The types of questions you will encounter during an interview as well as interviewing style will vary from company to company. Some questions focus more on your background, experience, abilities, and technical skills, while others focus more on your character and cultural fit.
Regardless of what type of question you are asked, the best answers are those that recount your previous experiences where you showcased the qualities or results that they are looking for.
Plan for your interview by anticipating the different types of questions you may be asked and use the T-chart to brainstorm experiences in your past where you clearly demonstrated these abilities.
Traditional Interview Questions
Traditional interview questions often focus on your work history, experience, skills, personality, and work style. You should be prepared for commonly asked interview questions ahead of time. You’ll want to have answers for the following thought out – not scripted – but thought out:
Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral interviewing is based on the belief that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Questions will be focused on specific instances from your work history. Many questions may begin with, "Tell me about a time when…" Instead of answering the question with a hypothetical situation, use the specific instances you brainstormed ahead of time and tell your story using the Problem-Action-Result (PAR) format. Start with a problem that you faced, discuss what action you took to solve it, and explain what the result was.
Even if you’ve not had a situation that is exactly like what the interviewer is asking, share a situation that has relevance to the question.
You should also be prepared to answer questions about your background that may be challenging.
These can be difficult situations to address, but by preparing for them ahead of time, you’ll know what to say, say it with conviction, and make the employer clearly see why you are the most qualified candidate for the position.