Sample Interview Questions


As has already been pointed out, employers will ask numerous questions during the interview, usually with a special purpose in mind. The manner in which you respond, and the thought given to the response, will enter into the final decision to invite you for a follow-up interview or send you a rejection letter. It will be worth your time and effort to review the following questions. They are examples of the type of questions you may find yourself having to answer.

To help you prepare for the interview please take advantage of a great online interview program called InterviewStream! This service is provided to our students by the Office of Alumni Affairs. InterviewStream allows you to practice interviews via webcam in the comfort of your home.

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • In what college and/or community activities have you participated? Why?

  • If you have not been active on campus, why not?

  • Have you held any leadership responsibilities? If so, what were they and what did you learn from this experience? If you didn't hold any leadership responsibilities, why not?

  • Why did you choose your particular college major? If you were starting all over, would you choose the same one? If so, why? If not, why not?

  • In looking at your academic program, which classes did you enjoy the most? The least? Why?

  • Do you feel you have done the best scholastic work of which you are capable? If so, why? If not, why not?

  • Why did you decide to attend SUNY Oneonta?

  • As a result of attending this school, what is the single most important statement you would make about your experiences while enrolled?

  • What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

  • What do you think determines an individual's success in a work situation?

  • What personal characteristics do you think are necessary for success in your chosen field?

  • What qualifications do you have that make you feel you will be successful in your chosen field?

  • How do you determine success?

  • Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower? Why?

  • Do you prefer working with others or by yourself? Why?

  • Define cooperation.

  • How do you handle pressure? Give me an example.

  • What jobs have you held? How were they obtained? What did you like about the jobs? Dislike? Why?

  • Why are you interested in my organization? What position would you like to have? Why?

  • What are your short-term goals? Long-range goals?

  • What are two or three things that are most important to you in a job? Why?

  • What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?

  • What did you consider to be your most significant accomplishment? Why?

  • What will be the most difficult aspect of making the transition from college to your career? Why?

  • Are you willing to relocate? To travel? If so, what percentage of the time would you consider traveling? If you are willing to relocate, do you have a geographical preference?

  • What do you expect from an employer?

  • Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and subordinates.

  • What kind of work environment do you prefer?

  • What do you know about this organization?

  • If you were hiring a graduate for the position for which you are applying, what qualities would you look for in the candidate?

  • Why should we hire you?

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Questions For Teacher Candidates

Some students may wish to pursue a career in education, due to the need for good teachers. If you are among them, these are the types of questions you can expect.

  • What is your philosophy of education? Of discipline?

  • What issues in education are of greatest concern to you? Why?

  • Describe the role of the teacher in the learning process.

  • What is the role of the teacher in the community?

  • How would you individualize instruction in your classroom?

  • Why do you want to teach?

  • What special abilities do you have that would benefit your students?

  • What prompted you to go into the field of education?

  • Do you grade on ability or effort? Why?

  • If you found out the slower learners in the class could not read the grade-level book, what would you do?

  • Tell me about your student teaching experiences.

  • How do you feel about observations by supervisors or principals? Why?

  • Are you interested in working with students in some extracurricular activity? If yes, what? If not, why not?

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Questions For Employers

As the interview progresses, you may have an opportunity to ask questions of the interviewer. Be sure to have several questions in mind before reporting to the interview. Avoid questions that could have been answered when preparing for the interview. If you preface questions with a brief statement about yourself, you let the employer know that you have prepared for the interview and that the answer is important to your future decision. Listed below are some possible questions to ask the interviewer:

  • ¬†How much travel is normally expected?

  • Can I progress at my own pace or is it structured?

  • How often are performance reviews given?

  • What would be my initial duties and responsibilities?

  • Assuming that I did well in this capacity, what would be my next step?

  • Why did you decide to work for XYZ company?

  • How long have you been with the company, Ms. Jones?

  • What have you liked most about your job and the company?

  • What kind of work can I expect to be doing in my first year?

  • What percentage of routine or detailed work will I do?

  • How much opportunity is there to see the end result of my efforts?

  • What supervisory level would review my performance?

  • How much guidance or assistance is made available to an individual worker in developing his or her goals.?

  • Can you briefly describe your training program?

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