Interview Questions

How to nail the interview.

Every interviewer is different. Some stick to the traditional interview questions, and others get a little more creative in order to get to know you.

While the question “what do you like to do for fun?” may seem irrelevant it can tell interviewers something. Your answer can tell interviewers if you enjoy being around others, if you are adventurous, and if you will be a fun person to work with.

If the response to this type of question is “Ummm I don’t know” or “I like to watch TV” they may get an impression that you are reclusive or don’t enjoy being around others. Neither of these are good traits for an office environment. That’s why it’s good to be prepared for a wide array of questions.

Questions for you

Here are some common questions you may be asked in an interview. Think about them ahead of time and have answers in mind.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • I see on your resume you have experience in _________, can you tell me more?
  • Tell me how your time at [your school] has prepared you for this position.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Tell me about a time when you faced a challenge and had to come up with a solution.
  • Tell me about a time where you demonstrated leadership.
  • When can you start?
  • Do you have any questions for me/us?

Things an interviewer CAN’T ask you about:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Race/ethnicity or country of origin
  • Religion
  • Disabilities
  • Marital/family status or if you are pregnant

It’s a good idea to write out your answers to the typical interview questions ahead of time. With this preparation you will know what to say ahead of time and won’t be caught off guard. Practice answering them out loud as well. If you feel comfortable asking your roommate to do a mock interview, do it! The career center is also a great place to practice interviewing.

Questions for them

The questioning should not only go one way in an interview. Come prepared to ask your own questions as well. This will make you seem more interested and prepared and help you learn more about the company and the job.

Here are a few good questions to ask the interviewer:

  • Can you tell me more about the day to day responsibilities of the job?
  • Describe the culture of this company.
  • What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
  • What are the next steps in the interview process?
  • How does the company give feedback to employees?
  • Are there any special projects that I would work on soon?
  • Do you have any on the job training?

These questions are a bit more personal, ask about what you are interested in or curious about. While there are many options, avoid asking about salary and benefits at this stage of the process.

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