Interview Questions Types

Most interview questions fall in to one of three broad categories: biographical, competency and situational. These are the three types of questions that Shortlist.Me interviews will prepare you for.



Biographical questions cover a candidate’s experience, either in relation to their work or personal lives. These might cover specific topics like your qualifications or more general topics, like your reasons for applying for this particular role.

Interviewers use these questions to check information they have about you is correct and learn more about your background.


Why did you want to join this business?”

How long did you spend in your previous role?”

What qualifications did you leave school with?”



Competency questions explore situations you have faced in the past to help the interviewer understand if you fit the requirements of the role you are interviewing for.

They will cover relevant scenarios you have encountered in either previous employment, education or volunteering experience, and will require you to give specific examples of when you have demonstrated the skills and behaviours the interviewer is looking for.


“Can you give me a specific example of when you have demonstrated your leadership skills?”

“Tell me about when you have had to solve a problem creatively?”

“Tell me about a time you had to talk someone around to your way of thinking – how did you do it?”



Situational questions require the candidate to imagine situations and take the interviewer through how they would take steps to resolve them.

Interviewers used these questions to uncover how you would react in this scenario if you were successful in getting hired.


A client calls to cancel their contract as they feel they can get a similar service from another provider for less cost – how would you approach changing their mind?”

“You are two thirds through your month and are 50% off your sales target – how do you your turn round your slump and achieve your target in the remaining time?”

“You are project lead and two of the members of your team have a personal disagreement which is impacting their performance – how do you manage the situation so that it no longer negatively affects the project?”