5 Types of Job Interview Questions

Beth Dean 01.24.23

How to Ask the Right Things, Plus 25 Sample Job Interview Questions

When searching for the right employee to join your team, job interview questions are essential in narrowing down an employer’s candidate pool and allowing top candidates to showcase their innovation, ideas, and goals. 

But sometimes, it’s even more important to consider how you ask those questions. Approaching a job interview with various methods can help you get a complete picture.

Job posting site Indeed.com identifies five types of interview questions you can ask your candidates to find the right fit:

1. Behavior

These questions focus on a candidate’s past behaviors, helping you know how a candidate would act in several scenarios.

Sample questions:

  • Tell me about a job experience in which you had to speak up.
  • Tell me about a time you had to work hard to achieve a goal.
  • How do you stay motivated at work?
  • How do you deal with change?
  • Do you work better alone or in a team?


2. Personality

Personality-based interview questions help see the candidate’s personality and whether it aligns with the company’s culture and standards. 

Sample questions:

  • What makes you interested in working for this company?
  • How would your coworkers describe you?
  • What are your strengths at work?
  • What challenges would you like to take on in this position?
  • What are you passionate about?


3. Qualifications

These questions will help you assess whether the candidate is qualified.

Sample questions:

  • Tell me about your previous experience.
  • Tell me about your education/training/certifications related to this position.
  • Tell me about a time you found a creative solution to a problem.
  • How are you qualified for this job?
  • What steps do you take to avoid or fix errors?


4. Industry Knowledge

Questions about industry knowledge help assess how much the candidate knows about the industry. This info may not always be necessary for hiring and can be trained later, but it’s good to get a baseline.

Sample questions:

  • What do you think are some challenges our industry faces today?
  • If you had a generous budget, how do you allocate funds?
  • What do you think our industry will look like in five years?
  • If you could start a company like ours, what are the first steps you would take?
  • What do you love about this industry?


5. Abilities

Similar to questions assessing qualifications, abilities-based questions look at the candidate’s ability to do the job.

Sample questions:

  • Describe your responsibilities in your previous job.
  • Name three skills you can use to contribute to this company.
  • Recall your proudest work accomplishment.
  • Explain a time you overcame a challenge in the workplace.
  • How do you tailor your communication style to the people you’re speaking with?


The key to choosing the right interview questions lies in the job position and which attributes will help the candidate succeed. In HR, we refer to attributes as “competencies” and aim to learn about the candidate’s business acumen, ethical conduct, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. 

Nextep’s HR experts have access to many interview questions, ranging from general in scope to questions broken down based on competencies. Contact your HR business partner at Nextep for guidance!


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