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Career Development Center – Students

Prepare for Your Interview

Career Development Center

Interview Questions

Questions Employers May Ask

Two types of interview questions are commonly encountered. The standard interview question is intended to solicit information based upon self-reported characteristics. Increasingly, employers are asking behavior-based interview questions, designed to require a person to provide an anecdote from past experiences to prove a given skill. Follow-up questions often are asked to gain more detailed information relating to actions taken and the outcome of the situation. Usually both types will be in the battery of questions asked of a candidate.

Standard Interview Questions

  1. Would you tell me about yourself?
  2. How did you choose your university and particular field of study?
  3. What is your greatest strength?
  4. What is your greatest weakness?
  5. What qualities would you expect in a supervisor?
  6. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  7. What is your philosophy of life?
  8. How would you define success?
  9. What are your career goals? (Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?)
  10. Why should I hire you?

Behavior-Based Interview Questions

  1. What do you feel have been your most significant school-/work-related accomplishments in the past year?
  2. Can you give me an instance when you felt most pressured and stressed in your school/work? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
  3. Can you tell me about a time you were most persuasive in overcoming resistance to your ideas or point of view. What was the result?
  4. Can you describe the most valuable criticism you have received and what you did with it?
  5. Can you give an example of a project/situation that demanded attention to detail? How did you handle the details?
  6. Can you tell me about the last time you felt anger on the job? How did you deal with it?
  7. Can you tell me about an event that really challenged you?
  8. Can you tell me about the most difficult or frustrating person with whom you have worked? What did you do to cope/deal with that person?
  9. Can you describe the supervisor you have liked the least?

Questions to Ask Employers

At the end of an interview, the interviewer typically asks if there are any questions. It is important that you are able to respond with appropriate and thoughtful questions about the interviewer, the position or the company. Preparation and research in advance will give the necessary knowledge about the company or specific position to be able to do so effectively. Be careful not to waste the interviewer’s time with questions that have been answered during the interview or could have been answered from company literature or a detailed job description.

Candidate Questions

  1. What is the first task that would need the attention of the person you hire?
  2. What other concerns need attention now? Over the next six months?
  3. What kind of training would I receive?
  4. Are there other duties expected which are not formally listed as part of the job?
  5. How would I be evaluated?
  6. What kind of advancement opportunities does your organization offer?
  7. How would you differentiate your company from your major competitors?
  8. What do you see ahead for the organization in the next 10 years?
  9. When can I expect to hear from you with regards to your hiring decision?
  10. May I call you at a later time if any further questions arise?

Remember, this is also the time to bring up any relevant strengths that have not yet been addressed in the interview. Smile and express thanks to the interviewer. Try always to end on a positive note!

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