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There are a number of types of interviews, and some of these types are quite cold by their very nature. Competency-based (also called ‘episodic’) are most common at present. These are highly structured and simply require you for provide evidence against their competencies. If you have completed your achievements bank, they will be fairly straight forward.
Inexperienced interviewers often have a series of typical interview questions that they like to ask for finding out information and, often, to establish their own credibility. There is no rocket science here but it is useful to know some of the items you may get asked about. Typical questions include:
Initial Typical Interview Questions
Some of these typical interview questions are worth preparing for. We have a section on this site just to help you with interview questions and answers.Tell me about … [pick a sport, activity, and so on, on their CV to relax you].
- What do you know about our department/business area, etc?
- Take me through your career from [date or event such as education] to the point of applying for this role. Also asked as, ‘take me through your CV’.
Typical Work Experience Interview Questions
- Describe your present responsibilities.
- Describe how you spend an average day.
- What are the things you enjoy most/least about working with your present/last department/business area, etc? Ensure everything is positive here.
- What are your reasons for leaving/wanting to leave your department/business area?
- How would you describe your boss (then may ask what are his/her best points/worst points – careful: be positive).
- What are some of the problems you have encountered in the job (will then ask you how did you solve them)?
- What type of position are you currently seeking (and will ask you, why)?
- If you were to join us, how do you feel you would add value? (Remember your skills & successes).
- If you were to be offered this role, what training & development needs do you feel you would have? (Another way of asking for weaknesses – tell them the weakness, what you have done about it, what you still need to do about it – be structured and v. objective: almost third-party).
- What would your reports/peers say about you?
- What has been your greatest achievement?
Typical Interview Questions About Education
- Why choose the college/University you attended?
- Why the choice of subject?
- How did you decide to become a …?
Typical Personal Interview Questions
This is dodgy ground given the increasing discrimination laws in most countries. However, they still get asked. We have only included the more legal questions below as typical interview questions.
- What role would you like in five years (may use 2 or 3 years if a junior position)? Follow with, what do you need to do/change in order to achieve it? Or follow with, what training & development do you need to get there?
- What would you say are your 3 main strengths?
- What are your 3 main weaknesses (be prepared for pregnant pauses; They will be sure to funnel!)?
- What do you want from a boss?
- If you had to do it all over again, what changes to your career would you make?
- What would you want from your next job that you are not getting now?
- What are the things in a job that are important to you?
- What are your recreational and leisure time interests?
Some of these typical interview questions are worth preparing for. We have a section on this site just to help you with interview questions and answers. If you are using this site as a complete tool, you will already have an answer to some of these questions from other resources. However, please remember that most competent interviewers use competency questions to look for evidence against the role. Nothing beats preparation and achievements for answering these types of questions. We have also prepared a free download workbook to help you. Complete the form below, and this will be sent to you. It will also register you with Candidate Tips for our latest articles and tips on finding the right role you you.
If you are following this pathway, you may wish to move on to interview questions and answers.
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