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Some people believe interviewing is like facing a firing squad; all these questions flying at you and you’re tied to the chair until it’s all over.Come prepared for any type of interview questions and walk away with the job.
You can equalize and even take control of the situation by understanding the types of questions and how to prepare for them, and by realizing your role in this dynamic process. Believe it or not, you should be ready with your own questions. Interviewing the interviewer is a great way to gain ground on the interview. Make sense?
5 Types of Interview Questions
1. Straightforward – This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the easiest type of question to handle because you know this and you did this. Wherever possible, draw parallels to the work that needs to be done, and what you have done in a previous or current job. Explain how the job you’re interviewing for calls for the skills and experience you possess.
2. Behavioral – Interviewers often believe how you performed at a previous job is how you’ll perform for them.These questions look like, “Describe a time when…” The interviewer wants you to reflect upon your work experience and share how you handled a situation that might have included conflict, pressure, or difficult circumstances. They often deal less with particular skill sets, and more with your personality and how you interact in work situations. Talk about how you stepped up to the plate or made a contribution. Try to weave in specific skills and tell how you would employ them to turn this challenge into an accomplishment.
3. Situational –The expectation here is to determine how you might deal with a particular issue in the future. Sometimes these questions can even be hinting at what is currently at issue with this particular company; pay close attention to see if he/she asks another question regarding this issue. These questions might begin with, “How would you respond to…?” Share an actual example for these hypothetical questions of when something similar occurred. This is an opportunity for you to illustrate how you problem-solve challenging circumstances. If you don’t have a comparable situation to talk about, be honest and tell the interviewer it’ll be something you’ll have figure out along the way. They’ll be impressed with your honesty.
4. Competency-based – These vary widely depending on career fields and the level of responsibility and actual duties required for the job. Does the job call for attention to detail, leadership, or strong communication skills? What about creativity, flexibility or listening skills? Obviously, the list is of competencies is long; the purpose of these questions is to determine how your skills best fit their needs. An example of a question might be, “Tell me about a time when your [critical thinking] helped solve…” Now’s the time to let him/her know just how skilled you are at your particular competency with a job-related example.
5. Brain Teasers or Skills Tests – These can range from personality tests to actual skills you would be expected to perform if hired. Do the best you can, and remember, sometimes you do need to measure up to an established standard. In other instances, what is really being tested is your level of creativity, speed, or the way you go about solving the problem rather than the solution itself.
You are no longer a “victim” in the interview process. Companies not only expect you to be ready for all types of questions, but to do your research and come prepared with your own set of questions. Yes, it’s important to practice for all kinds of question, but most importantly, practice the ones for which you don’t have the answers.