25 “Tell Me About a Time…” Behavioral Interview
Questions & Answers

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Here’s the FULL LIST of “TELL ME ABOUT A TIME…” BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

Q1. Tell me about a time you worked as part of a team.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

SITUATION: In a previous role, my manager asked the team I was a part of to brainstorm new ideas for promoting the business.

TASK: It was our task as a team to work together to come up with new and innovative ways to increase company sales.

ACTION: As part of the team task we held a meeting and discussed various ideas that we all felt could work. During the team discussions, we listened to each other, we created an environment where no idea was off limits, and we utilized each other’s strengths to create a list of potential ideas that we felt could work.

RESULT: After the meeting had come to an end, we presented the combined team’s ideas to our manager and she then chose five of them to implement over the coming months. Three of the ideas had a significant impact on company sales to the point where they had increased by 25%.”

Q2. Tell me about a time you had to overcome a difficult problem.

SUGGESTED ANSWER

SITUATION: I’d been involved in helping the team I was a part of at work arrange an important company event which was due to take place the following day. Unfortunately, a catering supplier had let us down the day before the event, and we were in danger of not having any food or refreshments available for the attendees.

TASK: My manager was extremely busy sorting things out for the event, so I decided to take it upon myself to try and rectify the issue.

ACTION: I telephoned all local catering companies, but none were available to help at such short notice. I decided to collate a list of refreshments we had ordered from the catering company that had let us down, including details relating to any specific special dietary requirements. That evening, after work, I went along to my local 24-hour supermarket and purchased suitable and sufficient off the shelf refreshments for all attendees. I kept hold of the receipt and informed my manager of the action I had taken the following morning. 

RESULT: The event went ahead as planned without problem and my manager thanked me for taking the initiative to solve this difficult problem.

Q3. Tell me about a time you experienced conflict with a co-worker and how you resolved it.
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Q4. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your boss.
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Q5. Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive.
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Q6. Tell me about a time you provided excellent customer service.
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Q7. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
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Q8. Tell me about a time when you had to make an important decision with limited information.
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Q9. Tell me about a time when you managed to find a simple solution to a complex problem.
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Q10. Tell me about a time when you failed at work.
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Q11. Tell me about a time when you managed a quality service.
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Q12. Tell me about a time when your style of communication resulted in a positive outcome.
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Q13. Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to see your point of view.
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Q14. Tell me about a time when you were flexible at work.
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Q15. Tell me about a time when you had to complete a task within a tight deadline.
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Q16. Tell me a time when you managed multiple tasks all at once.
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Q17. Tell me a time when you went above and beyond for a customer or a client.
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Q18. Tell me a time you had to work with a difficult co-worker.
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Q19. Tell me about a time when you overcame a difficult challenge at work.
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Q20. Tell me about a time when you had to work outside the scope of your normal day-to-day role.
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Q21. Tell me about a time when you initiated change in a team or an organization.
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Q22. Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a setback.
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Q23. Tell me about a time when you made the right decision.
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Q24. Tell me about a time when you had to lead a team of people.
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Q25. Tell me about a time when you had multiple options for solving a difficult problem.
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How to Answer “Tell Me About A Time…” Behavioral Interview Questions


During any job interview, there is a strong possibility the interviewer or hiring manager is going to ask you a series of questions that assess your suitability for the role based on previous experience and behaviours. How you’ve performed in previous work-related roles can often give a good indication as to your likely performance in the future.

The questions asked during a job interview that delve deep enough into your experience, values and work ethic are often referred to as behavioural interview questions.

A behavioural interview question simply seeks to clarify your previous work experience in a given competency or situation. For example, if you are applying for a role that involves the ability to deal with customers on a daily basis, the interviewer may ask you a question along the lines of, tell me about a time when you provided excellent customer service, or, tell me about a time when you dealt with a customer complaint. 

You will note that the behavioural interview question requires you to give a specific situation you have previously been in where you have demonstrated the competencybeing assessed. Those candidates who are unable to provide a specific previous situation are less likely to get hired.

The most effective way to answer tell me about a time… interview questions is to utilise the STAR technique. This proven format and structure for answering difficult and challenging behavioural or competency-based interview questions is well-known within the recruitment industry and it is an excellent basis from which you can structure your answers to the questions being asked.

THE STAR TECHNIQUE FOR ANSWERING “TELL ME ABOUT A TIME…” BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

The STAR technique is the interviewees friend! If you are attending a job interview for any role whatsoever, from within any sector or industry, we strongly advise you take the time to learn it and utilise it when you are answering any form of tell me about a time…behavioural interview question.

WHAT IS THE STAR TECHNIQUE?

The STAR technique stands for, situation, task, action and result. It is a concise structure used for answering behavioural and competency-based interview questions. Here’s how to use it when answering difficult situational based interview questions that start off with, tell me about a time…

SITUATION: When you start off answering the behavioural interview questions, give the interviewer a brief outline of the situation you were faced with.

TASK: The next stage of the STAR technique interview structure is to give brief details about the task that needed doing. The task shows the interviewer you are aware of what needs to be done in the given behavioural or competency situation being assessed.

ACTION: Once you have outlined the situation and the task, it is time to give in-depth details relating to the action you took. At this stage it is very important that you give concise details about what you did to achieve a successful outcome. If you have been working as part of a team, you may also decide to tell the interviewer what the other people within your team did to contribute to the end goal.

RESULT: The final stage of the STAR technique for answering behavioural tell me about a time… interview questions, is the result. This is your chance to tell the interview how you managed to achieve a successful outcome to the situation being assessed!

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Question 1,
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Question 11,
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Interview Question 11

Question 12,
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Interview Question 12

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