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Four Types of Interview Questions

There are basically four types of questions you may face during the course of an interview:

  1. Credential Questions
    This type of question includes "What was your GPA?" and "How long were you at...?" Its purpose is to place objective measurements on features of your background.
  2. Experience Questions
    This type of questions includes "What did you learn in that class?" and "What were your responsibilities in that position?" Its purpose is to subjectively evaluate features of your background.
  3. Opinion Questions
    This type of question includes "What would you do in this situation?" and "What are your strengths and weaknesses? Its purposeĀ  is to subjectively analyze how you would respond in a series of scenarios. The reality is that a tape in your brain kicks in and plays when you recognize the question and play back the pre-programmed answer.
  4. Behavioral Questions
    This type of question includes "Can you give me a specific example of how you did that?" or "What were the steps you followed to accomplish that task?" Its purpose is to anticipate future responses based upon past behaviors.

Of all the above listed types of questions, only behavioral questions have a predictive validity for the job success that is higher that 10%. And 10% predictive validity is the same level that is generated from simple resume review. Behavioral interviewing, on the other hand, yields a predictive validity of 55%. Still far from perfect, yet much more reliable for most interviewers. Interestingly, the first three question types are still the favored approach by most untrained interviewers, simply due to lack of experience. Behavioral interviewing is gaining greater acceptance by trained interviewers because past performances the most reliable indicator of future results.

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