Types of Interview Questions

Interviewing styles vary from interviewer to interviewer. Some employers may use a very structured format in which all applicants are asked a standard list of questions, and others are more comfortable with a more free-flowing conversational style or a combination of styles. Be prepared for variations.


Directive: Normally Clear and Specific

What was your most challenging college course?
Answer suggestions:
Be honest and back up your answer with reasons.
Don't wait for the employer to ask "why?"


Non-Directive: Open-Ended and Less Structured

Tell me about yourself.
Answer suggestions:
This might be a good time to launch into your one-minute commercial.


Hypothetical: Case Scenario, Problem Solving, or Issue-Centered

Describe how you would handle _________.
Answer suggestions:
Don't panic.
With these questions you have to think on your toes.
Just remember to use your best problem-solving skills.


Behavioral Questions

Very common type of interview question designed to assess how you respond in specific circumstances. Visit our entire section on behavioral interviewing.