There are many types of questions an employer may ask. The key to success is to remain positive and detailed in your responses. Although answer times will vary depending on the question, most answers should take between 1–2 minutes.
Technical questions are designed to evaluate your knowledge and skill set. Be as thorough as possible in your answer, using technical terminology that the employer would understand. If possible, quantify your answers as to add “weight” to the response. For example, “I designed a 35,000 square foot building using AutoCAD.”
If you are asked about something you do not know or understand well, avoid simply saying “I don’t know.” Instead, state something similar that you do know, and then bridge the two situations or skill sets.
These are questions that seem like they are trying to evoke a negative response. Examples include:
“What is your greatest weakness?”
“Why are you leaving your current job?”
“What gives you stress?”
“What kind of customers don’t you like dealing with?”
“How did you feel about your last boss?”
When answering negative questions, be honest. Do not avoid the question, but remain positive and professional. Use diplomatic language when describing difficult situations or interactions. Your greatest weakness should never be related to a core skill needed for the job, and when speaking about a mistake, choose one which did not have a major negative impact. Always finish on a positive note by outlining what steps you are actively taking to improve an area of weakness, how a situation was corrected, or what lesson was learned.
This is your chance to shine so take the opportunity to elaborate on and be specific about what you have to offer. Be positive and focus your answers on skills pertinent to the job. Examples include:
“What are your greatest strengths?”
“Why should we hire you?”
“What can you contribute to this company?”
Company, Product, and Service Questions
Questions about the company, products or services help to determine how well prepared you are and how interested you are in this particular company. These questions will be covered in detail in “Preparing for the Interview.”
Behavioral / Situational Questions
Behavioural questions are designed to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s personality, and are very popular in modern day interviewing, even in “technical” jobs and industries.