Types and Sample of Common Job Interview Questions

Types and Sample of Common Job Interview Questions

Every company wants to hire the best hands to run the day-to-day activities in the office. The company is not running a charity organization and therefore only needs assets that can add to the growth of the company. In order to achieve this aim, most companies put prospective candidates through several stages of recruitment to determine their capabilities of candidates. These recruitment stages could range from aptitude tests, personality tests, culture tests, business simulation processes, boot camps, and interviews. If you are a prospective candidate at the interview stage, worried about the types of questions that might be asked, then you do not need to stress your head anymore. The list below contains a detailed explanation of the different types of questions you might encounter, with perfect examples that will help you understand better. This list was not made for you to cram the questions but to familiarize yourself with likely questions and make a mental note of how to respond to each.


Types of Job Interview Questions

Find below different types of job interviews that every job seeker should know and understand. Knowing the type of interview question you are being asked per time will help you know the right answer that the recruiters are expecting of you.


Behavioral or competency-based interview questions

This is used to determine how a candidate will act in a particular scenario, based on previous experience or logic. It is based on the principle that past behavior is a better indicator of future performance. This is important to the employer because it helps him understand your work attitude, skills, and personality. The answer portrays how successful you are at problem-solving. These questions give the interviewer an idea of how you would react in a similar situation. The interviewer has a list of questions targeted to specific skills, and your answers are examined against predetermined criteria. This is a very common type of interview question, hardly will you go for an interview and not come across this type of question.

Examples of behavioral interview questions

How did you resolve a difficult situation with a client?

Tell me about a goal you set and how you achieved it


Brainteaser interview  questions

Brain teasers are in form of a puzzle that tests one’s reasoning and critical thinking. It is used to test a candidate’s problem-solving skills, listening skills, and Creativity skills. It tests a candidate’s speed at arriving at conclusions. Brainteaser questions are never straightforward, it requires a creative thought process known as lateral thinking. There might be one answer to the question, but there are several ways to arrive at the solution. The interviewer will be more interested in the strategy the candidate used to arrive at the answer, than the answer itself. Brain teasers can be dated back to ancient Greece, where puzzles, math, and riddles were used as a sign of wit and clear thinking. Brainteaser questions are used as an alternative way to access a candidate’s problem-solving skills. It is used to access how potential employee deals with stress, how attentively they listen, and how they can efficiently communicate solutions.

Examples of brainteaser interview questions

You have a three-gallon bucket and a five-gallon bucket, how do you measure out exactly 4 gallons?

How many ping-pong balls could fit in a Volkswagen?


Case interview questions

Case interview questions are normally used by consultancy firms like BCG, Pwc, Delloite, etc. In the case of an interview, a candidate is presented with a business situation and asked to provide solutions to manage the situation. The scenarios are modeled after real business or management problems. It is normally used to analyze analytical abilities and soft skills. Most of the cases do not have specific answers, the interviewer is more interested in the thought process of the candidate. Skills analyzed through case interviews include communication and listening skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, ability to organize and present information, ability to perform well under pressure, ability to understand basic business principles, creativity, and resourcefulness. Case interviews can be candidate-led or interviewer-led. In a candidate-led interview, the candidate drives the case progress by actively breaking down problems in his own way. While in interviewer-led, the interviewer asks the candidate multiple questions to answer with short pitches.

Example of case interview questions

A business owner recently opened their offices to the public and is currently making a decision as to what products to put in the restroom for customers to wash their hands with. Three options have been presented: liquid soap in a bottle, bar soap, and an automatic soap dispenser. What are the necessary factors to be considered before making a purchase decision?


Impromptu speech interview questions

These types of questions are usually asked by an interviewer to see how a candidate can easily navigate through a conversation. It could be a personal presentation or a group presentation. If it’s a group presentation, the interviewer will test your ability to work in a team, your leadership skills, as well as your knowledge of the topic presented. It can also be used to determine a candidate’s ability to work under pressure, speed to articulate, and proffer solutions. It can even come in the form of an argumentative essay. Candidates are to prepare their points and present them within a stated period of time.

Examples of topics that a candidate should expect

How has social media influenced our daily lives? Discuss

Implications of drug abuse, Discuss


Current affairs interview questions

Interviewers do not only access a candidate’s knowledge of the job, they also want to know if you keep up with global and local news. The interviewer may go as far as asking you about an incident that occurred within the week of the interview. They want to know how you keep abreast of recent and past developments. The knowledge of global trends in both business and other sectors can help an individual to perform better. Also, they want to know your opinion on the topic been discussed.


An interviewer might ask you about your thoughts on the recently concluded riot. A question like this helps an interviewer to kill two birds with one stone. He will be able to determine your opinion on violence and also determine if you keep abreast of current trends.


Interpersonal skills interview questions

Interpersonal interview questions are asked to determine if a candidate has the necessary skills to collaborate effectively with colleagues and clients. It is believed that most of these skills are inborn and cannot be read in books. But regardless of which it is, interpersonal skills can be honed and improved on. Some examples of interpersonal skills an excellent employee should have included communication and listening skills, problem-solving skills, leadership skills, decision-making skills, and negotiation skills.

Examples of interpersonal skill questions

Describe an ideal colleague or an ideal boss, and your expectations from them.

How do you feel about criticism?. is it necessary to criticize a colleague? Can you handle criticism?


Job role interview questions

This type of question is usually targeted at your specific field. The interviewer wants to determine if the candidate is capable of handling the tasks associated with the role. Usually, a job description is attached to every role advert. The questions asked will revolve around what has already been stated.

Examples of job role interview questions

Why should we hire you?

What is the relevant software you are conversant with?


Company’s culture interview questions

Company culture is the business attitude, values, and goals, that guide how employees interact with each other and how the company makes a decision. It is important for an employer to select a candidate whose Personality aligns with the company’s values and operations. The candidate’s answers will help the interviewer determine the candidate’s personality, core values, and work style.

Examples of company’s  culture interview questions

Which of our company values resonates most with you, and why?

Why would you choose our company?


Work history interview questions

Although your resume already contains the list of your previous work experience, an employer may still want to validate such a claim. The candidate will be asked specific questions regarding the roles filled in the resume. If there is any gap between certain months or years, the interviewer would want to know why. The interviewer might also be interested in the business ventures of your former employer. Even though you are expected to give an explanation, you should know when to draw a line between information that is confidential and that which you are free to give out.

Examples of work history interview questions

What was your day-to-day activity in your former place of work?

When did you achieve or surpass a given goal?

What tools did you use to achieve stated goals?


Salary interview questions

This type of question is very important, as it determines how your starting salary will be structured. When answering this sort of question, it is better to be truthful. This is because your interviewer may decide to ask for evidence to prove your claim.

Example of salary interview questions

What is the range of your salary expectation?

What was the amount in your last payslip?


Qualification interview questions

Just like the work experience question, a qualification interview question is asked to verify a candidate’s claim. A  resume contains both academic and professional qualifications. An interviewer might ask questions related to a candidate’s specific field of study.

Examples of qualification interview questions

How many chromosomes does a human cell contain?

State the law of diminishing return?


Unusual  interview questions

This type of question is asked to determine if a candidate is capable of original thoughts. Most candidates surf the internet in search of potential questions, which they cram and make mental notes of. An interviewer might just want to kick you off balance and ask you the most unusual questions. These questions are usually simple but a candidate with a full load of programmed answers will find it hard to find his root in this section.

Examples of unusual interview questions

If you were a pizza delivery guy how would you benefit from scissors?

How would you test an elevator?

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