Sample Interview Questions

Use these interview questions  to prepare for your upcoming internship or job interview. You may be asked many of these questions, so prepare your answers well in advance, and practice with a friend.

Selling your Strengths: Big Picture

  • Why should we hire you?
  • Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  • What motivates you to do a great job?
  • What is more important to you: money or type of work?
  • Name a few of your strengths.
  • Tell me about your weaknesses.
  • How do you learn from mistakes?
  • What do you consider your greatest failure in life?
  • Give me five adjectives that you would use to describe yourself.
  • How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
  • What do you expect to be earning in five years?  

Selling your Strengths: Specific Examples

  • Tell me about a time when you exceeded expectations?
  • Tell me about a time when you assumed a leadership role?
  • Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of, and why? 
  • Tell me about your ability to work under pressure/deadlines.
  • Describe your working style.
  • What have you done that you are proud of?
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success?
  • How would you describe your ideal job?

Past Experience

  • Did you enjoy your major area of study in school? What did you like/dislike about it? What led you to choose your major or field of study?
  • Describe the best boss you ever had. Describe the worst boss you ever had.
  • How has your education prepared you for your chosen career?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why did you decide to go back to school/switch careers?
  • Which job have you enjoyed the most, why?
  • Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job

Working with Others  

  • Are you a team player?
  • What position do you prefer on a team project?
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • What irritates you about co-workers?
  • Tell me about a problem that you had with a supervisor.
  • What qualities do you look for in a boss?
  • What would your last employer/former co-workers say about you?
  • What kind of work environment are you most comfortable in?
  • What causes stress or pressure for you? How do you react to it?
  • Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and those reporting to him or her?
  • How do you annoy people?
  • What types of people or traits irritate you?  

Questions about This Job  

  • Why are you applying for this job, at this company?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • How long would you expect to work for us?
  • Are you willing to work overtime or on weekends?
  • Are you willing to travel? How much?
  • Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead of your own?
  • What are the top three things it would take to make you happy or satisfied on the job in your career?
  • What type of salary do you need?
  • Which is most important to you, the money or the type of job?
  • Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size?
  • What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?

Questions for your Interviewer
Asking questions shows you are interested in the job and motivated to be involved with this company. The quickest way to find yourself out of the running for a job is to say that you don't have any questions.

  • I read in the x paper that your company accomplished x. Can you tell me a little more about that?
  • I read on the website that your company wants to do x in the next year. Can you tell me about the steps the company is taking to accomplish that?
  • How was your company affected by the recent recession?
  • How will my role in the company contribute to your team?
  • Tell me about the kinds of projects I'd be working on. 
  •  Will I be working mostly with a team or on my own?
  • Tell me about the typical relationship between a supervisor and an employee.
  • What are the opportunities for personal growth?
  • Identify typical career paths based on past records. What is the realistic time frame for advancement?
  • How regularly do performance evaluations occur? What model do they follow?
  • What are the company’s initial and future training programs?
  • What are the challenging facets of the job?
  • What are the company’s plans for future growth?
  • What industry trends will affect this company?
  • What makes your firm different from its competitors?
  • In your opinion, what are the company’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • How would you describe your corporation’s personality and management style?
  • Is it the company’s policy to promote from within? Tell me the work history of your top management.
  • What kinds of career opportunities are currently available for my degree and skills?
  • How would you describe the work environment?
  • What is the overall structure of the department where the position is located?
  • Why do you enjoy working for this firm?
  • What characteristics does a successful person have at your company?

Questions to Avoid
To avoid sending the wrong message, do not ask these questions:

  • What are your expectations of new hires?
  • What would you say is the most rewarding feature about this job?
  • What are the biggest challenges associated with this position?
  • Video on questions to avoid

More frequently asked interview questions (40K PDF).