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.

Types of Questions:

 

Directive: Normally Clear and Specific

Question:
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

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

 View a list of typical interview questions (PDF)

 

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

Question:
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.

 

 
Know the Interviewer

Know the Interviewer