Types Of Interview Questions And How To Answer Them
During a job interview, you might encounter different types of questions designed to gather certain information. Interview questions determine your qualifications and experience in addition to assessing your personality and work style. Understanding why hiring managers ask certain questions can help you prepare your answers before the interview. In this article, we look at five types of interview questions and provide advice on how to answer them.
How Much Do You Charge To Wash Every Window In Seattle
While this might seem like an odd question, it’s actually an effective one to ask if you’re trying to determine how well your candidate can problem-solve. Particularly if you’re hiring for a client-facing role, you’ll want to see how your candidate handles questions to which she doesn’t immediately know the answer.
Ideally, your candidate will say something like this — “Well, let’s say Seattle consists of 10,000 city blocks, with 1,000 windows per block. That’s 10 million windows. If I charge $5 per window, I’d make $50 million.”
The answer itself doesn’t matter. It’s more important your candidate can apply logical problem-solving skills, and remain calm, when dealing with challenging or unexpected questions.
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years
To succeed and prosper, companies need ambitious new hires who want to drive the business forward, and this question lets you separate the ‘Type A’ people who might drive your business forward from the pack.
Interview questions like this should make it easy to differentiate between candidates that have given career progression at your company serious thought from everyone else. It’s also a great chance for the candidate to outline the role that they really want within your company – now you know what they’re working towards.
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What Is Your Philosophy For Working
A career or working philosophy is similar to an organisations mission.
A one-line that accomplishes who you are and what you want to achieve in your career.
Think of the philosophy, as a career identity.
Dont be tempted to give a deep long answer here, keep it short, sweet, and positive
I would say my work philosophy is (add selling line, as an example completing tasks on time and to a high standard
What’s Your Management Style
Obviously this question is only applicable to people that you’re interviewing for senior or management roles.
Bad management techniques can kill company culture and employee happiness in the blink of an eye, you need to know that anyone you hire isn’t going to f*ck up the culture
Ask candidates about specific examples of times when they feel like the displayed positive a positive management style, as well as times when they got things wrong.
Good traits to look out for include a willingness to take feedback and make time for employees, a clear indicator of this are a manager running monthly one-on-one sessions with their team.
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Interview Questions By Type With Sample Answers
Here are a few common questions along with sample answers to guide you. Interviewers are interested in the content of your answer as well as your ability to provide engaging and complete responses. Researching the company and practicing your answers can help you prepare for the interview.
- Tell me about yourself.
- What experience do you bring to this position?
- What makes you different from the competition?
- How have you handled difficulties with coworkers?
- Imagine this industry in five years. How will it look?
What Interests You About This Role
Read the job description carefully and identify the role requirements that match your strengths. Focus on things you excel at in your answer.
Example:I really like that this position focuses on client-patient interactions. I went into pediatric medicine to help children, and being able to have a forward-facing role and seeing patient outcomes brings me joy.’
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Do You Have Any Regrets
Employers might ask this question to get a self-assessment on possible shortcomings in your life. To answer this question, you might choose to say that you do not have any regrets in life for a certain reason. Be sure to let them know that you have made mistakes, you have learned from them to become better. If not, you might select a regret or shortcoming that is both professional and would not hinder your ability to perform the job in any way.
Example:I do always wish I had known what I wanted to do very early on in my career. Having more years to grow and advance would help me be even better at my job. However, I learned skills in my previous career that I wouldnt have otherwise learned that help my in me in my job today.
If I Could Provide You With Additional Training Or Exposure What Would You Suggest
If the candidate is focused on improving their career, they will have an idea of the skills or industry exposure they would need to advance their position. Candidates may also be looking for exposure or training outside of their field of interest but in a similar industry.
If the candidate feels that they don’t need any additional training or exposure, they should have a good explanation.
Red flag: The candidate cannot provide any suggestions.
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What Would You Prefer
The answer should be given diplomatically here because no interviewer would want a candidate who likes to be feared.
Honestly, I prefer to be well respected in my organization. Fear does not command respect. I want to be in such a way that my team members will not hesitate to reach out to me for anything.
