Behavioral Questions to Ask During Interviews

BY Lisa Rigsby
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Have you used behavioral questions during interviews? Let’s face it, we’ve all hired bad employees. They talked a good game during the interview process and started out doing all right. But as time went on, it became clear they weren’t who they sold themselves as. Ultimately, you had to cut ties, and as research has shown, the cost of running through a bad hire is higher than the cost of taking extra time to find the perfect fit.

Speaking from experience, I’ve hired the wrong people too. I took the “correct measures” and asked the typical questions: “Tell me about your sales process,” “Tell me about a big sale you closed.” I followed the traditional “sell me this pen” line of questioning. Over time, I found that didn’t work, so now I ask behavioral questions.

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions reveal what a person will do when they think no one is looking. Anyone can have good sales skills, but if they don’t have good work habits, they’re not going to get the job done. Ask focused questions to learn about a person’s work ethic.


Tell me about a time you dropped the ball and how you took ownership.” By framing the question in such a way, you invite the interviewee to acknowledge their imperfection and show how they can find a way to remedy a situation.

Tell me about some of the ways you prioritize work during business hours.” I ask this because if someone can’t give you a clear answer, then they’re not going to be very organized and timely in their delivery.

Tell me about a project you worked on and completed using collaboration with your team.” At SalesFuel, it’s very important that we are collaborative. Someone who’s not collaborative won’t be a very good fit here.

I encourage you to think a little bit outside the box when looking for a new hire. It’s easy for a candidate to tell you what they learned in sales training and how they applied it to their past job. It’s when you can dig a little deeper that you find the person behind the resume.