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Types of Job Interview Questions, by Alison Doyle (from The Balance Careers)

By ALISON DOYLE (Updated May 25, 2018) From The Balance Careers 

When you go on a job interview there are a variety of different types of interview questions you'll be asked. You'll be asked about your employment history, your ability to work on a team, your leadership skills, your motivation, as well as other interview questions related to your skills and abilities.

Your responses need to be targeted for the job you are interviewing for. Your responses should show the employer why you're a qualified candidate and why you are a fit for the job and the company.

Take the time to prepare for a job interview, in advance, by reviewing the different types of interview questions you'll be asked, as well as by taking a look at sample answers for each type of question.

During a job interview, you'll be asked questions about your abilities. The key to successfully responding is to focus on your abilities as they relate to the qualifications required for the job. Review common interview questions about your abilities and sample answers.

When you're interviewing, you will be asked why you left or are going to leave your job. Here are interview questions, along with sample answers, related to leaving your job, getting fired, and what you have been doing if you're not currently employed.

Interview questions about salary can be tricky. When you answer questions about compensation at your previous job(s) you need to be honest, because your salary can be verified by a prospective employer. When it comes to how much you want to make, it can be difficult to answer in a way that ensures you'll get paid a fair salary. Here are common interview questions about salary, advice on the best way to respond to salary related interview questions, and sample answers.

Interviewers want to know what your strong points are and what might be an issue if you're hired. Be prepared to answer so you focus on your qualifications for the job. Here are interview questions related to your strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and accomplishments, along with examples of answers. Do tailor your responses to fit your personal circumstances.

When an interviewer asks questions about you they are trying to determine how good a fit you are for the company. Is your personality a match for the company culture? Are your goals and expectations a match for what your role in the company will be if you're hired? How will you fit in with the current team? Here are common interview questions that you'll be asked about yourself, along with sample answers and tips on how to respond.

During a job interview you will be expected to provide the details of your work history, include each job you had, starting and ending dates of employment, compensation, positions held, and the companies you worked for. Review common interview questions about your work history and the information you will be expected to provide during a job interview.

Behavioural interview questions will be more focused than traditional interview questions and you'll need to respond with special examples of how you handled situations in the workplace. Review examples of the questions you may be asked during a behavioural job interview and think about how you would answer them.

Good communication skills are essential for workplace success. When you interview for a job, the hiring manager will ask about communication skills, including how you handle issues, how you handle difficult situations, what you expect as far as communications from management, and other questions related to your ability to communicate. Review these interview questions related to communicating, as well as sample answers.

Company culture is the personality of a company and defines what a company, from an employee perspective, is like to work for. Interview questions about company culture are designed to determine whether you will be a good fit for the organization. Here are examples of interview questions that are used to determine how good a match you for the company, along with sample answers.

Competency based interview questions require candidates to give specific examples of times in which they demonstrated particular skills or attitudes.
Here's information on how to prepare for this type of interview, plus tips for answering and examples of questions.

Regardless of the level and type of job you are interviewing for, your interpersonal skills matter. Hiring managers want to be assured that you have the interpersonal skills necessary to get along with colleagues, co-workers, supervisors, managers, clients, vendors, and/or customers. Review the common interview questions you'll be asked about your interpersonal skills as well as sample answers.

When you are interviewing for an Information Technology (IT) job, in addition to the standard interview questions you will be asked during a job interview, you will be asked more focused and specific questions about your education, skills, certifications, languages and tools you have expertise in.

When you are being interviewed for job where you will have a leadership role, the hiring manager will want to know about the experience that qualifies you to lead, your leadership style, your accomplishments, and your expectations for the future. Review these common leadership interview questions.

When you are being interviewed for a management position, the interviewer will want to know about your experience, your management style, what you have accomplished in the past, and what your expectations are for the future. Review these common manager interview questions and sample answers, so you are prepared to interview for a management position.

Interviewers commonly ask about motivation during a job interview. When you're asked about motivation during an interview, the hiring manager is trying to understand what drives your success and wants to determine whether what motivates you is a fit with the job responsibilities. Here are some examples of motivation interview questions and best answers.

Personal interview questions are questions about you personally – your personality, your work style and work ethic, how you handle stress, what you expect from an employer, and how you handle certain situations. Before you head out to a job interview, review these personal interview questions and sample answers to get an idea of what you'll be asked and the best way to respond.

Phone interviews are conducted just like in-person interviews. They are used by hiring managers and recruiters as a tool for screening candidates for employment. It's important take time to review the typical phone interview questions you'll be asked and to prepare answers.

When you are interviewing for a sales position, your goal is to sell yourself to the hiring manager. A sales job interview is among the most challenging of interviews, because candidates need to do more than just respond to questions.
Here are examples of common sales interview questions, along with sample answers you can use to frame responses based on your own qualifications, skills, product knowledge, achievements, and sales experiences.

Examples of job interview questions that employers commonly ask high school students, college students, and graduates seeking part-time, summer and full-time entry level jobs. There are also sample answers for each of the interview questions.

When asked about teamwork during a job interview, it's important to show enthusiasm for working on a team vs. independently if the position requires teamwork. Give specific examples of teamwork you have participated in successfully.

Review these interview questions about teamwork and sample answers to questions about working as part of a team to help you prepare for a job interview

Employers are always concerned about productivity. When they interview candidates for employment they want to know how productive they can expect the person to be and how well the applicant manages their time.

Review interview questions about time management, along with examples of the best way to respond.

One of the most important parts of successful interviewing is to relate your qualifications to the job you are interviewing for. It's critical to show the hiring manager why you have the qualifications the company needs in a candidate. Review typical employment questions about your qualifications and sample interviews.

Take the time to review more of the common interview questions you will most likely be asked. Also review sample answers to these typical interview questions.

The more familiar you are with the questions you will be asked during a job interview, the more comfortable you will be responding to the hiring manager. Here are practice interview questions and sample answers for a variety of different occupations and types of jobs.

As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Have interview questions of your own ready to ask. You aren't simply trying to get this job – you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.

Knowing proper job interview etiquette is an important part of successful interviewing. How you dress, what you bring to a job interview, how you greet the interviewer, and how you communicate can all make a big difference in the outcome of the interview.


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