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Interview Questions

In this Section

Although it is difficult to know exactly what you will be asked during an interview, the questions below or something similar will likely be covered. In addition to these more general questions, the Career Center staff can offer customized and more industry-specific questions through the following resources.

Common Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself. 
  2. What about this position interests you? Why did you apply? Why are you a good fit for this role? (one of the three)
  3. What are your long-term career goals?  Where in two to five years?
  4. Why do you feel that you will be successful in……?
  5. What supervisory or leadership roles have you held?
  6. What have been your most satisfying and most disappointing experiences?
  7. What are your strongest (weakest) personal qualities?
  8. Give me some examples that support your stated interest in…..
  9. Describe a time when you held a leadership role.
  10. What courses did you like best?  Least?  Why?
  11. What did you learn or gain from your part-time and summer job experiences?
  12. Which geographic location do you prefer?  Why?
  13. What can you do for us now?  What motivates you?
  14. How did you choose your major and other academic pursuits?
  15. Explain your academic grade performance levels.
  16. Tell me about your activities and interests outside work and school.
  17. Give me examples of how you demonstrated leadership.
  18. Tell me about a time you solved a problem, worked as a team or used communication skills.
  19. Tell me about a time when something didn’t go the way you planned?
  20. Give me an example of a creative idea of yours that was implemented at work.
  21. Share a situation in which you had two tasks of equal importance but had to prioritize them. How did you prioritize your time to accomplish both?
  22. Describe the most difficult decision you’ve ever made.
  23. Tell me about a time when you dealt with a stressful situation (at work or at school).
  24. Give me a specific challenge or problem and how you handled it. How was it resolved? Result?
  25. What motivates you in a job?
  26. Why did you choose your major?
  27. Tell me about a team that you were on. Role? Function? Successful? Change?
  28. Describe a difficult situation that involved a co-worker or student. Handled? Outcome?
  29. Recall a time when you were assigned a complex project. What steps did you take to prepare for and finish the project? What would you have done differently?
  30. How do you think a former supervisor would describe you?

Questions to ask employers
Students often find themselves in situations (networking events, professional conferences, guest speakers, interviews, etc.) where they have an opportunity to engage with professionals. These situations provide students with a chance to obtain valuable information. However, some students may not know what to ask or how to approach them. The questions below, broken down by category, may provide an excellent starting point. Also, at an interview, candidates will be asked if they have questions. Potential candidates must ask a few questions otherwise the interviewer may feel a candidate is not truly interested.

About an Employer

  1. Why did you choose to go to work for _____?
  2. What is the culture like at _____? or The website describes the culture as _____, how would you describe it?
  3. Does your company encourage or require further education?
  4. How is performance evaluated? How and when are reviews given?
  5. What products or services are in the development state right now?
  6. Do you fill positions from the outside or look to promote from within first?  

About a Position

  1. What kinds of assignments might I expect the first six months on the job?
  2. Is this a new position or am I replacing someone?
  3. What is the largest single challenge facing your department right now?
  4. Are projects team-oriented or focused more independently?
  5. What skills are important for someone in this position?

Networking & Background (for events, workshops, conferences, fairs, etc.)

  1. What brought you to this program (or event, etc.)? – not an interview question; ask at a networking event
  2. Can you tell me what your positions is and some of your responsibilities?
  3. How did you decide that you wanted to get into ___________?
  4. What was your college major? Why did you chose it?
  5. If I wanted to get into ______, what would you recommend?
  6. What do you like best about your position and/or company?
  7. What is your single greatest challenge that you have encountered within your profession?
  8. What are the typical entry-level job titles and function?
  9. What do you find unique about your career field?
  10. What courses proved to be the most valuable to you in your job?