Direct Questions require a specific answer, often just a one or two word answer like yes or no. Try to expand on your answer, if possible.
- Will you relocate?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Do you have plans for continued study? An advanced degree?
- Do you think your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
Open Ended Questions
Open ended questions provide the interviewee an opportunity to expand upon their interests and background. A brief response is generally not appropriate. You should include information about your strengths and experience. Take advantage!
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- What do you consider your greatest strength(s)?
- What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
- Describe your most rewarding college experience.
- What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
- Why should I hire you?
Behavioral questions are the most commonly asked by employers. Many recruiters feel the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation.
In the interview, your response needs to be specific and detailed. Tell them about a particular situation that relates to the question, not a general one. Frame your answer in a four-step process (STAR):
- Situation (describe the circumstances involved in the story)
- Task (describe what you were given to do)
- Action (tell what you did in this situation)
- Result/Outcome (discuss what happened as a result of your actions)
Important Tips on Behavioral Questioning
- Employers predetermine the skills necessary for the job and then ask very pointed questions to determine if the candidate possesses those skills. To identify those skills, talk to alumni, carefully read the job description, and review any employer communication
- When sharing experiences, remember that they don’t have to be extraordinary. Consider your college achievements, using examples from past internships, classes, activities, team involvement, community service, and work experience
- What has been your greatest leadership achievement?
- Give an example of an important goal you set for yourself and achieved.
- Describe a time where you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.
- Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a task accomplished.
- Describe an instance when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
- By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations, and environments.
Discriminatory questions ask candidates to disclose protected information (such as race, religion, national origin, citizenship, physical disability, marital status, age and so on). These questions are unlawful, but often asked out of ignorance. Regardless, you should carefully evaluate whether you would want to work for this organization.
While discriminatory questions are not common, you can answer the question or refuse to respond. However, we recommend that you respond to the concern that is behind the question being raised.
- Do you plan to have any children?
- Question behind the Question: What priority are you placing on this position? How dedicated will you be?
- Answer: Well, my dedication to my career has always been the highest of priorities whether or not I decide to have a family. In my previous position…
Questions to Employers
Employers expect that you will ask questions and it is an excellent way to show that you are interested in the job. Remember, you are also interviewing the employer to make sure it is a good fit for you too!
- What does a day in the life look like for someone in this position?
- What do you like most about working at this organization?
- What do you see ahead for your organization in the next ten years?
- What kinds of training and support do you provide to new hires?