How Are You Different From Other Candidates
Chances are most candidates being interviewed have very comparable qualifications, so this question is really just a variation on âwhy should we hire you?â You approach to answering it should be the same: highlight your skills and explain how you will bring value to the company. Highlighting certifications or interdisciplinary skills that arenât the norm in your industry is a good strategy here â just make sure you explain how they make you better suited to the job.
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Q: What Do You Dislike About Your Present Job
A: Be cautious with this answer. Do not be too specific as you may draw attention to weaknesses that will leave you open to further problems. Do not criticize your employer. Most recruiters look at history as the best determinant of future behavior. One approach is to choose a characteristic of your present company, such as its size or slow decision-making processes etc. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes problems and frustrations in your stride as part of the job.
What Is The Most Difficult Problem You Have Had To Solve
Look for answers that name a real problem, talk about specific steps taken to resolve it, and any processes developed to ensure that it would be solved more quickly next time, or would not arise again.
Red flags: The candidate is unable to name a problem, or names something that is a routine part of the job and should have been simple to solve.
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Who Is The Smartest Person You Know Personally Why
These questions test what the candidate values and aspires to by forcing them to think of a real person they know, and then articulate what makes that person smart.
A good answer to this question:
Ideal answers vary, but could include specific examples of the person they’ve chosen’s ability to think ahead several steps and execute. They could also touch on the person’s decision-making skills, ability to connect, desire for learning, or application of the things they learned.
Could You Tell Me About Yourself And Describe Your Background In Brief
Interviewers like to hear stories about candidates. Make sure your story has a great beginning, a riveting middle, and an end that makes the interviewer root for you to win the job.
Talk about a relevant incident that made you keen on the profession you are pursuing and follow up by discussing your education. In the story, weave together how your academic training and your passion for the subject or industry the company specializes in, combined with your work experience, make you a great fit for the job. If youve managed a complex project or worked on an exciting, offbeat design, mention it.
Example: I come from a small town, where opportunities were limited. Since good schools were a rarity, I started using online learning to stay up to date with the best. Thats where I learned to code and then I went on to get my certification as a computer programmer. After I got my first job as a front-end coder, I continued to invest time in mastering both front- and back-end languages, tools, and frameworks.
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What Is Your Dream Company Like
This a tricky question where the interviewer again assesses your rightness for the job. While answering this, do not spill out your actual dream of working for 6 figure salary in a company with frequent access to vacation and flexible work hours. The interviewer is not interested in these things and will consider these as red flags as they make you seem materialistic.
Some tips to answer this:
- Be sincere in what you want in an ideal workspace.
- What you say should align with the work culture of the company.
- Avoid exaggeration and point out a specific employer as an example.
My dream company is a place that would provide me loads of opportunities to learn and grow and help me harness my abilities to contribute to the overall growth of the company. I value such a company that will recognize and appreciate performance and based on what I have researched about your company, I believe this place can offer me these opportunities.
What Interests You About This Job
With this interview question, your interviewer is trying to gauge a) your enthusiasm for the job and b) if you read and understood the job description. An answer that highlights a role or responsibility from the job description is a great way to go. If you blank and canât remember specifics of the job, an answer about âthe opportunity to put to useâ is always a safe bet.
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From Your Resume It Seems You Took A Gap Year Would You Like To Tell Us Why That Was
Gap years are more popular in some cultures than others. In some professions, gap years may have a negative connotation .
Let your interviewer know that your gap year wasnt about procrastinating over your transition from childhood to adulthood, but that it added value to the confident professional you have become. Based on what part of the world youre in and how common these are, employers are likely looking to hear stories of what you did and how your experiences have benefitted and prepared you for this role.
Provide a short explanation of why you decided to pursue a gap year, then focus on what came out of it that made a positive difference for your future.
Example: During my last year of high school, I didnt feel ready to choose my educational path, so I took a wilderness course for a few months to sort out my life goals. It may seem a little random, but the time I spent actually helped my develop so many new skills in the areas of leadership, communication, . During that time, I realized that I wanted to earn a degree in to align with my passion .
