3 Interview Question Types You Need to Know

Successful interviews require organization and preparation. It’s important to understand what the interviewer is trying to accomplish during the interview process in order to succeed in an interview. Interviewers are trying to determine if the possible candidate will not only be good fit for the position, but also if they will be successful. They accomplish this by analyzing a candidate’s knowledge, strengths, weaknesses and past experiences. Interviewers will then take this analysis and compare it with past employees who filled the open position both successful and unsuccessful. This will enable them to gauge how well a new candidate will perform in the open position. Every interviewer will be unique in their approach, but most interviewers tend to follow a certain method during the interview process. This method is called the targeted approach method. In this approach an interviewer analyzes a candidates experience and potential through a series of questions. These questions can be organized into 3 categories: Open ended, Behavior based, Situational 
  • Open ended – Future 

Open ended questions are questions that can focus on the position and what role a candidate will play in the company or organization. Most open ended questions are used to understand the candidate’s motivation for wanting that particular position.

Examples of open ended questions:

-Where do you see yourself in 5 years…10 years?

-What are you looking for in your next job?

-What do you think makes good manager?

Questions like these help employers understand what a candidate is looking for in their future endeavors. Candidates who show drive and motivation for their future are viewed as desirable attributes.

How you should answer:

It is important you reveal your goals and expectations clearly. Make sure each goal is achievable and measurable. Try to keep your personal goals out of the answer such as getting married having kids. Stick to professional goals and expectations.

Behavior Based – Past 
Behavior based questions are questions concerning a candidate’s past behavior. The purpose of this questioning technique is to determine whether past experiences will determine future success. Employers are trying to find out in more detail about a candidate’s past work experiences

Examples of behavior based questions:

-Describe a time when you had to manage a conflict between two people

-Tell me about an experience when you had to handle an angry customer or friend.

How to answer behavior based questions:

Before you go to an interview you should think of some past situations where you overcame a problem or some kind of diversity. It doesn’t matter the exact situation you should be able to spin the situation towards most behavior based questions. When answering these questions you should start by describing the situation, the actions you took, and how you were successful.

Situation Based – Present 

Situation based questions are hypothetical questions. These questions determine what actions a candidate would take in a possible on the job scenario. Interviewers are looking to see how you will react in a given situation. The interviewer’s main objective is to determine your problem solving skills through knowledge, past experiences and intuition.

Examples of situation based questions:

-What would you say to a client if one of their shipments was late?

-How would you try and convince a customer to stay with our company if they threatened to leave?

How to answer situation base questions:

The most important part of answering situation based questions is to describe your thought process in detail. Make sure you describe why you are making each description. This will help the interviewer understand your exact thinking process and gauge your problems solving skills better.

If there are multiple interviews, make sure to follow- up after each interview. For the first round interview, it’s appropriate to send an e-mail thanking whoever interviewed you for their time, in this e-mail make sure to once again express your interest in the position and the company. After the second or third round interview it’s appropriate to send a hand written thank you note addressed to the person(s) who interviewed you. This shows that you took the extra initiative to write out a note, which makes you stand out above other potential candidates.

If you are offered the job, don’t accept it right on the spot. It’s best to ask for a few days (3-4) to consider the offer before accepting.