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Categories Of Interview Questions

Type Of Question



Typically these questions are asked over a phone call by the HR or recruiter. Often these questions are asked when the HR guy or the recruiter call you to invite you for an interview with the hiring manager.

These questions are designed to make sure that you satisfy the primary job requirements. Primarily these will be related to the “must-have” section in the job ad.

General, Conversational


    What are the key game changing trends in your job?

    What sparked your interest in our company?

    These are generally conversational icebreakers – these questions also may be used to gauge your “general suitability” to the job.

    Try to be pertinent and insightful – but do not go into too many specifics of your recommendations since you do not know the whole picture – the complete problem – and you may dig yourself into a hole by talking too much here.

    Tip: The information you have gathered about the companies (in the “Build Your Target List” section of Job Search campaign) would help you answer these questions.

    Hard Skills, Subject Matter Knowledge & Ability
    Questions relating to the qualifications, skills and knowledge required by your job, certifications etc. Some of these questions may be “text-book” questions to quickly filter out candidates.
    Strengths & Weaknesses

    A good interviewer wants to ask these questions – not to trap you – but to know what to ask you. The interviewer would focus on questioning you about topics which relate to your strength. The interviewer would understand that while you have strong skills in one area, in another area mentioned in your resume, you may only have slight familiarity.

    Usually it’s a good idea to mention a weakness which is not directly related to your job – and also explain how you have learned to actually utilize it to your success. “I am a perfectionist and sometimes I may take my need for perfection to be too far – but on the other hand this trait drives me to prepare thoroughly before any project”.

    Domain Knowledge, Situations, Scenarios

    How you would apply your knowledge to resolve a specific problem.

    You need to demonstrate knowledge which extends beyond text-book – best practices gained from your experience, lessons learned from your previous job.

    Accomplishment Stories

    You should try to include accomplishment stories in every kind of question.

    However this is included here as a separate ‘type’ simply to highlight its importance,


    Industry Knowledge

    Market Segment

    Geographical regions

    Languages spoken

    What are the industries that you know well and which ones you know marginally? Pharmaceuticals, Finance, Telecom, IT etc

    Are there market segments that you know specially well? Examples of market segments that you may know – Children, women, sales people, specific institutions (like hospitals, banks), regional markets or geographical areas (like India, Eastern Canada).

    Are there aspects of your hard skills, soft skills and domain knowledge which are specially relevant to the industry to which your future company belongs?

    Are there specific regulatory laws, certifications and trainings which are pertinent to the target industry?

    Are there elements in your previous industry which apply to your future industry?

    Personality, Behavioral, Soft Skills, Company Culture. Motivation

    Interpersonal skills & Communication skills

    Will you be a good fit in the organization – perhaps it’s an all-male domain or perhaps it’s a job which requires night shift or perhaps a lot of travel?

    Are there elements in your previous industry which apply to your future industry?

    What are your goals and motivation? Are you passionate about the job you are seeking?

    Is your personality suitable for the team you are going to work in?

    Are there interests that you have which could be useful in your new job? For example someone skilled in organizing parties could be a good corporate event organizer.

    Leadership & Management

    These questions are designed to gauge your ability to lead people and projects.

    Project Management experience

    Stories which illustrate your success with mentoring people to achieve organisational goals.

    Your vision of the transformational changes you would recommend in the job you are interviewing for.

    Future outlook (3 month, 1 year plans), how you handle stress, team player or not, personal goals and how you plan to achieve them.

    Questions Which An Interviewer Can NOT Legally Ask



    Common Questions You Must Prepare For

    • 1 Tell me about yourself Your unique value vs other applicants – Elevator Pitch
    • 2 What sparked your interest in us? Make a short list of things you like about the organization.
    • 3 Would you be a cultural fit in the team? Prepare by asking your insider contacts
    • 4 What would be the cost of hiring you? Your salary, relocation expenses etc
    • 5 How will you make me successful? To be able to address this, first ask the hiring manager what his top 3 priorities are.
    • 6 Can you learn new things? Prepare your accomplishement stories to support this.
    • 7 Why did you leave your previous job? Make it sound like a good business decision
    • 8 What are your goals in life & career? Will you stay in the company, are you motivated to learn and do new things