Since a resume, or application, can show a potential employer your skills for any particular job, a job interview is set up, basically, to show a recruiter that you will fit in with the company. Besides interview questions pertaining to your skills and qualifications, there are two different types of questions the recruiter may ask: behavioural questions and situational questions. We will examine a few different questions from each type listed here.
Behavioral questions are patterned, or experience-based, questions that are past-oriented. Recruiters may ask the interviewee to express how they handled a certain situation from a previous job, or life situation, which could be relevant to the particular job position, skills or abilities. This stems from the idea that a past behavior can predict future performance if a similar situation arises on the job.
Some behavioral interview questions that may be asked are:
- Tell me about when you used your presentation skills to help influence another person’s opinion
- What is an example of goal and how were you able to achieve it
- Describe a time you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way
- What is an example of a time you conformed to a policy you did not agree with
Situational interview questions are a lot longer, and detailed. These, basically, have applicants imagine a circumstance and then they are asked how they may have responded during that particular situation; hence, these questions are based on future happenstance. Two advantages for situational questions are: they are hypothetical questions given to every interviewee which responses are based on their past and the situational question allows the respondent to answer the hypothetical question without having to have any job experience relating to it.
Two types of situational questions are:
- During a meeting your manager reprimands you for not performing your job well in front of all your peers. You feel your manage may have come to this conclusion hastily; without obtaining all of the facts. You feel he is wrong, and you are being treated unfairly, in front of your peers. You feel your reputation could be affected by being critiqued in this manner. What would you do in this situation?
- While managing a work group you have noticed one of your employees has become somewhat hostile and angry during recent weeks. It has come to the point of disruption to the entire work group. What would you do?
Along with the skills and qualification questions the recruiter may ask you questions about your background and experience.
Background questions will focus on education, work experience, and other qualifications. An example may be, “What experience do you have with collection services?” Job experience questions may have you demonstrate job knowledge. Typically, these are highly specific. An example is, “What steps would you take to conduct a training class on safety?”
Interview questions can be fearful. Researching the company and position, and studying generic interview questions online, can help you feel confident in supplying the recruiter with appropriate answers.