Interview Questions and Answers: Typecasting interview questions

Some interview questions require you to categorize yourself. This may seem like a multiple choice quiz, at times, but there's a reason for it. For some jobs, finding the right combination of skills, experience and personality is difficult.

It's like a combination lock. Each interview question gives a series of options, A or B, for example. Each interview answer, A or B, forms the combination. So if the interviewers have decided they want someone whose interview answers are all As, that's how it works.

It's an efficient screening process. In more complex jobs, the interview questions naturally produce much more complex choices. Interview answers are effectively graded at each level. In multiple interviews, this process works as a filter.

The other factor which you need to understand about typecasting interview questions is the 'exclusion' factor. There are wrong interview answers, and they do eliminate people from consideration. It's no coincidence that the people excluded are people who are definitely unsuited for the job. Typecasting interview questions are based on known factors in the job, like stress, decision making, internal relationships, or other critical factors.

Recognizing and dealing with typecasting interview questions

The basic character of these interview questions is to get you to define yourself, with each choice. A series of questions like this is the most easily recognizable form of these interview questions:

  • Are you a thinker, or a doer?
  • Do you consider yourself a concept person, or a process person?
  • Do you prefer to delegate to positions, or to individuals?

Those are the simple interview questions in this class. These are the more complex type:

  • Are you in favor of positive discrimination for ethnic minorities?
  • Do you think more management jobs should be held by females?
  • If you're faced with a budget blowout, do you cut staff?

The degrees of difficulty are different, but the common factor is that there's only so many possible interview answers available to choose. Either interview answer will categorize the interviewee.

Other interview questions may give extra choices. These questions usually give a combination of possible interview answers which is intended to add qualifiers to the interview results.

An interview question like:

'Do you prefer flat management structures, or vertical management structures, and what are your reasons?' means that the answer will be A or B, plus the qualifier, the reason for the preference. It's the same basic concept.

This is one case where the interview questions are actually working in your favor, even if you don't get the job. These typecasting interview questions are more often than not prepared by experts, working on set criteria. Each interview question is targeted, and a set of interview answers is required.

Giving a factual, honest interview answer is your best shot at getting the right job for you. If you really do fit the criteria, this could be your dream job, because the interview questions are researched for good fits to positions.