What Are Situational Interview Questions
Situational interview questions, also called behavioral interview questions, are intended to help the interviewer get a better understanding of how you would solve problems specific to the job youre applying for.
Theyre some of the most common interview questions around because they give hiring managers and recruiters the greatest insight into the interviewees key strengths and weaknesses.
One of the common ways to do this is by asking about how youve handled similar problems in the past or by giving you hypothetical situations to work through. Your answers will give your potential employer insight into your soft skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork.
While this may sound intimidating, its actually a great opportunity for you to showcase your skills and the results youve gotten from putting them into practice.
It just takes a little preparation to make sure youre ready to let your skills shine.
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How Did You Hear About This Position
Although at first glance this might seem like a straightforward question, you should grab any opportunity you can to show your interest in the company.
Even if you havent been continuously refreshing the companys website for job listings, make it seem like you have . Show excitement and curiosity.
If someone inside the company told you about the position or recommended that you apply, definitely make sure to mention that.
Youll have a much better chance at getting hired if someone credible can vouch for your skills.
So, mention his/her name and his/her position inside the company and give their reasoning for inviting or recommending you to apply for the position. Tell the hiring managers what excites you about the job opportunity or what exactly caught your eye.
Possible answers for “How did you hear about this position?”:
- Sample answer 1:
Ive known about for a long time – Im a big fan of your products. I even own one of your latest phone models!
I love the companys passion for creating super intuitive, beautiful hardware, and I would love to be a part of it.
So, when I saw your job ad at , even though I wasnt actively looking for a job at the time, I couldnt help but apply!
- Sample answer 2:
I heard from Jim Doe, my old colleague and college friend, that was looking for a new sales director. He encouraged me to apply, saying that my experience managing a sales team at would be helpful for .
Why Do Hiring Managers Want You To Ask Questions
Why is not asking questions at the end of the interview a missed opportunity and why are hiring managers disappointed when interviewees dont ask questions?
Because asking questions not only gets you vital information about the job youre interviewing for, it also shows that youre willing to go the extra mile to get that informationespecially if you not only come in with well thought out questionsbut tailor those questions as well!
Remember, the ultimate goal is always to be the PERFECT CANDIDATE and that means doing a little extra work before you even get to the interview. By asking the right questions, you are turning the table on the interviewer and taking control of the room.
While this might seem at first like a bad idea, its actually a brilliant move.
When you ask tailored questions, youre showing the hiring manager that youre willing to do what it takes to get the job.
Psychologically, youre proving to the hiring manager that youre a go-getter and go-getters get hired!
Speaking of psychology, what does a hiring manager think of someone who doesnt ask questions?
Remember our little mock scenario above where our candidate seemed eager to wrap up the interview and get out of there? That can make a hiring manager reluctant to extend the offer of a job.
Who wants to hire someone who seems like theyre more interested in running away than investing a little more time into finding out what the job is really all about?
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Questions To Ask The Interviewer About Competitors
This can be the section to show the deepest level of insight. If you can go beyond just the company itself and look at the competition, it can be a huge advantage.
- Who are your biggest competitors ?
- How do you differentiate from the competition?
- What do you do better than the competition?
- What does the competition do better than you?
- What are the companys strategic objectives?
- Can you please talk more about the companys mission and vision?
Brilliant Questions To Ask At The End Of Every Job Interview
Asking some thoughtful questions at the end of your interview is a simple way to show your enthusiasm for the job.
Asking questions is a simple way to show that you’re truly interested in the role and the company.
Business Insider compiled a number of smart questions that are sure to impress your next interviewer.
Thinking up questions to ask during job interviews is key.
Remember, every interview is a two-way street. You should be interviewing the employer just as much as they’re interviewing you. You both need to walk away convinced that the job would be a great fit.
So when the tables are turned and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” take advantage of this opportunity. It’s the best way to determine if you’d be happy working for this employer, and whether your goals are aligned with theirs.
Plus, asking questions is a simple way to convey your enthusiasm for the role and the organization that you’re looking to join.
