Interview Question – Different interview question styles…. And how to answer them

Blog Post
Posting date: 29 June 2023

There are many different styles of interview questions that you may encounter during a job interview, and it's important to know how to answer them effectively. At Harvey Nash we recommend practicing and preparing for each various style. Here are some common interview question styles and tips on how to answer them:

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to understand how you would behave in certain situations. They often begin with phrases like "Tell me about a time when…" or "Describe a situation where…". To answer these questions, use the STAR method: describe the Situation, Task, Action you took, and the Result.

Example: "Tell me about a time when you had to solve a difficult problem."

Answer: "At my previous job, we had a customer who was unhappy with our service. I listened to their concerns, investigated the issue, and came up with a solution that satisfied the customer. As a result, we were able to retain their business and improve our customer satisfaction ratings."

Situational Questions

Situational questions are similar to behavioral questions, but they ask how you would react in hypothetical situations. These questions often begin with "What would you do if…" or "How would you handle…". To answer these questions, explain your thought process and reasoning.

Example: "What would you do if you disagreed with a colleague's approach on a project?"

Answer: "I would approach my colleague and have an open and honest conversation to understand their perspective. I would try to find common ground and work together to come up with a solution that benefits the project and the team."

Technical Questions

Technical questions are designed to test your knowledge and skills related to the job. These questions may be related to software, coding, or other technical aspects of the job. To answer these questions, be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

Example: "Can you explain how you would optimize a website for search engines?"

Answer: "First, I would conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords for the website. Then, I would optimize the website's meta tags, headings, and content to include these keywords. I would also ensure that the website has a clean structure, fast loading speed, and mobile responsiveness to improve its search engine ranking."

Traditional Questions

Traditional questions are more general and open-ended, and they may include questions like "Tell me about yourself" or "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" To answer these questions, focus on your qualifications and experience related to the job.

Example: "Tell me about yourself."

Answer: "I have several years of experience in [field], and I am passionate about [specific aspect of the job]. In my current role, I have demonstrated [specific achievements or skills related to the job], and I am excited to bring these skills to a new opportunity."

By understanding the different types of interview questions and how to answer them, you can be better prepared to impress the interviewer and land the job. Practice your responses to these questions before the interview, and be ready to adapt your answers to the specific context of the interview.

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