As a job seeker you need to be prepared to answer a range of different interview questions on numerous topics.
Interviewers want to find out whether you as the job seeker have the ability, knowledge and motivation to fit into their organisation and make a valid contribution so the topics you’ll research and prepare will all be relevant to your background and to the job you are applying for.
However the way the questions are framed can make a difference in how you, the job seeker, respond and what your answer says about you.
The three principle types of questions that job seekers will be asked are open-ended, closed and hypothetical questions.
These questions are asked to build rapport and to get you to open up. They can illicit a lot of information from you and get you to talk in as much detail as you can or want about the topic. The interviewer will be looking at how you stay focused and answer succinctly, offering relative responses. For example: “What skills do you need as a team leader?”
Competency questions come under this heading. Job seekers will be focused on the job competencies and asked questions like “Tell me about a time when you…. “ “Give us an example of when you …..”
The interviewer is trying to ellicit as much information and detail about you and your abilities, so all the research and preparation of your STAR stories come into play.
These type of questions are asked to confirm information and to get simple information from you in a short space of time. A good interviewer will only ask one or two of these type of questions since they should want you, the job seeker, to answer in greater detail. However you might be asked to confirm statements from your CV/resume or corroborate where you have worked or what you achieved. For example: “Have you got Prince2 certification?”
Situational or hypothetical questions are useful for the interviewer to determine whether a job seeker has the ability to put themselves in a situation and resolve it. These types of questions make for a level playing field so even if you lack experience you can contribute and comment about what you would do if….. They are future oriented as far as questions go. For example: “You are managing a work group and notice that one of your employees has become angry and hostile in recent weeks, to the point of disrupting the entire group. What would you do?”[pullquote]At the end of the day, what you have to remember is that the employer wants to discover key facts about you and they will ask you different questions to get this information.[/pullquote]
Fundamentally they want to know from the job seeker:
- Why have you applied to this organisation / for this job?
- What can you do for us? (What skills, knowledge, experience and intellectual ability can you offer?)
- What kind of a person are you? (What are your attitudes, values, motivation levels? Do you have the ability to get on with others, work in a team?)
- What distinguishes you from all other applicants?
If you want help in identifying how to answer these questions comprehensively contact us for some interview coaching.