Behavioral Competency

Top 10 Behavioral Competency Based Interview Questions for Managers

Success in the workplace is about more than just technical skills and expertise. It also requires mastering behavioral competencies that contribute to effective communication, collaboration, and leadership. This blog will delve into behavioral competencies and their significance in the workplace. From understanding what behavioral competencies are and why they are essential to decoding the different behavioral competencies, we will provide you with crucial tips for success. We will also explore how to assess behavioral competencies through interviews and techniques for effective assessment. Lastly, we will discuss how behavioral competencies can drive success and help individuals thrive professionally.

Understanding Behavioral Competencies at Work

Understanding behavioral competencies is essential for success in the workplace. Behavioral competencies refer to personal qualities, traits, and behaviors that individuals exhibit professionally. These competencies go beyond technical skills and knowledge, focusing on how individuals interact, communicate, and collaborate with others. Understanding behavioral competencies involves recognizing the importance of these soft skills and how they contribute to overall job performance and workplace success.

Importance of Behavioral Competencies

Importance of Behavioral Competencies in the Workplace:

  • Effective Communication and Collaboration: Strong behavioral competencies promote clear communication and enhance collaboration among team members, leading to a positive work environment and improved productivity.
  • Adaptability and Resilience: Employees with developed behavioral competencies can adapt to change and handle challenges with resilience, ensuring they stay effective in dynamic work settings.
  • Conflict Resolution and Ethical Decision-Making: Competent conflict resolution and ethical decision-making skills foster a harmonious workplace, maintaining trust and credibility within the organization.
  • Empowered Leadership and Employee Engagement: Effective leaders with strong behavioral competencies inspire and empower their teams, leading to higher employee engagement and job satisfaction.
  • Enhanced Problem-Solving and Customer Relations: Behavioral competencies like critical thinking and empathy enable employees to solve problems efficiently and provide exceptional customer service, contributing to better customer relations and loyalty.

The 8 Types of Behavioral Competencies

  • Communication Skills: Effective communication skills involve expressing ideas clearly and concisely in verbal and written form. It also includes active listening, understanding others’ perspectives, and adapting communication styles to different audiences. Strong communication skills facilitate better understanding, collaboration, and relationship-building in the workplace.
  • Collaboration and Teamwork: Collaboration entails working harmoniously with others to achieve common goals. It involves sharing ideas, responsibilities, and resources while valuing diverse perspectives. Employees who excel in teamwork can create a positive work environment, foster creativity, and enhance team productivity.
  • Adaptability: Adaptability is the ability to adjust and thrive in changing circumstances. Adaptable employees can embrace new technologies, methodologies, or organizational changes without being overwhelmed. They remain resilient in the face of challenges and willingly seek opportunities for growth and improvement.
  • Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking: Problem-solving competencies involve the capacity to identify, analyze, and resolve issues effectively. Employees with strong critical thinking skills can evaluate situations objectively, weigh pros and cons, and make informed decisions based on data and evidence.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as empathize with the feelings of others. Employees with high emotional intelligence can navigate social situations adeptly, build positive relationships, and handle conflicts with empathy and tact.
  • Leadership: Leadership competencies involve guiding and motivating others to achieve common goals. Effective leaders inspire their teams, provide direction, and support professional growth, creating a cohesive and motivated workforce.
  • Time Management: Time management is prioritizing tasks, setting deadlines, and allocating time efficiently. Employees with good time management skills can maintain focus, avoid procrastination, and achieve higher productivity.
  • Conflict Resolution: Conflict resolution competencies enable employees to address disagreements or disputes constructively. Skilled conflict resolution leads to finding mutually acceptable solutions, maintaining healthy working relationships, and fostering a cooperative atmosphere.
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Behavioral Competency Based Interview

A Behavioral Competency-Based Interview (BCBI) is an interview technique commonly used by employers to assess a candidate’s behavioral competencies or soft skills. Unlike traditional interviews focusing on hypothetical questions or situations, BCBI relies on the candidate’s past behavior and experiences as indicators of future performance. The underlying premise is that a candidate’s previous conduct in certain situations can provide insights into how they might behave in similar situations.

During a Behavioral Competency-Based Interview, the interviewer asks specific questions that require the candidate to provide real-life examples of how they handled various work-related situations. The questions often begin with phrases such as:

  • “Tell me about a time when…”
  • “Give me an example of…”
  • “Describe a situation where…”
The candidate is expected to answer these questions by describing the situation, the actions they took, and the results or outcomes of their efforts. The interviewer then assesses the responses based on the relevant behavioral competencies required for the role.

