Sample Interview Questions

The purpose of an interview is to determine if you are a good fit for the position. Remember to bring up relevant skills, experiences and training you have received in the past that would well-qualify you for the position as much as possible. 

Traditional/General Interview Questions

Traditional questions are open ended and you can share whatever information you like. However, the BEST interviewers always remember to highlight related skills and experiences to the job they are interviewing for.

  1. Explain briefly how the information you learned in school is related to this job.
  2. What types of duties interest you the most?
  3. What attracted you to seek employment at Company?
  4. Why should we consider hiring you?
  5. What are your short/long-term goals?
  6. What do you consider to be your greatest strength/weakness?
  7. Tell me a little about yourself? = 60 second resume.
  8. Why do you think you would be an asset to the company?
  9. How well do you work under pressure?
  10. Would you be willing to relocate to one of our branch offices?
  11. Would you be willing to travel?
  12. What motivates you?
  13. Do you prefer to work alone, or as part of a team?
  14. How do you get along with your peers?
  15. Were you financially responsible for any portion of your college education?
  16. What do you know about our company/product/service?
  17. How do you spend your leisure time?
  18. What kinds of problems do you enjoy solving?
  19. Are you willing to take a series of personality tests?
  20. Do you have management ability? Describe.
  21. Why did you choose your major/college/career path?
  22. Which college classes did you like best/least? Why?
  23. What software programs are you most familiar with? And your hardware experience?
  24. Have you ever spoken to a group of people? How large?
  25. In your opinion, what is the industry’s biggest problem?
  26. What important trends do you see in our industry?
  27. Where is the greatest growth potential in our industry?
  28. How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our company?
  29. How long would you stay with this company?
  30. What kind of relationship should exist between managers and their subordinates?
  31. What do you look for in a job?
  32. Will you be out to take your boss’s job?
  33. Are you a competitive person?
  34. How should people criticize you, and how do you criticize others?
  35. How many hours per week do you think someone should spend on the job?
  36. Have you received any other offers?
  37. Are you interviewing anywhere else?
  38. Are there any accommodations that need to be made for you to fully perform your job?

Behavior-Based Interview Questions

Good answers to behavioral questions share a specific story. We recommend students use the STAR model to structure their response:

S= Situation (Give some background information)

T= Task (What were you working on?)

A= Action (What did YOU do in the situation?)

R= Result (What happened? What did you learn?)

Employers are drawing conclusions about how you will act on the job in the future based on how you respond to behavioral questions. They believe the best predictor of future performance is past performance, so carefully select the stories you share. Make sure the actions and results included in your response illustrate good qualities about yourself.

  1. Describe a time when you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
  2. Have you ever disagreed with a policy/procedure? How did you handle this?
  3. Describe two examples of effective decisions you have made in the last six months.
  4. Provide an example of a difficult problem you have recently solved.
  5. How do you track progress on projects for which you are responsible?
  6. How do you interact with difficult people?
  7. Which classes did you like best/least? Why?
  8. Do your grades accurately reflect your ability?
  9. Who are your role models?
  10. What is your definition of success?
  11. Have you ever quit a job? Why?
  12. Describe your ideal job.
  13. When did you successfully motivate others?
  14. Do you prefer large or small companies? Why?
  15. Do you prefer a structured or loosely structured environment? Why?
  16. Give me an example of a situation or position in which you worked under pressure. How did you handle the pressure?
  17. Tell me about a situation in which you displayed leadership ability.
  18. Describe a few situations in which your work has been criticized.
  19. What is your greatest potential area for contributing to our company?
  20. Name five unique contributions you can make to our company.
  21. Give an example of when you have had to convince other members of a team to do something, and how you did it?
  22. Describe a challenging situation and how you addressed it?
  23. Give me an example of a time when…
    1. You were especially hard working.
    2. You were proud of your ability to cope.
    3. Your were adaptable.
    4. A good boss motivated you.
    5. You were creative.
    6. You were able to accept change.