But sometimes it’s tricky to think up questions to ask on the spot. So you should do your research, and come prepared with some questions to put your your interview.
Luckily, there are plenty of smart ones to pick from.
Here are a number of questions you should consider asking during your next job interview:
‘Have I answered all your questions?’
‘How has this position evolved?’
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Tell Me Something About Yourself
How hard can it be to talk about yourself? We do it on a daily basis without much thought to it.
However, recruitment managers are not looking for your whole life story, your third-grade achievements, or what you had for dinner last night. Instead, they are looking for a pitch.
This is usually the first question asked in an interview, so it acts as your introduction. Make sure your answer is relevant to the position you are applying for. What you should be aiming for here is to present yourself as the ideal candidate for the job.
A good rule of thumb is to structure your talking points as follows:
- Briefly introduce yourself: Whats your name? How long have you been working as ?
- What do you love about your job?
- What are your top 2-3 achievements that are relevant to the job youre applying for?
Now, lets go through some examples:
Possible Answers for “Tell me About Yourself”:
- Sample Answer 1:
Hey! So, my name is John Doe and Ive worked as a business analyst for 5+ years in Company X and Company Y.
I have some background in data analysis, having studied Information Systems at University.
Throughout my career, Ive done some pretty impressive stuff .
For example, at Company X, I led a project for migrating all operations data to a new data warehousing system to cut down on costs. The new solution was a much better fit for our business, which eventually led to savings of up to $200,000 annually.
- Sample Answer 2:
What Did You Like Most About The Job Description
This is one of the best HR interview questions to ask to start a conversation on requirements and responsibilities. And, its useful to assess how much the candidate has understood the role.
First, the job description itself was very well-written and gave me a good idea of what the role was about. Second, I really liked the fact that this accounting role involves collaboration with others. I love accounting, but I dont want to sit at my desk to look at numbers all day I want to have the chance to work as part of a team where we can exchange opinions and knowledge of new accounting methods and organize the company accounting department in the best way possible.
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What Is The Company Culture Like
Company culture is an essential factor in any job. Not only does a company need to have a culture that works well for you personally, but you’ll also have to demonstrate that you’re a good fit for the company’s culture. Keep in mind that the culture can vary widely from company to company, so you’ll have to think about where you’re most comfortable.
Additionally, you’ll want to keep an eye out for red flags when the interviewer answers questions about company culture. Mentioning excessive overtime or a “work hard, play hard” culture could imply that they plan to work you for longer than the hours stated in the job description. Of course, something like this isn’t a problem for many workers, so it’s mostly a matter of what you can work well with.
Other Personality Questions That Can Be Asked:
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Do You Have Doubts About My Suitability For The Role
This seems like a bold question but it lets the interviewer know youre secure enough to discuss your possible weaknesses. Additionally, it also outlines a willingness to be taught which is deemed to be a major attribute by employers.
The interviewer could be concerned about a lack of training in certain areas, a lack of experience or a lack of qualifications. Be prepared for this and have an answer ready. This question gives you a fantastic opportunity to end the interview on a high note as you get the chance to further remind the hiring manager why youre the best person for the job.
What Kind Of Qualities Will Be Required To Thrive In This Position
Even if you are able to gauge what kind of skills the job requires from the previous question, this question helps you get a clearer answer. Plus, it’ll help reveal any relevant skills that aren’t immediately apparent based on the job description alone. Typically, these skills have more to do with company expectations and culture, so be prepared to highlight how you possess these necessary skills as well. Also, make sure to relate them to the duties stated in the job description.
Do I Need To Ask My Interviewer Questions
Its highly recommended to ask your interviewer relevant, thoughtful questions. Doing so will give you a better understanding of whether the position is the right fit for you. It also shows the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in the position. If the time for you to ask questions comes and you let the interviewer know that you dont have any, it may come across as a sign that you did not prepare or that youre not taking the position seriously.
Consider preparing a list of 5-10 questions to ask ahead of time. Having a written list of pre-prepared questions will help in the instance that you get nervous and dont remember what you wanted to ask, or questions dont arise organically during the interview. With the right questions, youll be able to illustrate your knowledge of the company and industry, along with your drive to excel in the new position.
