6 Tips on How Job Seekers Can Prepare for All Types of Interview Questions
Learn how to create compelling talking points that apply to a variety of interview questions.
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Job interviews can be intimidating but preparing for the different types of interview questions you may be asked can have a significant payoff. Your resume, career experience and cover letter can only take you so far — now it's time to bring it home and prove why you're the best person for the role.
Feeling prepared for an interview can give you confidence in your answers. It helps you anticipate the interview questions and allows the meeting to feel more like a conversation. Keep in mind your ability to communicate is evaluated in addition to your educational background and professional experience.
Every interview is different, but the following six tips can ensure you ace your next job interview.
1. Examine the job description.
You'll likely find your dream job opportunity on an online job board like ZipRecruiter. Use the job description there as a guide to figure out which of your skills you'd like to speak about during the job interview. If you see mentions of characteristics such as "attention to detail" or "team-oriented," try to work those examples into your answers.
You'll also want to be able to speak to why you're interested in a particular position. Your interviewer will want to see how your skills or experience make you an excellent fit for a role, and they'll need to see your genuine interest in the job, which starts by showing you did your research.
2. Research the company.
Understanding what the company does is often overlooked in job interviews. Research the company website and articles about the business to see how your background aligns with the role you're interviewing for. By educating yourself on the products or services they offer, you can understand their business needs and how you would be a valuable asset to their pursuits.
3. Research the interviewer.
Many hiring managers will provide a list of people you can expect to meet with. This could include employees of all levels and different departments. And they will all have different types of interview questions.
Just like personalizing a cover letter for various companies, you'll want to see what you can learn about the people who will determine if you're qualified for the position and a culture fit. A quick search on the internet could pull up their professional pages, portfolio, podcasts, books, interviews, published articles, etc. This information can give you a good idea of who they are and what their values are — plus, it can present you with some great talking points.
4. Think about the skills you have to offer.
Soft skills like leadership, communication, and an entrepreneurial mindset are in high demand. Think about how your past experiences align with characteristics the company you're interviewing with may be interested in. If you excel in a particular skill that didn't come up in the interview, try to weave that into a question or the end of the conversation.
5. Rehearse your answers.
Practice makes perfect. You can expect to be assessed on interview questions regarding qualifications, personality, behavioral situations, and industry knowledge. Do a quick internet search for common interview questions in your field to get an idea of what you may be asked so you can develop clear, concise responses.
Also be prepared to answer questions ahead of an actual interview. Hiring managers using ZipRecruiter are able to add screening questions to their job posts.
6. Frame your responses using the STAR Method.
Many interview experts recommend framing your responses using the "STAR Method," especially for behavioral questions. This acronym stands for situation, task, action, and result and can be a powerful tool for accurately communicating some of your best professional moments.
You'll want to describe the situation of an event, explain the task you had to complete, the specific action you took, and the result of your efforts. Just like a resume, be sure to quantify your results when possible, and you can even mention how a particular situation would apply to the role you're interviewing for.
Now that you have the interview skills to answer any questions that may come your way confidently, it's time to find your dream job. Consider searching on a popular hiring platform like ZipRecruiter. Their seamless dashboard lets you filter your job search through thousands of positions at notable companies — and signing up is free.
ZipRecruiter is rated the #1 job site in the U.S.1 and is a favored tool used by job seekers and hiring managers. Plus, it features a second-to-none mobile app that lets you apply to desirable jobs with one tap.
1 Based on G2 satisfaction ratings as of December 31, 2020