To make a winning impression, youll need to answer each question with poise and passion. But practicing first really helps. Meticulous preparation will allow you to appear confident and in control, helping position you as the ideal candidate when the competition is tough.
Questions About The Company
7. How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive here, and what type dont do as well?
Sometimes hiring managers are pretty bad at accurately describing the culture on their teams in part because they have a vested interest in seeing it a certain way and in part because they have an inherently different vantage point than their staff members do. For example, Ive heard incorrigible micromanagers tell candidates that they like to give people a lot of independence and autonomy and they probably really believed that about themselves. So take managers descriptions of culture with a heavy grain of salt , but theres still value in hearing what they do and dont emphasize.
But asking about what types of people tend to thrive versus those who tend to struggle can get you more revealing information. Youll often learn what that manager really cares about in their employees, or which traits will set you up to clash with them, or whos likely to bristle at their management style.
8. What do you like about working here?
You can learn a lot by the way interviewers respond to this question. People who genuinely enjoy their jobs and the company will usually have several things they can tell you that they like about working there and will usually sound sincere. But if you get a blank stare or a long silence before your interviewer answers, or the answer is something like the paycheck, consider that a red flag.
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What Made You Excited To Get Up And Come To Work At Your Last Job
It’s true that many people dislike their jobs. For the companies that want to have the best culture and employer brand though, it’s important that employees are emotionally invested in coming to work. No doubt you have many employees for whom this is the case, your goal should be to swell their ranks!
Explore why candidates found their last role exciting and what motivated them to keep dig deep when the going got tough. If they didn’t find their last role stimulating, find out why.
Are they likely to find work at your company interesting? This is more important than you think. It can be a great motivator for those late nights and lengthy projects.
Knowledge And Competencies Interview Questions
Industry knowledge and experience are one of two axes that create each of the sixteen interview identities.
To be seen as being employable, each candidate must highlight a high level of knowledge around the job role.
A hiring manager only knows about the candidate, what they have been told by the candidate.
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Why Did You Change Your Career Path
If you recently changed your career path, the interviewer is sure to ask about it.
Dont worry – theres nothing wrong with this.
A lot of people go through a career change. Some even do it several times in their lifetime!
As long as youre good at what you do, no one cares if you were a pediatrician in one year, and a professional chef in another.
When asked this question, all you have to do is answer truthfully. Explain how your old job just wasnt for you, and how the job youre applying for is so much more interesting.
- Sample Answer
I realized that being a doctor is not for me. While I did enjoy my 3 years in med school, the 6 year study period was too much.
I wanted to start making money and help out my family way before that, so I dropped out of university and started taking online courses in accounting.
At this point, Im pretty good at it, having done 2 internships so far in and .
- Sample Answer 2
Simply because I enjoy doing sales much more than accounting. After 5 years of working as an accountant for Firm X, I decided I wanted to try something new.
I asked my boss at the time to let me transition to the sales team, and I ended up liking it AND being pretty good at it.
How To Structure Your Interviews
Structured interviews are effective methods of predicting job performance. Their three main characteristics are:
- You ask all candidates the same questions.
- You ask questions in the same order.
- You evaluate answers based on standardized rating scales.
The first two characteristics are easy, yet critical for success. If you ask different questions of each candidate, its impossible to objectively compare their answers. This will result in you trying to make a hiring decision on your gut feeling which potentially leads to harmful biases and discrimination.
So, when you decide which interview questions to ask, spend some time putting them in order. To do this, use the format of an interview scorecard its possible your applicant tracking system has a function to help you build scorecards and share them with your team.
The third characteristic of a structured interview the rating scales is immensely helpful in ensuring youll hire objectively. You create a scale and then you evaluate candidates answers with that scale. To do this right, define what exactly each item on the scale means.
Alternatively, you could use a simpler scale, such as Yes, No and Definitely
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How Would You Rate Me As An Interviewer
This is another stress question that is designed to put the candidate on the spot. Obviously, the candidate will not want to insult the interviewer, but the question demands an answer. Ideally, the candidate should provide an answer with a reason for their decision. Even a negative answer could provide good results and highlight things you may not have thought of.
Red flag: The candidate does not provide a reason for their decision.