Questions to ask in an interview:1. Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?2. What are the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?3. What’s the most important thing I could do within the first 90 days?4. What are some of the challenges people in this role encounter?5. How would my performance be measured?6. What does the career path for someone in this role look like?7. What other functions or departments does this team work with most often?8. What does your job look like day-to-day?9. What do you like best about working here?
Questions To Ask The Interviewer About Current Events
This section allows you to demonstrate youre on top of whats going on and have done your research.
- How are recent political decisions impacting the company?
- How is regulation impacting your business?
- What are the biggest political, economic, social, or technological forces impacting the company?
- How has the recent New York Times article on your company impacted business?
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What Would Your First 30 60 Or 90 Days Look Like In This Role
If youre applying for a senior or leadership role, youre probably going to get asked this question.
Chances are, at this stage of the interview, you already know a lot about your future position and the company.
Now, its time to show off your knowledge in your field, and explain how youre going to start making things happen at the company.
So, heres how to answer the question:
For the first 30 days:
Youre probably going to need to get to know the company first. Youre going to be learning as much as possible, including information on:
- What does the company do?
- What are the key processes?
- What does your department do?
- What are the current problems and challenges?
- Where can you help?
Then, during the 60 days:
Youll start start making things happen. From all the info you gathered, suggest a handful initiatives you could take on:
- Youd audit the company email marketing strategy and suggest improvements
- Youll help come up with better ad copies for Facebook marketing
- Youll help the team with their ongoing marketing initiatives
Within the first 90 days:
Youre already have started making an impact. Describe several things you think are going to be functioning better:
- Online ads are going to be performing better by 10-20%
- Email marketing operations are going to be more streamlined, taking significantly less manpower
Understanding The Types Of Interview Questions
Employers ask different types of interview questions to test your experience, skills, knowledge, and overall suitability for their roles. Interview questions can be behavioral, skills-based, situational, and can come in a wide range of formats. Understanding how to answer various interview questions can help you demonstrate to interviewers that you an ideal fit for their role. Here, we discuss the different interview questions to expect and tips to help you practice and increase your chances of getting your dream job.
Work Habits And Working Style Interview Questions
Once youve gotten a sense of whether or not your employee is qualified to do the job you want to fill, take some time to determine what kind of worker they are.
This series of questions is a bit of everything: it looks at personality, the culture they work best in, and a little bit of their background as an employee.
Where it differs from the previous categories is by focusing on your potential new hires work style. Are they more detail oriented, or are they a big-picture thinker? What are their strengths and weaknesses as an employee? How do they deal with difficult coworkers? These kinds of questions inform what type of employee youre dealing with.
As with personality and culture, it comes down to a matter of fit. Do you prefer someone who works best collaboratively, or who keeps to him or herself? Do you want an employee who directly addresses a conflict with a colleague head-on, or who goes through you to resolve it?
There are no right answers hereit depends on the type of employee youre looking for.
Questions To Ask At The End Of A Job Interview
Nearly every interviewer provides you with the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. It’s important that you’ve prepared at least two or three questions that express your interest, as well as show them that you’ve done your homework by researching the company in advance. Here are the top questions to ask at the end of your interview:
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What Are Your Strengths/weaknesses
This question is often seen as challenging by many candidates, even those with significant experience. However, if approached correctly it is easily possible to avoid ‘bragging’ when discussing your strengths or seeming excessively negative when talking about your perceived weaknesses.
Strengths – Based on the job description, choose three examples of traits the employer is looking for and give examples of how you have used these strengths in a work situation. Ideally, include a mixture of tangible skills, such as technical or linguistic abilities, and intangible skills, such as management experience.
Weaknesses – The best approach here is to pick a trait that you have already made positive steps to address.
Consider how you have approached your perceived weaknesses in the past and what you have done to address them
If your tech skills are not at the level they could be, state this as a weakness before telling the interviewer about training courses or time spent outside work hours you have used to improve your skills.