good fit?

What should you do when someone disagrees with you?
Did you spend time analyzing both options and comparing tradeoffs? Have you communicated with your teammate to try to convince them? Were you able to effectively communicate?

How do you define success?
Meeting the goal you set is a good starting point. However, what are your goals for yourself? How do you want to develop as a person at X company?

Hopefully this is helpful and opens up new perspectives for how to interpret interview questions.


Couldn’t agree more with your translations. I’ve been using a similar approach and have noticed my responses have become much stronger…

Very interesting perspective. Just now realizing that I wasn’t answering most of these questions correctly before.

Maybe this is why I’ve been performing so poorly on behavioral questions. I’ve been answering the questions too literally?!

Pushing this to the top. A career coach told me about this early on in my career and it has forever changed how I approach behavioral interviews!

+1 from me - also so cool to see recruiters also use Candor. This was so helpful and I hope you post more tips for candidates like this.

I resonate with all of the reactions here… Definitely a different view on how to answer behavioral questions. Almost wish they’d just ask the translated version so I could get straight to the point!

This site has about tell me about yourself, and it helped me out a lot during my last interview. Thanks for sharing yall!