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Commons Questions to Answer and Ask

Questions the Interviewer Will Ask

Behavioral Interviews

Employers rely on two types of questions: behavioural and knowledge. Understanding the types of questions that an employer may ask will help you to prepare for your meetings.

In large and medium-sized companies, it’s not uncommon to be interviewed by more than one person, and they will probably have a list of questions prepared. Questions that fall into the behavioural category might begin, “Share with me an instance when…” Although it seems like the employer wants to know your history and how you handle things at work, they are actually considering your past experiences to predict future behaviour in their environment.

Common questions of this type are:

  • Discuss an instance when a customer insisted on speaking to your supervisor.
  • Have you experienced a time when people you supervised were fighting?
  • Have you ever had to stay at work late to prepare a report or presentation?
  • Did you experience a time when your job role changed without notice?
  • Please discuss a time when you were forced to deal with an employee who was rude or frequently late for work.
  • Have you ever been busy to the point that you had three phone lines on hold and people waiting in person? How did you handle it?

Using the GOS Method to Reply

Some employers will ask behavioural questions to see how you respond in certain situations. When answering these types of questions, a good method is to use is called G.O.S. – Goal, Obstacles, and Solution. For example:
“We had difficulties serving customers in a timely fashion. They were on hold too long when placing orders, so they sometimes would hang up. As a solution to the problem, I….” and then you can explain your solution.

Carefully detail how you overcame those obstacles, including stats or numbers whenever possible.

Knowledge Questions

In addition to behavioural questions, you will commonly receive knowledge questions. Knowledge questions refer to things that you know or currently do. These questions might start with: “What do you know about…” They can be about your industry, trends in your field, major projects, economic changes, etc.

Other Interviewing Tactics

In other interviews, you may be asked to prepare a presentation or tryout. This approach is common for artistic fields such as music, dance, art, and photography. You may also come across it in teaching, training, programming, and event planning.

Now that you understand the types of questions an interviewer might ask you, let’s get ready for your first interview.