Types of Interview Questions

Interview Questions: Directive

These are specific interview questions that require you to respond with a precise answer.
These interview questions are usually based on your resume.

  • What kinds of work have you done which would prepare you for the duties of this position?
  • What kinds of machines/equipment can you operate?
  • How does your education equip you for the job at hand?

Regardless of the approach or structure of interview questions asked, the interviewers will be trying to relate your past experiences – education, work, and non-work, to your ability to perform the immediate job and to estimate your potential for future performance or promotion.

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Interview Questions: Non-Directive

These interview questions are open-ended and give you the opportunity to decide what direction you will take in answering them.

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • How do you define success?
  • What is your philosophy of life?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Please give examples.
  • Why do you want this job?

Regardless of the approach or structure of interview questions asked, the interviewers will be trying to relate your past experiences – education, work and non-work, to your ability to perform the immediate job and to estimate your potential for future performance or promotion.

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Interview Questions: Hypothetical or Behavioral

The interviewer uses these interview questions in an attempt to assess how you might perform on the job. These interview questions are usually presented in two parts. The first part presents a possible job situation. The second part asks how you would deal with the situation.

  • One of the job functions in this position is supervision of two clerk-typists. A conflict between these two people has arisen which is affecting office morale and job performance. How would you handle this situation?

Regardless of the approach or structure of interview questions asked, the interviewers will be trying to relate your past experiences – education, work and non-work, to your ability to perform the immediate job and to estimate your potential for future performance or promotion.

Interview Questions: Job-Company-Industry

  • Why are you interested in Sales/Marketing/Accounting/etc.?
  • What do you think you will be doing in this job you are applying for? What do you think this job requires, and how do you match those requirements? What do you think the duties of someone who holds this job are?
  • How do you foresee the future of this industry?
  • Do you think a training program is useful? How do you evaluate a business?
  • Why should we hire you?Based on this interview, what questions do you have about the company?

Regardless of the approach or structure of interview questions asked, the interviewers will be trying to relate your past experiences – education, work and non-work, to your ability to perform the immediate job and to estimate your potential for future performance or promotion.

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Interview Questions: Location

  • Are you free to relocate? What constraints do you have?
  • How do you feel about job-related travel?
  • How does your family feel about your traveling?

These interview questions are designed to obtain your personal data in a quick and non-threatening way. Provide your answers truthfully in order to avoid future conflicts related to working situations and job compatibility.

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Interview Questions: Stress

In dealing with stress interviews, it is usually advantageous to meet the interview questions head-on. Show the interviewer you understand that the purpose of the exercise is to determine whether you are able to deal with sensitive situations that create stress. Remember, you should not put up with impolite behavior or answer humiliating questions.

Many of these interview questions have been discussed above, but are grouped here to help you to understand that they cause stress, and to help you avoid generating your own stress…

  1. What do you look for in a job?
  2. Why are you leaving your present position?
  3. What is your philosophy of management?
  4. What kind of salary are you worth?
  5. How long would it take you to make a contribution to our firm?
  6. How long would you stay with us?
  7. What new goals or objectives have you established recently?
  8. What do (did) you think of your boss?
  9. Would you describe a few situations in which your work was criticized?
  10. How would you evaluate your present firm?
  11. Do you generally speak to people before they speak to you?
  12. In your present position, what problems have you identified that had been overlooked?
  13. Why aren’t you earning more at your age?
  14. Will you be out to take your boss’s job?
  15. Are you creative? (Give an example)
  16. Are you analytical? (Give an example)
  17. Are you a good manager? (Give an example)
  18. Have you helped increase sales? Profits? How?
  19. Tell me what your subordinates/manager would say of you.
  20. Have you fired people before? How did you prepare for it?
  21. Have you hired people before? What do you look for?
  22. If you had your choice of jobs and companies, where would you go?
  23. How have you changed the nature of your job?
  24. Why haven’t you obtained a job so far?
  25. What was the last book you read? …Movie you saw? …Sporting event you attended?

Be prepared to back up these answers with examples when asked.

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