Interviews serve as a crucial gateway for individuals to showcase their skills, qualifications, and personality to potential employers. The CareerZone team encourages students to first know themselves well before attending an interview. Interviews provide an opportunity for both the interviewer and interviewee to exchange information, ask and answer questions, and ultimately determine whether there is a good fit between the two parties. Hence, it is important to learn about the company and its expectations of the job prior to meeting the employer.
Some commonly asked interview questions
- Why are you interested in this role?
- What do you know about our company?
- What are your biggest weaknesses?
- What do you consider to be your biggest professional achievement?
- Tell me about a challenge at work and how you dealt with it.
- What are you looking for in a new position?
- Why are you leaving your current role?
The two most important tips are to practice these questions but not memorize them. Also, remember to be yourself! CareerZone offers Mock Interviews to help students prepare and practice. Connect with us to learn more about how to book a Mock Interview.
Common Types of Interview Questions
Interviews are formatted differently based on the types of questions asked by the employer. It is important to know how to approach these questions appropriately.
1. Indirect Interview Questions
Used to gather information from the candidate to encourage discussion.
Example question: "Tell me about yourself."
Tip: It is crucial to sum yourself up at the end of the response, describing who you are and what you can bring to the organization
2. Direct Interview Questions
Direct questions can generate short answers like yes or no. However, if these questions may expect one to answer more elaborately and provide more detail.
Example Question: “What is your greatest strength?”
Tip: Ensure to describe your traits along with concrete examples
3. Hypothetical/Situational Interview Questions
These questions describe a specific situation that might be encountered on the job.
Questions attempt to assess the candidate's judgment, logic, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
Example Question: “A customer approaches you and asks a question to which you do not know the answer. What do you do?”
Tip: Consider the skills required for the situation and the decisions that you might need to make to handle the scenario. Provide as much detail as possible by using a step-by-step approach to your answer (including questions you would ask and resources you would use).
4. Behavioral interview questions
Behavioral-based questions ask the applicant to describe a skill they used in their past and how they have used and articulated this skill in certain situations.
Candidates are evaluated on their approach and resolution to the situation/ what they’ve learned and what they would do differently if this situation occurs again.
Example Question: “Give me an example of a time when you used effective time management and organizational skills to complete a task within a deadline?”
Strategy for Responding:
The SOAR technique – Situation-Obstacle-Action-Result
'S' Situation - What’s the situation or issue you need to solve?
'T' Task - What task was required from you to solve the issue?
'A' Action - What action did you take?
'R' Result - What was the result?
How to Dress for an Interview
Business Professional Attire
• Suit jacket with pants or skirt in matching colors (dark or neutral)
• Dress shirt/blouse and tie in lighter colors worn underneath
• Closed-toe dress shoes or heels
• Avoid vibrant prints or colors
• Personal items stored in a professional bag, purse, or portfolio
• Keep cell phones off
Connect with Career Zone to learn how to book your Mock Interview today!
We are here to support you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! We offer many student resources on our portal (careerzone.brocku.ca) and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to answer any inquiries you may have.
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Written by Chelsa Sunil, Career Assistant
Edited by Kara Renaud, Manager of Career Education, CCEE