Do you have the right answers to get the job?
MOTIVATIONAL, behavioural and situational-based interview questions may seem to jobseekers like they are being recruited for a top secret mission to Mars but they are the modern recruitment methods hirers are using to determine if an applicant is the right person for their job.
Jobseekers can no longer just talk about why they want to work for an organisation or rattle off projects they have worked on to be hired. Now they need to answer questions that may seem more like a psychology test than an assessment as to whether they are fit for a job.
Hirers want to find out how jobseekers may respond to different situations and how they may handle future challenges so use past behaviour as a predictor of future behaviour.
EY Oceania Transaction Advisory Services recruitment lead Manisha Maligaspe says most job interviews have at least one behavioural question.
"It doesn't matter if you're applying for a junior position, if you're a graduate or a very experienced individual, behavioural questions are very common,” Maligaspe says.
The best responses provide concrete examples of how specific situations may be handled or have previously been resolved.
McGrath Foundation HR manager Erin Murray says it is important for candidates to know what interviewers are looking for when they ask this type of question.
"We want to develop an understanding of when you have showcased particular behaviours, not skills,” she says.
To uncover the drive and enthusiasm behind a job application, hirers will ask questions to see if a jobseeker's values and those of the organisation align.
Hipages chief people officer Jodette Cleary says motivation and drive are often subconscious but play an important role in predicting job satisfaction.
"Motivational questions can appear basic but they are proven in revealing patterns,” she says.
"Answers to these questions serve as a good indicator of whether the job is going to fit a candidate or not.”
When jobseekers are presented with a situation and asked to talk through a solution, hirers are hoping to find out how they will tackle specific issues and challenges that may occur in their workplace.
"The purpose of situational questions is to ascertain the thought processes and approach to problem solving by an individual,” Cleary says.
"It showcases if the individual relies on their inner compass or prefers collaborating with others.
"Both can be effective but one type may suit a company culture more than the other.”
Maligaspe says situational questions tend to centre on a 'What would you do if...' premise.
"These questions offer an opportunity for interviewees to demonstrate their analytic and problem-solving skills,” Maligaspe says.
Interviewers will be looking for whether a jobseeker can provide tangible explanations that highlight specific steps that have, or can, be taken to resolve an issue.
This article first appeared on Seek Career Advice.