Interview questions tend to fall into the following major categories:
  • Personality and motivation
  • Education and training
  • Experience and skills
  • Career goals
  • Reasons for wanting the job
You may not be asked questions beyond the ones given in the above categories. If the questions you are asked are different from these, they will most likely fall into one of three categories:
  1. Specific questions that relate to special knowledge or skills required for the job for which you are being interviewed.

  2. Questions that are raised by unusual items or unexplained gaps or omissions on your resume or application.

  3. Questions to catch you off guard and/or test your thought processes, such as "If you could choose to be any fish in the water, which one would you be? Why?"
Be sure to look over your resume for possible questions the employer might ask you. Is there anything that stands out?

If you spent some time abroad, the interviewer may be curious about your experiences as well as what your living, traveling, and/or working abroad choices say about you.

If you have a two-year unexplained gap in your job history, this gap is bound to raise the question of what you were doing during this time.

You need to be ready with honest, yet positive, answers that will further promote your candidacy rather than knock you out of the running.

If you have carefully thought about your responses and practiced responding with the message you want to convey, these questions should not throw you. However, if you haven't given such questions much thought, your responses are likely to show it.

SOURCE: Adapted from Caryl and Ron Krannich, Ph.D.s, Job Interview Tips for People With Not-So-Hot Backgrounds (Manassas Park: Impact Publications), pages 91-92. Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.