Interview Guide

TYPES OF QUESTIONS

Open-ended Questions
- Used by interviewers when they expect more than a yes or no answer. Some typical open questions are: "What can you tell me about yourself?", "Why are you interested in the posted position?" or "What are your most remarkable skills?". 



The best way to answer these questions is by doing the right research before going to the interview (check your own resume and the organization website) and by making a list of possible open-ended questions so you can rehearsal your answers before the interview. 


Closed-ended Questions
– Used by interviewers when they need to know a specific piece of information (years of experience, technical knowledge, etc.). These questions require a brief and solid answer. 



The best way to deal with these questions is by reviewing and making sure you don't have any doubts about your background and CV details. If the question requires a yes/no answer then always try to add a brief piece of valuable information to the answer. For example: "Are you experienced teaching children?" – "Yes. I have 4 years of experience and I think they have been really rewarding". 


Hypothetical Questions
– Used by interviewers to assess your problem-solving skills and to make sure you do have enough experience in the field to be able to face day-to-day problems. Of course, reply speed is also assessed. 



The best way to face these questions is by having all the required information so you do not give plain, meaningless answers. The best way to gather info is by asking follow-up questions before answering. 


Leading Questions
– These questions are assumptive ("So, you have a lot of experience in the Customer Service Area, don´t you?). The idea of leading questions is to get a specific response from the interviewee ("yes, as you can see in my CV, I worked as a receptionist for 7 years and…"). 



The only way to answer these questions is by not being caught off your guard. That is: Listen carefully and process questions before you answer them. The interviewer may be asking a leading question with a negative emphasis ("it must have been really difficult to get along with your boss as a salesman"). Always go for positive answers. 


Multi-Barreled Questions
– They check your reasoning skills. These questions are linked in such way that suddenly what seems to be one question are actually two or three questions about the same topic. 



First of all, remember that they are checking your reasoning skills so do not give an answer unless you truly understand the questions. Do not fear to ask the interviewer to either repeat or rephrase his/her question. 


Behavioral Questions
– Used by interviewers to check the behavior of candidates. This type of question states that the best way to know what a candidate will do is by knowing what he/she did in a similar situation in the past. 



It is important to be completely honest when asked a question about a past experience, interviewers will ask for more and more details and it would be impossible to keep a lie going on. The best way to prepare yourself for these questions is by doing all possible research: What the company wants and what skills are required for the position. Get an Informational Interview to get and insight of the posted position. 

The ‘STAR’ Approach for Answering a Question

S: Situation – describe the situation

T: Task or problem – what dilemma or problem did you face?
A: Action – what action did you take?
R: Result – what was the result of your action? 


JOB SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

Can you do the job?


Do you have the knowledge sets, skill sets and personal attributes to allow you to do the job?


Types of questions could include:

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What parts of your education do you see as relevant to this position?

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What prompted you to study…..?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Tell me about a time when you had to communicate information to a group of people.
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Tell me about a significant achievement in your life.
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Tell me about a time where you had to work towards a deadline. Did you meet it? If not, what would you do differently next time?


Do you want the job?


Do you want to work in this position/organisation? Are you willing to learn? Are you ambitious and keen to succeed?


Types of questions could include:

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Why do you want to work for us?

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What do you know about our company/practice/business?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What are your short term/long term goals?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Where do you see yourself in five years time?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Describe a time where you set yourself a challenging goal? What happened? What would you do differently?


Will you fit in?


The interviewer wants to determine if you will be a good team player, someone who will be absorbed into the organisation without disruption to the existing team dynamics.


Types of questions could include:

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Describe a time where you had to work with a group of people to achieve a common goal?

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Can you give me an example of working as part of a team. What was your contribution to the team and what was the outcome of this exercise?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What would you do if…………………? 


Best fit between applicant and job?


What makes you the best applicant for this position? Why should the employer take you over other applicants?



Types of questions could include:

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Why do you think you are the best person for the job?

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What are your strengths and weaknesses?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Can you give me five words that best describe you?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What skills and qualities can you bring to this position? 



Is there anything you would like to add?

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif This is an opportunity to bring particular skills or qualities to the attention of the interviewer. Have you stated your major selling points?

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Were you unhappy about a particular answer during the interview? This is an opportunity to address that.
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Why are you the best person for the job? Tell the interviewer! 



Is there anything you would like to ask us?

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif This is your opportunity to find out more about the job, the company, and the industry.

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif You could ask questions like:
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What are the career prospects within your company?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif What staff training and development opportunities are available?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Who would I be reporting to?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Where would I be located?
http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Avoid asking too many questions about salary and conditions of employment such as holidays but know what salary range you are prepared to accept. 



AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Even though the interview is over, your work is far from complete...
After each interview mentally review the questions asked by the interviewer and your responses to them. Were you caught “off-guard” by any questions? Could you have answered a question better, in more detail, or in a more focused manner? Quiz yourself after each interview and take notes. This will enhance future interview efforts. 

It is advisable to send a thank you letter to the person(s) who interviewed you within twenty-four hours after the interview. It reinforces your interest in the position and can serve as an additional opportunity to separate you from the other candidates by recalling a notable topic or attribute discussed in your interview. 

Most employers will tell you when you can expect to hear from them. If you do not hear by that date, it is appropriate for you to call them. 

If the employer requests additional materials, such as an application, transcript, or references, send them as soon as possible. 


If an employer indicated an interest in pursuing things further with you, but you are no longer interested in the opportunity, inform him/her of that fact as soon as possible. 



Here are some things you can do: 

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Type or handwrite the letter. E-mail is not as personal, therefore it should be used in conjunction with a personal letter. If you absolutely cannot write a letter, an e-mail is better than not following up at all.

The letter should be brief and include the following:

1. Thank the interviewer for his/her time.

2. State the position for which you are applying.
3. Mention something from your interview to remind the interviewer who you are.
4. Describe in one or two sentences why you are the best applicant.


http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Address it to the recruiter, by name and title

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Mention the names of the people you met at the interview.

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Send a letter to appropriate individuals you interviewed with (always send to the main interviewer).

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Keep the letter short, less than one page.

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Mail the letter within 24 hours of the interview.

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Thank the interviewer for his/her time.

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Send a thank you letter for every interview you go on.

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Demonstrate employer knowledge in 2-3 sentences.

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Restate employment objective.

http://www.jobinterviewquestions.org/questions/images/punto1.gif Answer the question – “What can you do for them?” based on something specifically discussed during your contact. Use accomplishment/ results statements that demonstrate your ability to meet those needs. 

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