Job interviews are never easy. It’s not possible to know exactly what questions you’ll encounter the next time you face an interviewer. While we can’t read minds (unfortunately), we can certainly take steps to prepare for some of the most common questions that recruiters are prone to asking.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of several popular interview questions you can expect in your next interview. We have attempted to cover all types of interview questions, along with tips for answering them.
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Types of Interview Questions
During a job interview, the recruiters might ask different types of interview questions. The questions are designed to gather specific information. From determining your qualifications and experience to assessing your personality and work style, interview questions can be of any topic.
That said, here are the main types of interview questions you may get.
Credential Verification Questions
These types of interview questions serve as CV/Resume fact check and are aimed at objectively verifying the credentials presented in your resume. Examples are: “What is your GPA?”, “When did you start working at your current company?”. Credential verification questions require you to be prepared and well-versed in the details of your educational qualifications, and/or professional history.
Experience Verification Questions
Experience verification questions are like credential verification questions in their purpose, but the difference is that these questions subjectively evaluate the experiences in your background. They ask about your level of experience to determine whether you’re qualified for their proposed job opening. Common examples include “What did you learn during that course?”, “What were your responsibilities in your last role?”
An opinion question in an interview can often confuse a candidate. Typical questions in this category include:” What is your greatest strength?”, “What would you do in situation X?” The purpose of opinion questions is to subjectively analyze how a candidate will respond in a series of scenarios. Although you’d try to please the interviewer by giving the “right” answer, in reality, there is never one right answer to such questions. Instead, your answer would give the interviewer an insight into your decision making skills.
These types of interview questions are a must in most job interviews these days. The interviewer can ask you anything about your behavior at earlier workplaces or in school settings. Or they can present a specific situation and ask what you’d do.
Behavioral questions often start with a phrase like “Tell me about a time when you….” Examples include “Describe how you handled challenges in the workplace.”, “How do you resolve tension with coworkers?”. The purpose is to objectively analyze past behaviors in a certain type of situation to predict how you might react in those situations in future. Such questions also indicate whether the candidate has any history of problematic behavior at the workplace, like getting into fights or making poor decisions.
The most common types of interview questions are competency questions. These are designed to assess if you possess specific competencies and experience which are required for the job role. Common examples include “Give me an example of your leadership skills.”, describe how you sought a creative solution to a recent problem you were faced with.”
To prepare for competency questions, carefully read the job description and person specification to identify the skills needed for the position. Decide on specific examples that demonstrate how you applied these skills in real life scenarios. Consider using the STAR (Situation, Task, Actions, Result) technique to answer competency questions.
Brain Teaser Questions
Brain teaser questions range from “Why are manhole covers round?”, to “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?”, “How would you weigh a commercial airplane without a scale?” and even complex algorithms. These questions not only test your logic and math skills but also critical thinking and creativity. All these questions have unique answers that provide insight about the candidate in question.
To prepare for brain teaser questions, practice mental arithmetic, puzzles, and ways to articulate your thoughts to answer these questions. The interviewer would want to see how you arrived at your answer.
Case questions generally include problem-solving questions like “How many gas stations in New York?”, “Give an estimate for the global online books retail market.” The purpose of these types of interview questions is to assess your problem solving ability and present you a chance to demonstrate how you would analyze and handle potential case situations.
Case questions work well if they develop into a discussion between the interviewer and interviewee.
Hypothetical Interview Questions
Employers use hypothetical interview questions to understand how you’d behave in the workplace. Such questions test your abilities to identify and address common workplace situations. Examples include: “What would you do if you had to work with a difficult coworker?”, “What if I told you that you must step in for a manager for a particular presentation?”.
Your answer would give the hiring manager a glimpse of the way you deal with problems approaching you, any pre-existing assumptions that you have, the curiosity you show upon being asked the question, and any follow up questions that you ask.
Hypothetical questions showcase advantages like giving you a chance to define your core values, allowing you to describe your collaboration skills, and providing the interviewer a situation when you made a calculated decision to overcome adversity.
Outside-the-Box Interview Questions
This category of interview questions could seem bizarre on the surface, but they are known to generate revealing answers. The purpose is to avoid pre-programmed answers to find out if you can formulate an original thought. There is no definite right or wrong answer to nonsense questions since they are used mainly to test your ability to think out of the box and react decisively without prior thought.
Examples include: “Who would play the lead role in a movie about your life?”, “If you could travel through time, where would you go?”
General Tips to Prepare for an Interview
The best way to get ready for an interview involves researching the company and job and thoughtfully considering how to answer various types of interview questions. Make a great impression at your upcoming job interview by following these tips that will improve your chances of success.
- Do your homework on the company, the role you’re applying for, and the industry.
- Clarify what makes you the ideal candidate for the position and why you want the job.
- Prepare every type of interview question that you’re most likely to get considering your age, status, and experience.
- Go to the Interview with some intelligent questions for the interviewer that show your knowledge of the company and your serious intent.
- Practice mock interviews. Study frequently asked interview questions and prepare answers ahead of time. Rehearse your answers aloud until they flow from the tongue.
- Take your time during the interview. Once you’ve been asked a question, pause for a moment to get your thoughts together.
- Listen to the question carefully to understand the kind of answer it seeks. If in doubt, you can politely ask them to repeat the question or you can repeat it to them to ensure you understand it correctly. There’s no harm in seeking clarity. In fact, just hearing the question a second time or saying it aloud can help you process it better. Plus, it can earn you some extra time to think.
Our Learners Also Asked
1. What are the 3 types of interview questions?
There are a number of different types of interview questions. The most common 3 types of questions that are generally asked are - Open-ended, Behavioural and Situational.
2. What are the 4 types of interview questions?
Here are four types of interview questions employers ask:
- Closed-ended interview questions
- Open-ended interview questions
- Hypothetical interview questions
- Outside-the-box interview questions
3. What are the 5 types of interview questions?
These five different types of interview questions are commonly asked by interviewers and to help understand the mindset of the employee:
- Behavioural Questions
- Communication Questions
- Opinion Questions
- Performance-Based Questions
The best way to succeed in an interview is by handling the questions thrown at you with patience and poise. But these qualities come through practice and preparation. The more you practice, the more likely you are to leave a lasting impression as the ideal candidate. Therefore, the key is to be meticulous with your preparation. Practice the various types of interview questions we’ve discussed above and we’re sure you’ll feel more confident in your next interview.
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