4 types of interview questions… and how to answer them!

During a webinar we hosted with Courtney Young-Law, CEO of Fundamentum, job seekers learned how to turn a job interview into a conversation through preparation and confidence. She shared a great deal of information on how to: tackle nerves, craft questions you can ask during an interview, and understand what the employer is looking for so you answer questions appropriately.

During the presentation, she outlined four kinds of interview questions you’re likely to encounter:

  • Behavioral questions: These usually start with, “Tell me about a time when…” The employer wants to hear about a relevant story from your past to better understand how you’ll perform in the future.
  • Problem-solving questions: These are questions about how you might solve a problem you’ll likely face on the job. For example, “How might you balance these competing priorities?”
  • Motivation questions: Why this job? Why this organization? Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Skill based questions: These might be questions or tasks to figure out how you might use a skill that’s required for a job. For example, completing a writing assignment during an interview or being asked to walk an employer through a project.
Want tips on how to answer these kinds of questions and more? Download the slides here and watch the recording below!


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Former Editor and Creator of Idealist Careers, a publication of Idealist.org. Follow me on Twitter @ajlovesya.
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  1. Strength based interviewing is also a concept that is gaining ground. The questions asked are intended to draw out a candidates innate strengths and potentially interests. Given this, the question formatting and subject area could be a little bit more free flowing than some of the other question types.

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