Interview Questions for Teacher Candidates (K-12)

  1. Why do you want to teach at _______ School?
  2. Tell me about your philosophy of classroom management.
  3. What is your educational philosophy?
  4. Tell me about a time when you had to work with an unmotivated student and how you would deal with it.
  5. Describe a situation when you had to work with a defiant student and how did you deal with it.
  6. Give me an example of a _______ (math, history, English, etc.) lesson you taught that went well and why.
  7. Tell me about a lesson that didn't go well and how did you decide to improve it for future classes?
  8. What are your expectations for students?
  9. What has been your experience with working on / advising newspapers?
  10. What do you like/ not like about the two classes you observed?
  11. Do you prefer teaching ______ (subject) or ______ (subject)? Why?
  12. Do you prefer teaching elementary, middle, or high school-aged students? Why?
  13. Will you be certified to teach ______ (subject/grade level) in this state in the fall?
  14. Why do you think you'd be a good fit at this school? What would you add to the school community?
  15. What extracurricular activities do you feel you could lead/co-lead in our school?
  16. What you think is important for students to learn in high (or middle) school _____ (subject) class?
  17. What would you do if no one in class has done the reading you assigned for homework?
  18. How do you plan on building positive relationships with your students?
  19. How would you differentiate instruction in class with a wide range of reading levels?
  20. How would you use results of assessment to shape instruction?
  21. How use technology in the classroom, especially smartboards and tablet computers?
  22. Is it a disadvantage for a white (if applicable) teacher to teach in a majority-minority classroom?
  23. What grade and level (i.e. regular vs. honors) do you prefer to teach?
  24. What do you see as being the biggest challenge in being a new teacher at a new school?
  25. Tell me about a time you had to work with a parent who was challenging your teaching methods or questioning the treatment of his or her child? How did you handle that situation?

Graduate School Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why did you choose Emory University as your undergraduate institution?
  3. What appeals to you most about attending a Master’s program focusing on _________?
  4. Why this University? Program?
  5. Why a master’s and not a Ph.D. in __________?
  6. How do you think your __________ major will help you in __________field?
  7. What initially sparked your interest in this field? When did your interest begin?
  8. What are your research interests and why have you chosen that topic as your line of study?
  9. How has your field/clinical experience enhanced your perception of the field? What have you learned from your work?
  10. What are your plans as a graduate student? What do you plan to accomplish while you are here?
  11. With which faculty members do you see yourself working most closely?
  12. What are you short-term and long-term career goals?
  13. What unique attributes would you bring to our program? If we had to decide between you & another candidate, why should we choose you?
  14. What do you like about this school in particular?
  15. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  16. If you're not accepted into graduate school, what are your plans?
  17. Why did you choose this career?
  18. Why did you choose to apply to our program?
  19. What other schools are you considering?
  20. In what ways have your previous experiences prepared you for graduate study in our program?
  21. Any questions?
  22. What do you believe your greatest challenge will be if you are accepted into this program?
  23. In college, what courses did you enjoy the most? The least? Why?
  24. Describe any research project you've worked on.

Questions to ask the Interviewer

  1. Where would you place your priorities for the duties of this job?
  2. What are the daily duties of the job? What would my typical day involve?
  3. Would you describe the working culture?
  4. To whom would I directly report?
  5. How often would I be evaluated?
  6. What happened to the last person who held this position?
  7. What is the company’s policy about promotion from within? Opportunities for advancement?
  8. Does the company offer ongoing training/development for the employees?
  9. Is there travel (local/state/national) involved?
  10. What would be the most challenging aspect of this job?
  11. What would I like most about working for this company?
  12. What are the opportunities for personal growth?
  13. Describe the typical first year’s assignments.
  14. What is the company’s record of employment stability?
  15. How would you describe your company’s culture and the overall management style?
  16. What are your expectations of new hires?
  17. What qualities are you looking for in your new hires?
  18. Can you tell me more about the position and the type of candidate you are seeking?
  19. Why is this position open?
  20. What would you consider to be exceptional performance from someone performing in this position in the first 90 days?
  21. How will you define success for this position after one year?
  22. What is the most common career path for a recent college graduate like me?
  23. Is there any additional information I can provide?
  24. What is the next step in the process?
  25. What can I do to make you successful?
  26. What are the measurements for success within your organization?
  27. Why did you decide to join this company/organization?
  28. What were your initial expectations? Were they met?
  29. How have your expectations changed over time?
  30. What do you consider your company's strengths and weaknesses?