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.
- Tell me about yourself.
- Describe your ideal job.
- What can you offer us?
- What do you consider to be your greatest strengths?
- Can you name some weaknesses?
- Define success?
- Have you ever had any failures? What did you learn from them?
- What 3 accomplishments are you most proud of?
- What motivates you most in a job?
- Have you had difficulty getting along with a former professor/supervisor/coworker and how did you handle it?
- Why should we hire you rather than another candidate?
- What do you know about our organization?
- Why did you choose your major?
- What job related skills have you developed?
- What do you enjoy most about your current employer?
- Give a example of a situation where you had to provide a solution to the employer?
- Do you prefer to work under supervision or on your own?
- What kind of boss do you prefer?
- Would you be successful working with a team?
- Are you able to work on several assignments at once?
- What are your long range career goals?
- What computer programming languages do you know?
- What are your three best qualifications for this position?
- Which is more important to you, the money or the type of job?
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.
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?
Interactive Qualifying Project Team. One team member showed up late, or not at all, to team meetings.
To have the team member participate in team meetings.
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.
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:
- Please describe the duties of the job for me?
- What kinds of assignments might I expect the first six months on the job?
- Does your company encourage further education?
- How often are performance reviews given?
- What products are in the development stage now?
- Do you have plans for expansion?
- How do you feel about creativity and individuality?
- In what ways is a career with your company better than one with your competitors? (just make sure you know the competitors)
- Is this a new position or am I replacing someone?
- What is the largest single problem facing your department now?
- What do you like best about your job or company?
- Do you fill positions from the outside or promote from within first?
- What characteristics do the achievers in this company seem to share?
- Where does this position fit into the organizational structure?
- What is the next course of action? When should I expect to hear from you,or should I contact you?
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.