Job interview questions can be stressful and we cannot predict exactly what questions will be asked. However, we can predict what types of questions will be asked and how to best go about answering them. There are four basic types of questions you will face during a job interview.

Behavioral:

Example: “Give me an example of a time you had to work with someone you found challenging”

Why it is being asked: This question is based upon the idea that there is no better way to predict future behavior than past behavior. Behavioral questions are designed to draw out examples of past behavior or performance.

How to answer it: Use the S.T.A.R. methodology to answer behavioral questions. I covered this method in the “Give a S.T.A.R. Answer for a Star Interview” Blog.

Situational:

Example: “What would you do if your schedule was unexpectedly interrupted?”

Why it is being asked: The interviewer wants to get an idea on how you might handle situations that are common to their workspace. Additionally, the interviewer believes that many candidates will not have real world experience and, as such, is using a hypothetical situation.

How to answer it: If you have experienced the situation being described, be sure to show that in your answer. The verbiage would be something like “Interesting you ask that, I have had a similar situation when I worked at…” and then go into you S.T.A.R. answer.

Technical:

Example: “How much experience do you have using database for research purposes?”

Why is it being asked: No doubt, you have made many claims about your technical skill on your resume. The Interviewer is simply trying to establish that you can do what you say you can.

How to answer it: Treat these type of answers as binary, you have it, or you do not. If you have it, explain what you can do and where you have used this skill before. If you do not have it, address the shortcoming head on and then use the rest of your answer explaining what you are doing or could do to compensate.

Oddball:

Example: “How many traffic lights are there in Ontario?”

Why is it being asked: These questions are designed to see how you think. The interviewer is interested in seeing how you go about solving a problem and what sort of logical process you use.

How to answer it: First off, forget about the answer. No one cares how many traffic lights are in Ontario. The answer is secondary. The interviewer wants to see how you think, so be sure to tell them. Verbalize your thought process and make sure the interviewer understands how you will go about solving this question.

That covers the four basic types of questions you might expect. But what about that other thing I mentioned in the title? That would be objections. Our whole lives we have been taught that if someone likes us, they will not raise objections. However, in the interview world, that is flipped upside down. As soon as the interviewer decides they do not want to hire you, they become sweet as can be. They just want to get you out as quick as possible so they can go back to other more important work, like Facebook.

But, if an interviewer likes you and is considering you for the position, they are going to want to kick the tires, so to speak. They want to make sure they are making the right decision and will press you on things. Be sure to review your resume with a critical eye. Try to anticipate where objections might come from and then try to create answers to those objections. You want objections, but you also want to be able to answer them

If you have questions comments or concerns, be sure to drop by our center at TRS 2-148. We are here to help and can offer mock interviews if you want to practice.

Posted by Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is Manager of the TRSM Business Career Hub. He has over 10 years of experience helping students successfully navigate the job search process. His areas of expertise are resume writing, interviews, and Batman-related trivia.

One Comment

  1. Dan,

    I just came across the TRSM blogs and it seems to provide some key points which I’ve personally experienced.

    I especially like the key psychological aspect of the interviewer when “the interviewer decides they do not want to hire you, they become sweet as can be.”

    I wonder if there has been any experiences of anyone who has been in this situation and turned it around on the interviewer and gained their interest again.

    Great blog, short yet very informative, keep em coming.

    Reply

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