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Tips for Successful Job Interviewing: Interview Questions
Lunch and Learn Series
Session 2: Interview Questions
Session 1: Preparation
• Purpose of the interview
• What to expect from the interview
• How to put your best foot forward
Session 2: Interview Questions
• Types of Questions
• Behavioral Interviewing
Session 3: Interview Tips and Open Forum
Potential for additional sessions based on your feedback.
Tips for Successful Jobs Interviewing
Type of Interview Questions
There are a variety of types of interview questions that
you can expect.
What is your experience with interview questions?
Which ones are the toughest for you?
Direct questions are types of questions that determine the focus of
your answer (e.g. "What skills do you have that relate to this
The information you provide should be clear and specific. These
types of questions, whether they relate to technical or soft skills,
should be easy to answer if you have performed a self-assessment.
Remember from session one, we asked you to write out a T graph
and on one side list the jobs requirements and on the other map
your skills, experience and accomplishments to them.
1. Direct Questions
2. Non-Direct Questions
Non-direct questions are general in
nature and do not ask for specific
information (e.g. “Can you tell us a bit
In this case, you must determine the
focus of your answer.
In response to this particular question,
you should briefly summarize
approximately four areas: education,
experience, skills, and personal
If possible, make your response relevant
to the job you are seeking.
Scenario questions use a problem solving approach to determine
your analytical skills and critical thinking abilities.
These are "What if" type questions and are presented in the form of
case examples or problem situations.
You will be asked to imagine yourself experiencing a situation and
will then be evaluated on how you would handle that situation.
(e.g. “There may be times when you are faced with a difficult
question or situation, and no one is around for you to ask for help.
Please tell us, how you would handle that situation, what steps
would you take?”)
3. Situational (or Scenario) Questions
Behavioral interviewing is based on the premise that the best way
to predict future behavior is to determine past behavior.
This technique is designed to minimize personal impressions that
can effect the hiring decision, by focusing on actions and
behaviors, rather than subjective impressions.
Instead of asking how you would behave in a particular situation,
you will be asked to give an example of how you did behave in the
past to the same kind of situation.
You will be asked to provide details.
4. Behavioural Questions
1. The person in this position needs to be innovative and proactive. Can you
describe some things you have done to demonstrate these qualities?
2. What examples can you cite of your ability to apply prudent judgment in a
a) Why was the situation delicate?
b) What did you do?
c) Why did you do it?
d) What was the outcome?
3. Give an example on how you dealt with an irate student/client.
4. Tell me about a time when you had a major conflict with another employee.
a) What was the cause of the conflict?
b) What things did you do to alleviate the problem?
c) What were the results?
5. Give me an example of your involvement in a successful team effort.
a) What role did you play?
b) Why was the effort successful?
Behavioral Interview Examples
Behavioral Interview Examples
6. Tell us about a time when you were feeling overwhelmed in your job?
a) What were the circumstances?
b) How did you handle the situation?
7. Please give us an example of a time when you had to make a decision to satisfy
a client, but when you were unable to consult with a manager. Be specific.
8. Please tell us about a time in your work history in which your manager has
assigned you with a number of tasks. Explain how you prioritized them and your
rationale for doing so.
9. Would you please describe your organizational skills and provide us with
concrete examples which demonstrate these skills?
STAR Interview Responses
STAR answers are based around behavioural interview questions.
The interviewer is searching for specific examples - you will need to
include details such as dates and outcomes
Situation: The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenge
or situation in which you found yourself.
Task: The interviewer will be looking to see what you were trying to
achieve from the situation.
Action: What did you do?
Results: What was the outcome of your actions?
The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result)
Other Sample Questions
1. What key accomplishments can you cite that suggest you are an
excellent candidate for this position?
2. Please describe your key strengths.
a) What two or three major accomplishments best
demonstrate your key strengths?
3. Each of us have areas where we could improve performance. In
what areas could you improve your overall performance?
4. You’re aware of the qualifications for this position. Could you
outline how your experience fulfills these qualifications?
Other Response Tips
1. Be specific in your answer (try using “I” instead of “we”).
2. Take time before you respond to the question to think through
3. It’s ok to go back to a question, however make sure you do go
back – you might lose out on valuable points.
4. Ask for clarification or for the question to be repeated, if you
1. Review the job posting.
2. Write 2-3 questions that might be asked in an interview for this
posting, one of them being a behavioral question.
3. Have a partner ask you the behavioral question, and provide an
answer using the STAR technique.