Six Types of Job Interview Questions You Should Know About

Joe McDermott | Job Interview Advice

Questions at interview can take one of several forms. There may be open questions that really just invite you to talk so that the interviewer can gain an insight into your attitudes, thought processes, and communication skills. Competency and behavioural questions are now becoming the norm however many interviewers still favour the standard and traditional job interview questions such as “Tell me about yourself” and “Why should we hire you?” etc.

Here are six different types of Interview Questions commonly asked:

1. Competency Based Questions / Behavioural Interview Questions

Very commonly used by interviewers these questions are very specifically targeted at discovering if you have the the skills (competencies) required to undertake the role. They are phrased in such a way so that you have to give and example of a situation where you used that particular skill successfully. These can be phrased as ‘Tell me about a time…’ or ‘Describe a situation where you…’

2. Traditional Interview Questions

These questions are the question you have probably come across most often such as ‘What are your strengths?”, “What are your weaknesses?” “What will you bring to the role?”. They are still very commonly used and you are well advised to spend time creating answers in advance.

3. Technical Interview Questions

This type of question will be very direct in its phrasing. It’s aim will be to discover just how proficient you are and can be related to a system, software or knowledge. While these skills are often tested outside of the interview room, many managers may ask one or two of these questions to see how fresh your knowledge is, for example:

  • What is your understanding of GAAP Reporting?
  • Can you give me a summary of the main points of the Equalities Act?
  • What are the advantages of using SQL over MS Access in database development?

4. Open Questions

Open questioning is the most effective format as it encourages the candidate to talk openly. Of course a downside is that you may give away too much information or let slip some mistake or weakness you would prefer to keep to yourself. Questions such as “Tell me about yourself”, “Talk me through your career to date.” “How would you describe
yourself?” are all open questions and while they seem straightforward can be difficult to answer,

5. Hypothetical Questions

These questions test your ability to think on the spot and to formulate an answer under pressure and with speed. For example a question might be, “Imagine you were managing an employee who continuously arrived late to work. How would you deal with the situation?” You would be required to give a correct answer both technically and in a clear format.

6. CV and Resume Interview Questions

Of course you should expect question exploring previous jobs, your experience and your training. In fact any item on your CV or Resume is open for questioning. To prepare we suggest you review your experience in advance, perhaps making bullets points regarding each of your jobs, projects and achievements outlining what you delivered and what you