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Situational Interview Questions : Situational Examples


You are in charge of truck drivers in Toronto. Your colleague is in charge of truck drivers in Montreal. Both of you report to the same person. Your salary and bonus are affected 100% by your costs. Your colleague is in desperate need of one of your trucks. If you say no, your costs will remain low and your group will probably win the Golden Flyer award for the quarter. If you say yes, the Montreal group will probably win this prestigious award because they will make a significant profit for the company. Your boss is preaching costs, costs, costs, as well as cooperation with one’s peers. Your boss has no control over accounting who is the score keepers. Your boss is highly competitive. He or she rewards winners. You are just as competitive. You are a real winner! What would you do in this situation?


Other types of questions


Other possible types of questions that may be asked in an interview include… background questions, job experience questions and puzzle type questions. A brief explanation of each follows.


Background questions include a focus on work experience, education and other qualifications. For instance, an interviewer may ask “What experience have you had with direct sales phone calls?”


Job experience questions may ask candidates to describe or demonstrate job knowledge. These are typically highly specific questions. For example, one question may be “What steps would you take to conduct a manager training session on safety?”


The puzzle interview was popularized by Microsoft in the 1990s and is now used in other organizations. The most common types of questions either ask the applicant to solve puzzles or brainteasers (e.g., “Why are manhole covers round?") or to solve unusual problems (e.g., “How would you weigh an airplane without a scale?”).


Illegal Questions


Current EEOC guidelines state that the information obtained and requested through the preemployment process should be limited to those essential for determining if a person is qualified for the job. Whereas, informations regarding race, sex, national origin, age and religion are irrelevant in such determinations.


In general, any questions, which may indicate the applicant's race, sex, national origin, disability status, age, religion, color or ancestry, should be avoided. Despite the legal implications, interviewers have been found to request information from job applicants regarding their membership in a protected group.


For example, a business magazine sampling of small business respondents indicated most of those employers would ask at least one of following five illegal interview questions.


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