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Interview Q&A

Interview Q&A

Following are common interview questions and suggestions on how to respond to them.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
This is an open-ended question usually asked to help "break the ice." The key thing to remember is to keep your response related to the job. Be specific and don't ramble. Your answer should be about 2 minutes in length.

Why are you interested in working for this organization?
This will show the employer if you have done your homework. Be specific and state how what you have learned about the organization through your research relates to your career goals.

Why have you chosen this particular field?
This allows you to demonstrate your enthusiasm and dedication to your field.

Describe your best/worst boss.
Be positive. Speak about your best boss if possible. If pressed to speak about your worst boss, try to put a positive spin on it. For instance, "I had a supervisor who was often very vague. However, because of this, I learned the value of good communication."

What is your major strength/weakness?
Your major strength should be easy, but be sure it is directly related to the position. As for your major weakness, again, put a positive spin on it. For instance, "I tend to be nervous around my supervisors, although I've gained more confidence in that area since my last job where my supervisors encouraged me to ask questions."

Give me an example of a problem you encountered either in school or at work, and explain how you solved it.
Be logical. State the problem and then illustrate the step-by-step procedure you used to correct it.

Where do you see yourself in three years?
Tell the interviewer that you hope to be with the company in whatever capacity you can make the greatest contribution, based on the skills and experiences you've gained over the course of the preceding three years.

Describe an experience in which you worked as a part of a team.
Being able to both contribute to and lead a team are very important qualities. Give this question serious consideration and develop answers for both situations.

If you could be an animal, which would it be and why?
This is not a trick question. You may be asked questions that seem ridiculous or out of place. The interviewer is trying to see if you can think on your feet.

What was the last book you read?
This is intended to see if you remain current in your field and/or read for self-improvement. Think of (and read) a book that relates to your business or contributes to your personal growth.

Do you have any questions for me?
This is a question you can always anticipate. Moreover, as a result of your research, you should always have several good job and/or company specific questions to ask. Again, it shows you are prepared.

Why did you select your major and how does it fit with your career goals?
Your answer to this question will help the interviewer understand just how passionate you are about your chosen field.

Which of your accomplishments have made you the most proud?
Use this question to show the intensity of your involvement and commitment to groups and tasks.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Don't say you don't know and don't offer a fantasy answer. Stay focused on your career and the employer with whom you're interviewing.

Why should we hire you?
Be ready to explain how your skills and experience are suited to the job and how you would fit into the corporate culture.

What three words best describe you?
This question measures your ability to think on your feet and answer succinctly. Your answer will show just how self-aware you are.

Give me an example of a situation in which your ethics were challenged. How did you handle it?
Make sure your answer to this question shows both your understanding of right and wrong and your ability to use tact and discretion.

Describe a specific problem you solved for an employer or professor. How did you approach the problem? What role did others play? What was the outcome?

Make sure you give credit to other team members while highlighting your own part in solving the problem. This question gives you the opportunity to show you can make decisions and solve problems.

Describe a situation in which you got people who don't like each other to work together. How did you do it? What was the outcome?
Highlight your team work and relationship-building skills when you answer this question.

Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What things did you fail to do? What were the repercussions? What did you learn?
Your answer to this question can help the interviewer learn more about your time-management skills. Be sure to focus on the steps you now take to avoid such a situation

National Association of Colleges and Employers-Job Choices 48th Edition 2005 & 49th Edition 2006