Behavioral Interview Questions

Real examples of the most common questions (and answers)

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Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

Behavioral interview questions are very common for finance jobs, and yet applicants are often under-prepared for them.

With the right preparation, they can be easy to handle.  The key is to have about 5-10 stories you can draw on as examples to use, depending on the type of question they ask you.

There are five types of behavioral questions:

  1. Teamwork
  2. Leadership
  3. Conflict
  4. Failure
  5. Creativity

Pick at least two personal stories that relate to each of the five categories above and you will be able to shape those stories to almost any behavioral question that gets thrown your way!  That’s the secret to answering behavioral interview questions.

Behavioral Interview Questions Guide

Teamwork Behavioral Interview Questions

  • “Describe a situation in the past where you demonstrated strong team-work.”
  • “What is your management style?”
  • “Tell me about a time you valued one of your team member’s effort more than your own?”
  • “What do you typically do if you disagree with someone’s idea?”

Leadership Behavioral Interview Questions

  • “What does leadership mean to you?”
  • “Can you provide some examples of good and bad leadership?”
  • “How do you show leadership in the face of adversity?”
  • “How would you motivate a disengaged employee?”
  • “What inspires you?”

Handling Conflict Behavioral Interview Questions

  • “How do you deal with stress in your personal life?”
  • “Tell me about a time when you did an effective job of managing a conflict?”
  • “What is your conflict resolution style?”

Failure Behavioral Interview Questions

  • “What is one of your biggest weaknesses and how do you deal with it?”
  • “What are some good things about failure?”
  • “Tell me about an investment you made that didn’t go as planned.”
  • “What do you regret doing in your life?”

Creativity Questions

  • “Tell me about a significant challenge you faced in your professional career and how you used creativity to overcome it.”
  • “Which is more important in business – IQ or EQ?”
  • “What are five things you could use an oven for if it were unable to generate heat ever again?”
  • “Why do poor people spend more money on toilet paper than rich people?”
  • “What is one thing you believe to be true, that most people disagree with you on?”

Behavioral Interview Answers

The good thing and the bad thing about behavioral interview questions is, there are no right or wrong answers.  Think about that for a minute.  If you can’t be definitively right or wrong, then the assessment must be very subjective.

The interviewer will grade you based on how well you expanded on your ideas.

The key for the interviewer is to determine the following:

  • Do you demonstrate maturity
  • Are you comfortable with ambiguity
  • Can you work as part of a team
  • Do you have emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • Are you quick on your feet
  • Can you think creatively (divergent thinking)
  • Would you fit well in the company culture

More Interview Prep Resources

Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to behavioral interview questions. For more interview questions and answers, check out our other interview guides for:

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