- The common interview questions. There are probably 20 or 30 common questions typically asked in interviews. They’re easily found because most books or articles about job interviewing list many of them.
- The behavioral or situational questions. These questions start with “Tell me about a time when . . . ” or “What’s been your experience with such and such a situation?” Most of these questions pigeonhole you into a situation from your past, and the interviewer wants to hear how you handled it. The intent is to predict your future based on past behavior.
- The creativity questions. Yes, some interviewers get pleasure from asking such questions. For example, “What would you do if one morning you woke up and found out you’re a frog?” Here they’re checking on your creativity, on the ways you deal with ambiguity, how well you communicate ideas, and so on.
- The high-tech questions. These types of questions are industry specific. For example, “How many jelly beans can fit into a one-gallon jar?” These types of questions are checking on your logic, your ability to estimate, your intuition, your mathematical ability, and your ability to make assumptions. These questions are common at Microsoft, Apple, Google, and the like.
The best way to prepare for an interview is to make a list of, say, 20 potential questions and then answer them in a simple format by starting with a brief description of the background and situation, followed by what your contribution was and ending with the results and benefit to the company. The caveat here is to make the telling succinct and eloquent. Most people ramble on and on instead of giving a brief and pertinent answer. And that’s a sign that you’re not fully prepared. To be able to recite your answers in the best form possible, it’s wise to sound them out with a professional career coach or someone else who’s well experienced in this area. Good luck! You’ll need it!