Sample Interview Questions

Here are examples of typical interview questions. Do not attempt to memorize answers to each of them. Instead, think of key points you want to make and how to put those points in a positive, concise answer.

Answering Interview Questions

Most novice interviewees think there is a "correct" answer to any question the interviewer asks. This leads to unnecessary anxiety. Remember, what the interviewer wants is information that ties into the company and job requirements. More and more companies are using Behavioral Interviewing to accomplish this.

Here is an example of a behavioral interview question and how to use the STAR Method for telling your story: Situation, Task, Action Taken, and Result.

Question:

Tell me of a time when you had to work within a group where the members did not get along? How did you handle the situation?

Answer:

Situation

Interactive Qualifying Project Team. One team member showed up late, or not at all, to team meetings.

Task

To have the team member participate in team meetings.

Action

Called other team members together to discuss situation. Suggested we specifically state what we expected of the team member directly to him. Another member thought if we asked the team member what day and time he could always commit to would be better.

The team decided to do both. We met with him and told him of our frustration and what we wanted. The team member apologized. He knew he had been missing meetings but he was working over 30+ hours to meet his college bills.

Results

We determine that meeting at lunch time would work for all of us. So we scheduled our meetings for every Thursday and it worked out great. In fact, we even invited our advisor to join us and he did regularly since he was free at that time also.

Questions to Ask the Employer

Asking the interviewer logical, well thought out, pertinent questions indicates a high degree of interest in the company. Just as important, the answers to your questions will provide you information and insight into the company. The interviewer will know that you have taken a professional approach in preparing for your interview. Companies want to hire professionals.

Conversely, questions that are illogical, shallow, vague and asked just for the sake of asking questions tell the recruiter you did not prepare for the interview or really are not interested in the company. Before the interview you should read the organizational literature, talk to others who may have knowledge of the company, and research the company in databases. Once you have a sense of the company or the particular division, prepare three to four logical, well-defined questions for the interview.

Interviewing, as stated before, is a two-way exchange of information. You need to be prepared to seek answers to questions which will assist you in making good career decisions. Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask:

These are examples only. If you do use these questions, understand their meaning, be prepared to explain what you mean and be prepared to answer questions that will arise from your questions. It will be to your advantage to develop your own questions and express them in your own style. Lack of preparation will do more harm than good.

Illegal Interview Questions

Federal law prohibits interviewers from asking you questions concerning age, national origin, race, gender, religion, citizenship, certain physical data and marital status. For more specific information, see a staff member in the CDC.