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Situational Interview Questions


Hiring mistakes cost companies millions of dollars each year, so it is imperative that an employer make good choices during the hiring process. Employers want to find the best talent for their organization, and the employer is interested in how a potential job candidate will fit into their corporate culture. Research has shown that asking situational questions of the job applicant will reveal important information about the person’s prior work history. For example, an employer may ask a job candidate about their interpersonal skills. In a situational style interview, the interviewee will have to give specific examples of how they dealt with people in different situations.

Situational Interview Questions Target Verbal Communication Skills

Any job will require certain competencies to be successful. Communication is an area that is critical in any job, and employers can discern the communication skills of a potential employee by past behavior. Furthermore, talking to the candidate will certainly reveal spoken communication skills; however, the interviewer will have to dig deeper to determine how the person handles information. An important part of communication is how the person conveys information to others. Employers want employees that can listen and accurately communicate the information to others. Faulty communication can result in disastrous consequences for everyone involved, and the task can either be done improperly or not done at all. The successful job candidate needs to demonstrate how their communication style can be beneficial to their employer.

Situational Interview Questions Target Written Communication Skills

Numerous employers these days complain about the poor writing skills of their employees. This skill seems to be severely lacking in today’s workforce. Many employers will use the situational interview to gain information about the candidate’s writing skills. Some employers will require that the person respond in writing to a question during the interview. This hands on interview style helps to make sure that the company is truly getting the right candidate.

Interview for Jobs that Fit Your Skill Set

The best way to be successful in a situational interview is to be prepared. It is important to make sure that the job you are interviewing for fits your skill set. Your previous job does not have to be a carbon copy of the new job; however, the new job should be able to effectively use skills that you already possess, or the skills that are needed should be able to be gained through a short training period.



“Situational Interview Questions and Answers.” Job Interview & Career Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

“Comparison of situational and behavior description interview questions for higher-level positions | Trends & Events > Investigations from” Small Business Advice and Resources from N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2010. http://www.allbusiness

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