Benefits of Behavioral Competency Based Interview

The key advantages of using a Behavioral Competency-Based Interview include:

  • Objective Evaluation: BCBI allows for a more accurate evaluation of a candidate’s soft skills as it relies on actual past experiences rather than hypothetical answers.
  • Predictive Performance: Past behavior is often a good indicator of future performance, so this interview technique helps identify candidates more likely to excel in the role.
  • Consistency: The structured nature of BCBI ensures consistency in the evaluation process, as all candidates are asked the same behavioral questions.
  • Deeper Insights: By asking candidates to provide specific examples, interviewers can gain deeper insights into their problem-solving abilities, teamwork skills, communication style, and other essential competencies.
  • Cultural Fit: BCBI helps identify candidates whose behavioral attributes align with the organization’s culture, leading to better integration and harmony within the team.

Behavioral competency assessment examples 

Assessing behavioral competencies can be done through various techniques. Below are some examples of behavioral competency assessment methods commonly used in the workplace:

  • Behavioral-Based Interview Questions: Ask candidates to provide specific examples of how they handled various situations in their past experiences. For instance:
    • “Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict within your team.”
    • “Give me an example of a challenging project you worked on and how you successfully completed it.”
  • Situational Judgment Tests: Present candidates with hypothetical work-related scenarios and ask them to choose the most appropriate action. This assesses their problem-solving, decision-making, and ethical competencies.
  • Work Samples and Portfolios: Request candidates to provide work samples or portfolios showcasing their previous projects and achievements. This allows you to assess their problem-solving, creativity, and project-management skills.
  • Self-Assessment Questionnaires: Provide candidates with self-assessment questionnaires where they rate themselves on various behavioral competencies. While not solely relied upon, this can give you an idea of the candidate’s self-awareness.
  • Observational Assessments: For internal candidates or, when feasible, observe candidates’ behavior in real work situations to assess their behavioral competencies on the job.
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10 Behavioral Competency-Based Interview Questions

Crafting interview questions for managers requires understanding core competencies, aligning questions with them, and using the STAR method to structure responses. Open-ended questions prompt candidates to provide specific examples. Assess how candidates demonstrate competencies through responses and follow-up questions.

Here are 10 behavioral competency based interview questions that managers can ask during the hiring process:

  • Communication Skills: “Describe a situation where you had to communicate complex information to a team member or a client. How did you ensure clarity and understanding?”
  • Adaptability: “Tell me about a time when you had to quickly adjust to a significant change at work. How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?”
  • Problem-Solving: “Give an example of a challenging problem you encountered at work. Walk me through the steps you took to analyze the issue and arrive at a solution.”
  • Leadership: “Describe a situation where you had to lead a team to accomplish a specific goal. How did you motivate and guide your team members?”
  • Conflict Resolution: “Share a time when you faced a conflict with a colleague. How did you approach the situation, and what steps did you take to resolve the conflict?”
  • Time Management: “Tell me about a project where you had to manage multiple tasks and deadlines simultaneously. How did you prioritize your work to meet those deadlines?”
  • Teamwork: “Describe an experience where you collaborated with a diverse group of individuals to achieve a common objective. How did you contribute to the team’s success?”
  • Emotional Intelligence: “Give an example of a situation where you had to manage your emotions in a high-pressure work environment. How did you stay composed and focused?”
  • Decision-Making: “Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make at work. How did you gather information and weigh the options before making your decision?”
  • Customer Service Orientation: “Share a time when you went above and beyond to meet a customer’s needs or resolve a customer’s issue. How did your actions impact the customer’s experience?”
These behavioral competency-based questions provide valuable insights into a candidate’s past behavior and actions, helping managers assess how well they align with the organization’s requirements and culture. When asking these questions, listening actively to the candidate’s responses and probing further to gain a deeper understanding of their competencies and experiences is essential.


In conclusion, behavioral competency is essential for success in the workplace. Understanding and developing these competencies can improve your ability to communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and navigate complex work situations. By assessing and refining your behavioral competencies, you can enhance your professional growth and increase your chances of success.

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What are the 8 behavioral competencies?

The 8 behavioral competencies are Communication skills, Problem-solving skills, Leadership abilities, Adaptability & flexibility, Teamwork & collaboration, Time management & organization, Decision-making capabilities & Emotional intelligence.

How do you identify behavioral competencies?

To identify behavioral competencies, you can use a combination of methods such as: Self-assessment, Observational assessments, Competency-based interview questions and Feedback from others.

How do you write a behavioral competency?

To write a behavioral competency, follow these steps:
Start with a clear and specific description of the competency. Use action verbs to describe the expected behaviors or actions related to the competency. Provide examples or scenarios that illustrate the competency in action. Include any relevant knowledge, skills, or abilities associated with the competency. Keep the competency concise and focused on observable behaviors. Use measurable criteria to define success or proficiency in the competency. Review and refine the competency based on feedback and observations from others

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