- Open ended
The subject job seekers are most often curious about regarding job interviews relates to the questions that will be posed to them during the interview.
Answering Good Interview Questions Successfully
While it’s impossible to know exactly what the employer will ask you during the interview… It is possible to improve your chances by understanding the basic types of interviews and the best strategies for handling them.
Regardless of whether you are a seasoned interview pro or a fresh graduate looking for your first job, chances are you will be wondering what questions the interviewers will have up their sleeves.
Good Interview Questions – Open Ended Types
Interviewers love to start off with open ended questions. These type of questions require more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer ( closed questions ).
- Tell me about yourself.”
- Why are you interested in this position?”
Open ended questions also require you to give your opinion regarding a subject; which can be a tricky tightrope for a job candidate to walk.
One of the most common mistakes job seekers make with open ended questions is rambling and not knowing when to stop.
While the expected response to an open ended question is not a one word answer, your response should be kept to about one minute. Anything above that and you’ve lost their attention.
A Common Mistake
Another common mistake job seekers make with open ended questions is straying into personal and non-business related matters; particularly when asked to describe themselves and their motivation in applying for the position.
Employers want to hear about your education, credentials, work experience, skills, etc; however, they commonly hear about spouses, kids, pets and hobbies.
An interview is not the time to tell your life story, or that of your spouse and kids. Stick to information that could easily be covered on your resume, elaborating where necessary.
Good Interview Questions – Behavioral Types
Many of the questions posed by interviewers will be behavioral based questions.
With this type of question the employer will generally ask you to talk with them about a time or situation in which you had to display a certain characteristic or behavior. These questions are commonly phrased as …
- Can you give me an example of….”
- Tell me about a time when you…”
- Describe a situation in which you…”
Regardless of which type of interview you are faced with, you can always safely assume that the employer will pitch at least one behavioral interview question your way.
This is why it is extremely important that you prepare for these types of questions ahead of time; especially if you are submitting a number of resumes and hoping for several job interviews.
Employers frequently ask candidates to describe situations in which they had to display the following behaviors or abilities:
- Problem Solving
While you are job searching, take the time to think about times in your past employment history when you have successfully displayed these behaviors. Once you have accomplished this, you will be better prepared to describe the situation as well as the action you took and the results that were received through your behavior.
Good Interview Questions – Hypothetical Types
Employers also frequently ask candidates to imagine themselves in a hypothetical situation.
This type of question can be one of the most difficult to answer because there may not necessarily be a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer.
Generally, interviewers are looking to your answer in order to determine how you handle yourself under pressure, your reasoning skills and the motivation behind your actions.
Keep in mind that’s important to remain focused during your answer to this type of question and not to ramble.
Finally, when preparing sample answers to typical interview questions the best strategy to remember is that your answers should reflect what you can do for the employer, not what he or she can do for you.