Types of Job Interview Questions

The list of possible interview questions can be quite large and overwhelming. Fortunately, there are only really five different types of interview questions. This structure helps put these questions into a manageable framework. The five different types of interview questions:

1. Resume-Related Questions (You Questions)
2. Qualifications for Job Questions
3. Behavioral Questions
4. Case Interview Questions
5. Personality Questions

Resume- Related Questions (You Questions)
This group of questions can be described as “You” questions because they tend to center around what “you” have done. Sample Interview questions could include:
• Tell me about yourself?
• What did you major in at college?
• What did you do in this position?
The main focus of these questions is to try to find out whether your resume information is accurate and whether you have exaggerated or been modest about your credentials. This is most often done by asking questions based on the information shown in your resume.

Job Qualification Questions
These questions will be generated mainly from the job description and may overlap somewhat with Resume-Related questions. They are designed to see if you have the experience or qualifications for the position at a general level. They will ask you sample interview questions like:
• Have you ever managed a team before?
• Do you have any experience with conflict resolution?
• Have you ever given a presentation to external customers?
Behavioral Questions
These questions try to specifically determine whether you have the appropriate level of experience or qualifications for the position. They tend to go deeper than Job Qualification Questions by having you provide answers based on your prior work experience. These questions provide you with a basic problem scenario and expect you to be able to answer it based on a prior work experience example. Sample Interview questions could include:
• Tell me about a time you used your conflict resolution skills?
• Tell me about a project where you implemented a process improvement idea?
• Give me an example of a time you failed to complete a project on time and how you went about correcting the issue?
These questions can take on the form of a positive or a negative and so it is a good idea to have thought out ahead of time examples that you will want to use. It is also a good idea to try to identify before hand what are likely to be the skills they will base their behavioral questions on. For example, a salesman might expect to get behavioral questions based presentation skills. One such question could be give me a time when you gave a successful presentation to a client or for customer service skills, tell me about a time when you used your customer service skills to help keep an upset customer with the company.

Case Interview Questions
These types of questions tend to be tailored toward client focused positions like consulting and sales. They essentially involve providing you with a list of facts surrounding a company problem and ask you how to address the issue. Depending on the position, this may include doing things like performing mathematical computations or creating presentation aids. Regardless of the position, you can expect to have to present your findings and answer follow-up questions.

The purpose of these types of interview questions is to see how you think, whether you can perform under a stressful situation and, determine whether your personality is a good fit for the team. These interview questions usually are conducted on a one on one basis; however, you can also answer these questions as part of a group as a way for some companies to judge your interpersonal skills.

Personality Questions
These types of questions usually take on two forms. One form is a formal standard test that asks you a lot of questions about what types of things you prefer or would choose to do based on a list of options. The second form of personality questions are the informal type that can occur anywhere in the interview process and are geared towards determining if you are a good personality fit for the position. Sample interview questions could include:
• What was the score of the Cowboys game last night?
• What did you think of the last episode of American Idol?
The purpose of these questions is to see if you are well rounded enough to be able to talk to a prospective client about a general topic like American Football or a popular television show.

By getting a basic familiarity of these types of sample interview questions, you will help reduce your overall learning curve. Although interview questions tend to get most of the attention in other interviewing guides and books, you should instead divide your focus between all aspects of the interview process. By having a more comprehensive outlook on the interview process, you will tend to have better results by appearing more well-rounded and professional to your interviewers throughout the entire interview process.

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