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Typical interview questions

Not every interviewer will ask you every one of these questions. However, if you are prepared to address these questions, you will leave the impression that you were prepared for your job interview, even if additional questions take you by surprise.

Typical interview questions:

  • What are your long-range goals and objectives?
  • What are your short-range goals and objectives?
  • How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
  • What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
  • Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?
  • What are your strengths, weaknesses, and interests?
  • How do you think a friend or professor who knows you well would describe you?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to work with a difficult person (another student, co-worker, customer, supervisor, etc.). How did you handle the situation? Is there anything you would have done differently in hindsight?
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? Describe a situation in which you did so.
  • In what ways have your college experiences prepared you for a career?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success?
  • In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization?
  • Describe a contribution you have made to a project on which you worked.
  • What qualities should a successful manager possess?
  • Was there an occasion when you disagreed with a supervisor's decision or company policy? Describe how you handled the situation.
  • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
  • Describe your most rewarding college experience.
  • What interests you about our product or service?
  • Why did you select your college or university?
  • What led you to choose your major or field of study?
  • What college subjects did you like best? Why?
  • What college subjects did you like least? Why?
  • If you could do so, how would you plan your academic studies differently?
  • Do you think your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
  • What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?
  • In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • How do you work under pressure?
  • Describe a situation in which you worked as part of a team. What role did you take on? What went well and what didn't?
  • In what part-time, co-op, or summer jobs have you been most interested? Why?
  • How would you describe the ideal job for you following graduation?
  • Why did you decide to seek a position with this organization?
  • What two or three things would be most important to you in your job?
  • What criteria are you using to evaluate the organization for which you hope to work?
  • Will you relocate? Does relocation bother you?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • Are you willing to spend at least six months as a trainee?

Additional Questions:

Tell me about yourself.

(Remember, this is a job interview, not a psychological or personal interview. The interviewer is interested in the information about you that relates to your qualifications for employment, such as education, work experiences and extracurricular activities.)

What do you expect to be doing five years from now? Ten years from now?

(The interviewer is looking for evidence of career goals and ambitions rather than minutely specific descriptions. The interviewer wants to see your thought process and the criteria that are important to you)

Why should I hire you?

(Stress what you have to offer the employer, not how nice it would be to work there or what you want from the employer.) What are your ideas about salary?

(Research salaries in your field before your interviews so that you know the current salary range for the type of position you are seeking.)

Why do you want to work for our company/organization?

(Not having an answer is a good way to get crossed off the candidate list, and is a common pet peeve of interviewers. Research the employer before your interview; attempt to find out about the organization's products, locations, clients, philosophy, goals, previous growth record and growth plans, how they value employees and customers, etc.)

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