Interview Questions

The following is a sample of commonly asked interview questions and questions you can ask employers. You can expect to hear questions about internships, past jobs, community involvement, research, and any other info on your resume or in your cover letter.

Getting to Know You

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why/how are you qualified for this position?
  • What do you know about our organization? Our products? Services? Competition?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Why should we hire you over another candidate?
  • Have you experienced failure? What did you learn?
  • Which three achievements make you most proud?
  • What motivates you?
  • Describe your working style.
  • How do you prioritize your tasks?


  • How did you choose your graduate/professional program? Your program?
  • Which courses do you like best? Least? Why?
  • Would you change anything about your education?
  • Do your grades accurately reflect your ability? Why or why not?
  • Did you pay for any portion of your education?
  • Describe the skills you’ve gained through coursework and projects.


  • What did you most/least enjoy about your last job or internship?
  • Which skills do you enjoy using?
  • Have you ever quit a job? Withdrawn from a course?
  • How would a former supervisor describe you and your work?
  • Have you supervised others through your internship, volunteer, full or part-time job experience?

Career Goals

  • Describe your ideal job and work environment.
  • What other types of positions are you considering?
  • Where do you want to be in five years?
  • Would you be willing to relocate?

Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Describe a project or experience where you worked as part of a team.
  • Discuss a situation where you resolved a conflict.
  • Talk about your leadership skills.
  • Tell me about a time when you persuaded someone or successfully pitched an idea.
  • Describe a time when you worked under stress and demonstrated your coping skills.
  • Tell me about a time when you improved something for an employer.
  • Give me an example of a time when you set and then achieved a specific goal.
  • Describe a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  • Tell me about a time when you had too much to do and how you prioritized your tasks.
  • Describe the most significant written report that you’ve completed.
  • Tell me about a difficult decision you’ve made in the past year.
  • Describe a situation where you failed.
  • Give an example of how you’ve taken initiative.
  • How have you dealt with a co-worker or subordinate who was incompetent?
  • How have you handled an emotional reaction or personality conflict with someone?
  • Describe a time when you had to think on your feet.
  • Give an example of an occasion when you used fact-finding skills and analysis.
  • Describe the most creative presentation or project you’ve done.

Expect the unexpected

  • Who’s our CEO?
  • Tell me a joke.
  • What’s the last book you read?
  • Describe your most creative Halloween costume.
  • Tell me about your most awkward moment.

Some recruiters have favorite questions that are designed to observe your thought process, the way you think, behave, and respond. You can’t predict these questions, so just stop and think, and respond carefully. Go ahead and use humor if it comes naturally.

Questions You Can Ask Employers

  • What is the most significant challenge facing this organization? This department?
  • What kinds of assignments might I expect initially?
  • How is training provided for new employees?
  • How much opportunity is there for _________? (Fill in the blank with a skill that you want to use like writing or research)
  • Which skills and qualities are you looking for in a candidate?
  • What are the department’s goals for this year?
  • What do you like best about working for this company?
  • How often are performance reviews given?
  • How would you describe this organization compared to its competitors?
  • Which characteristics do achievers in this company share?