Sample Interview Questions

TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

 Interviewers will ask a variety of questions to ascertain whether the applicant is qualified for the position and delve further to assess a candidate’s growth potential within their company.  The following questions are not all-inclusive, but provide a guideline in terms of potential questions the interviewee should expect during the course of the interview. 

 

POPULAR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  • Tell us about yourself.  You will likely be asked this, so use it to your advantage!  Stay clear of personal information.  Use the most recent and relevant information to answer it.  “I am a recent graduate of SVSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.  I enjoy keeping up with trends in social media, writing in my music blog, and creating infographics.”
  • What would you do if...?  Situational questions are very common.  The employer wants to see how you will react if presented a particular situation.  Answer thoroughly.  The STAR method comes in handy for these types of questions.
  • Tell me about a time when you...  This type of question digs for information from you from a specific time.  The employer might ask about a time when you had to work with a difficult customer and how you handled it.  They might ask you to describe a time when you had to work in a group.  Again, the STAR method is very valuable here for answering these types of questions.

 

OTHER COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  • Can you summarize the contribution you would make to our department?
  • Why did you choose to attend SVSU?
  • Tell me about your most significant work experience.
  • Why are you the best candidate for this position?
  • Have you ever supervised anyone?
  • What are your strongest skills?  (Back up answers with specific examples.)
  • Tell me about the most difficult experience you’ve faced and how you handled it.
  • Why should we hire you?  (Be ready for this one.  Even if it is not asked directly, the answer to this should be woven throughout all of your responses.)
  • What do you think is the most significant problem in our field today?
  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • Why are you interested in working for us?
  • Describe your greatest strength.
  • Describe your greatest weakness.  (Note: The key to this question is to be honest about a work-related flaw and to thoroughly describe how you are working to improve.  By being honest you can build trust with the interviewer as well as demonstrate your ability to overcome challenges.)
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Are you a team player?
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • How competitive are you?
  • What do you expect from your supervisor?
  • Describe to me the best and worst supervisor you ever had.  (Never talk badly about a previous employer.)
  • How do you define success?
  • What are the most important qualities necessary for success in this field and which of these qualities do you possess?
  • How did you motivate a resistant student or client to comply you’re your instructions?
  • How would those who have worked with you describe you?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would a supervisor or colleague describe you?
  • When did you know you wanted to be in this field?
  • What are your long-range career goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?  (You may wish to answer this in terms of skills acquired or further education.)
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
  • How do you relieve stress?
  • What gives you the most satisfaction in your work?  Why?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in your job?

Do you have any questions for us?  Never leave a job interview answering this question with “no”.  By asking an employer a question or two, you will appear interested in the employer and the position.  Preparing these questions in advance is easy.  Also, pay attention to the questions they ask you during the interview.  Ask the interviewer questions that show that you learned new information about them.

For example:

  • What would a typical day be like?
  • Can you tell me how success in this position is measured?
  • Who would I work with most closely on a daily basis?
  • What do you consider the most challenging aspect of this position for someone who is new to your organization?
  • What are your major projects in the coming year?
  • How do you encourage your employees to keep current with professional developments in the field?

 

Be prepared for tough questions, but do not be afraid to pause to formulate your answer.  You should know three examples for each claim you made on your résumé and cover letter.  To help structure your answers, consider using the STAR Guide .

 
Sample Interview Questions - Printable Version (.PDF) (53kB)

Additional information on interviewing is available in our Online Tutorials!