Sample Interview Questions
While every interview is different, the questions below often make an appearance. Consider them in advance.
Breaking the ice:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Walk me through your resume.
Show and tell:
- Why are you pursuing this field?
- Describe the job or activity that has had the greatest impact on your career goals.
- What specific skills have you acquired or used in previous jobs that related to this position?
- Tell me about what you learned from your previous jobs and internships.
- What qualifications do you have that make you think that you would be successful?
What makes you tick?
- What kinds of tasks and responsibilities most motivate you?
- In what kind of work environment do you work best?
- How do you motivate others?
- Tell me about a time when you have had to work under pressure. How did you handle it?
- Tell me about your leadership experiences.
- What have you accomplished that you are most proud of?
- Tell me about an interesting article you recently read in the news media.
- If you had six months ahead with no obligations and no financial constraints, what would you do?
- How would your colleagues describe you?
- What do you want me to know about you that isn’t on your resume?
Have you done your homework?
- Why did you apply to our organization? Why do you want to work here?
- What can you tell us about our organization?
- What interests or impresses you about our organization?
- What criteria are you using to evaluate organizations?
- Are you seeking employment at an organization of a certain size? Why?
- Do you have a geographic preference?
- Do you think you would enjoy living in this area?
- Why should I hire you and not the next candidate who walks in the door?
If past behavior predicts future behavior, then…
- Tell me about a time when you used your quantitative or analytical skills.
- Describe an experience in which you showed initiative.
- Describe an experience in which you showed creativity.
- Tell me about your most recent group or team effort.
- Tell me about an important goal you set in the past, and the steps you took to reach that goal.
- What would you do if someone asked you to do something unethical?
- Tell me about a time when you have managed multiple priorities at once.
- Describe a situation in which you had to take a risk.
- Tell me about a time when you went the extra mile to get a project done.
- Describe a situation when you had to persuade or convince someone. How did you do it?
- Describe a time when you had a difficult decision to make and how you arrived at your decision.
- Tell me about a time when a project you worked on didn’t work out the way it should have.
- Give me an example of when you failed at something and what you learned from that experience.
- Describe a group work situation where you and your partner were having trouble getting along. How did you resolve the conflict?
- Describe a situation during which you had to learn a large amount of material quickly. How did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time when you had a personality conflict or disagreement with a supervisor. How did you resolve it?
- Give me an example of how you would motivate a co-worker who was performing poorly on a team project.
- Tell me about an unpopular decision you made. How did you make the decision? If you could handle the same situation again, would you do anything differently?
- If you wanted to buy a local Thomas Sweet Ice Cream shop, what factors would you consider?
- You are asked to perform a cost benchmarking study for your client, a toy manufacturer. Explain the methodology you would use to ascertain the competition’s cost.
- Your analysis of the client’s problem leads you to solution A. However, this is not the solution your client favors. Your client likes solution B. You are convinced that solution A is the most effective plan. What do you do?
- Our client manufactures sunscreen products. It’s thinking about entering the hair products market. Is this a good idea? What marketing strategies might you implement?
Questions to Ask the Interviewer
- What does it take to be highly successful in this organization?
- What do you consider the five most important day-to-day responsibilities of the job?
- Tell me about the organization’s culture.
- How will the duties change once the training program has been completed?
- What are the opportunities for advancement?
- What is the next step in the hiring process?