Guide to Interview Preparation
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Four Steps to Interviewing
Questions and Answers In Depth
Take a look at the interview questions below. After you read the proposed question take a moment to think about how you would answer before reading on. Remember, to develop good interviewing skills, practice, practice, practice! You are strongly encouraged to meet with a Career Counselor to practice mock interview questions in person.
- Describe the situation in detail by giving the overall context.
- Describe the task that you were responsible for—what was your role?
- What action did you take to resolve the situation?
- What was the end result of the action that you took?
Questions Most Asked by Employers
Frequently Asked Interview Questions
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- Tell me about yourself
- What is your greatest strength/weakness?
- Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
- What are your goals?
- What is your GPA? Does it reflect your abilities?
- What characteristics do you think this job requires?
- If hired, what abilities would you bring to this position?
- Knowledge of Job & Company
- What is your knowledge of the position you are applying for?
- What attracts you to our company?
- What do you think are the most important skills needed to do this job?
- What would you change about our company if hired?
- What kind of salary are you looking for?
- Organizing, Planning and Leadership
- How do you schedule your work day?
- When you are given a major project, how do you go about getting it done?
- If you were in charge of a team project, how would you organize and delegate responsibilities?
- How would you describe your leadership style?
- What applied theories and concepts would you use in this position?
- Problem Solving & Decision Making
- Are you more intuitive or logical in solving problems?
- Give an example of your problem solving style. Have you ever received differing instructions from two different people? What did you do?
- Knowledge & Technical Skills
- What kind of equipment can you operate? What computer skills/knowledge can you bring to this position?
- What computer languages do you have experience with? Can you provide working examples?
- Describe a major class and/or internship project.
- Maturity, Judgment & Poise
- Describe a difficult situation you faced at work. How did you handle the situation?
- What would you do differently in the same situation?
- How do you work under pressure? Describe your most recent supervisor. What did you like or dislike about him/her?
- How has college contributed to your personal and professional development?
- Other Important Questions
- Why did you choose your major?
- What courses did you enjoy most?
- What are your long-term and short-term goals?
- What extra curricular activities have you been involved in?
- How would a friend or professor describe you?
- What were your responsibilities in your last job? What did you learn in that job?
Here is a list of questions to ask employers during your interview.
- What kind of career opportunities are currently available for my degree and skills?
- What are the expectations for a new hire?
- What is the overall structure of the department where the position is located?
- Describe the work environment.
- Why do you enjoy working for the firm?
Success and Advancement
- What qualities are you looking for in your new hires?
- What characteristics does a successful person have at your company?
- What are the opportunities for professional growth?
- Identify typical career paths based on past records. What is the time frame for advancement?
- How is an employer evaluated and promoted?
- What is the retention rate of people in the position for which I am interviewing?
- Describe the typical first year assignments.
- Tell me about your initial and future training programs. What are the challenging facets of the job?
After the Interview
Be sure to obtain a business card with the name, title and address of the recruiter. This card will be useful when you write your thank you note or want to contact the interviewer in the future. Provide any applications, references, or transcripts requested by the prospective employer as soon as possible.
Follow-up letters are an appropriate method of maintaining contact with the interviewer, and it's a great way to reinforce your suitability for the job. Thank the employer for his or her time and the opportunity to be interviewed. Don't forget to let the employer know you want the job and why you would be an excellent choice. Should you email a follow-up letter or handwrite one? Consider the industry and experience with your interviewers, to make your decision: Was your interview environment more formal and conservative (typical in Business, Accounting and Science industries)? Consider sending a formal email. Did you interview in a more relaxed environment (typical in Human Service, Education and Hospitality industries)? A hand-written note may be more appropriate. Download a Thank You Letter sample to help you get started: Thank You Letter