The list below includes examples of the kinds of questions interviewers are most likely to ask you. While interviewers have varying opinions about which questions are the most important, they offer the following advice about how to best handle an interview.
- Be prepared—do your homework on the company.
- Communicate excitement about your career field.
- Have a well-defined career objective.
- Be confident selling yourself, but not overconfident or pushy.
- Be prepared to speak knowledgeably about your academic discipline, your chosen profession and the company with which you are interviewing.
- Prepare appropriate questions in advance.
- Take time to think before you answer questions.
- Relax and be yourself.
The following questions are organized into subject categories to help you prepare your answers. Take the time to write down brief answers to familiarize yourself with the questions and your responses.
Personal and Motivational Factors
- Please tell me about yourself.
- How would you describe yourself?
- Who or what had the greatest influence on your life?
- How do you define success and failure?
- How do you handle rejection?
- What motivates you to put forward your greatest effort?
- What are some of the greatest personal challenges you have faced during your lifetime?
Skills and Abilities
- What skills and abilities do you possess that will help make you successful in today’s job market?
- Why should our organization hire you?
- For you, what are some of the pros and cons of working on a team project?
- Who was the most difficult person you have ever dealt with, and how did you respond?
- How did you organize your time in school/work/play?
- What are your major strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you prefer to work on a team or on your own?
- Please tell me about your communication skills (or, problem solving skills, leadership style).
- What do you see as your greatest challenge when starting a new career?
- If you could create the perfect job for yourself, what would you be doing?
Knowledge of the Organization
- Why did you select XYZ Company?
- What do you expect of the XYZ Company?
- What attracts you to this industry? What do you know about our company?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
Career Goals and Objectives
- What are your goals and aspirations for the next three years? Five years? How are you preparing to achieve them?
- Why do you think you would be good at this profession?
- What are your most significant accomplishments/achievements?
- What would your last two employers say about you as an employee, either good or bad?
- Can you describe a time in which your worked under deadline pressure?
- What did you enjoy most about your previous job experiences? Least?
- Can you tell me about your toughest job assignment?
- What kind of supervisor do you prefer?
- Please tell me about a conflict situation and how you resolved it.
Extracurricular Activities and College Experiences
- Please tell me about your accomplishments in extracurricular activities.
- Please describe your most rewarding college experiences.
- If you could relive your college experiences, what would you do differently?
- What changes would you make in your overall campus life?
- What were your major responsibilities in campus organizations or activities?
Academic Programs and Achievements
- Why did you choose this major field of study?
- Why did you choose to attend USF?
- What were your favorite college courses? Least favorite? Why?
- How would you relate your academic accomplishments to future career aspirations?
- What electives did you take outside of your major?
- What are your academic strengths? What courses gave you the most difficulty?
- What is your grade point average? How do you feel about this?
- Do you think your grades are a good indicator of your future career potential?
- What could you see as the major objective of this job?
- If we hired you, how would you identify the major roles and responsibilities of your new position?
- In addition to your educational and professional experiences, what else would you like us to know about you in order to make an appropriate decision?
- What geographical location interests you most when working?
- Are you willing to relocate? Do you mind traveling?
Salary and Benefits
- What starting salary do you expect as an employee?
- How do you feel about an income made up totally of commissions?
- When comparing one company offer to another, what factors will be important to you besides salary?