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Understanding types of interview questions

From: Acing Your Interview

Video: Understanding types of interview questions

How often have you been to an interview and been surprised by the questions you were asked? By understanding the three basic types of questions employers use, you can actually prepare for an interview and take away much of the anticipation. The first and most common are behavioral questions. The concept is to use your past behavior to predict your future behavior. It will often take the form of, tell me about a time, or give me an example, to allow you to draw upon your past experiences to show your skills and knowledge.

Understanding types of interview questions

How often have you been to an interview and been surprised by the questions you were asked? By understanding the three basic types of questions employers use, you can actually prepare for an interview and take away much of the anticipation. The first and most common are behavioral questions. The concept is to use your past behavior to predict your future behavior. It will often take the form of, tell me about a time, or give me an example, to allow you to draw upon your past experiences to show your skills and knowledge.

For example, tell me about a time when you had to meet a deadline, and you didn't meet expectations. Or, give me an example of a time when you innovated on a project. The second type of question is case or situational. The purpose is to evaluate your problem solving and analytical abilities. It will often take the form of, how would you, or what would you do? Your answer shows how you would approach a problem, or a work situation, and allows them to see how you think on your feet.

For example, how would you change our website? Or, what would you do if you had an angry client? The third type is resume-based questions. The purpose is to gain more information on experiences you have highlighted and confirm the depth of your skills and knowledge. They'll ask you direct questions from your resume. So you'll need to be able to expand on it in detail. For example, you mentioned in your resume that you have HTML experience. Can you tell me where you've used this? Or, you mentioned in your resume that you speak French. Bonjour, comment allez-vous? For common examples of each of these types of questions, please see the handout that we have included for all members of lynda.com.

Knowing how questions will be asked is important, as you prepare for the interview. In the next movie, we'll discuss anticipating what questions they'll ask.

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Acing Your Interview

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Valerie Sutton
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