Sample Interview Questions

Prepare for a Perfect Interview

This page contains lists of many of the most common questions frequently used in interview situations.  For more information on how to best answer some of these tough questions, you may wish to:

  • Call Career Services at 407.646.2195 to schedule a mock interview

    • You will be asked to submit a copy of your resume and a sample job description in advance of your appointment.

    • The career counselor will act as a "real" interviewer asking challenging questions for approximately 20-30 minutes.

    • During the second half of your appointment, the career counselor will discuss your interview skills and recommend strategies for improving your performance.

    • It is recommended that you schedule a mock interview several days in advance of an actual job interview so that you have time to respond to and follow up on suggestions for improvement.

  • Log in to R-CareerLink to try the new online interviewing program, InterviewStream

    • This program requires a web cam (available in Career Services if requested).

    • You will have the opportunity to respond via web cam to questions posed by an online, recorded interviewer, then watch and listen to your answers.

    • InterviewStream will provide advice on how to best answer interview questions.

    • You may choose to e-mail your web cam responses to a career counselor for more specific feedback.


Common Interview Questions for Jobs & Internships


General Information

Tell me about yourself.

How did you become interested in this industry/field of work? 

Why are you interested in this specific position with our organization? 

What are your interests/hobbies?

Who is your role model?

What are three adjectives you would use to describe yourself? 

 

Educational Background

Why did you attend Rollins College?

How did you decide on your major?

Which class(es) did you enjoy most?

Which class(es) did you like least?

Based on your understanding of this position, which classes have best prepared you for this job?

How would your professors describe you?

What is your GPA?

If you could change anything about your undergraduate education, what would it be?

 

Work History

Tell me about your previous jobs/internships?

Which job did you enjoy most? Why?

What are the three most important skills you developed in your previous jobs/internships?

How would former employers describe you?

 

Career Interests

What are your career goals?

Why are you interested in this position?

What do you know about our company/agency?

What are your long-term career goals?

What economic, political and/or social trends do you think will impact our industry/career field in the near future?

 

Skills

What experience do you have in campus or community activities?

What have you learned/gained from your extracurricular activities?

What are your greatest strengths?

What are your weaknesses? 

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Do you have any leadership skills? 

 

Motivation

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

Is there anything else that you would like to tell me regarding your qualifications?

Why should I hire you?

What motivates you to work hard?

How do you define success? 

 

Behavioral/Situational

Can you tell me about a time when you were required to work with a difficult or dissatisfied customer?  How did you handle the situation? 

Please give me an example of a time when you solved a challenging problem in a creative way.

What is an example of a time when you acted as a leader? 

All jobs have frustrations or problems. Describe a specific task or work condition that has been frustrating for you.

What types of people would be difficult for you to work with? 

 

Inappropriate Interview Questions


In most interviewing situations, the questions you will be asked are standard and relevant to the position for which you are applying. However, in a rare situation, you may be asked questions that make you feel uncomfortable or seem irrelevant to the position at hand. Questions concerning marital status, family, or religious beliefs are considered inappropriate in most situations. An exception may be if you are applying for a counselor or teacher position in a religious organization.

If you feel that the questions being asked of you are inappropriate, you have three choices for responding.

  1. If you are not offended by the question and do not feel that your response will hurt your candidacy, you may answer the question directly.

  2. A second option is to refuse to answer the question stating that you are uncomfortable with the question; in many instances, this type of response will probably cause the employer to reject you as a candidate. However, you should consider if you would even feel comfortable working for the employer in the first place. 

  3. Finally, you may answer the question in a non-direct method. For example, if the employer asked about your marital status due to the long hours that will be required, you may respond by saying that you are fully aware of the work schedule and are willing to commit the necessary hours.

Below is a partial list of inappropriate interview questions:

Are you married? Single? Divorced? Engaged? Living with anyone? Do you see your ex-spouse?

Do you have children at home? How old? Who cares for them? Do you plan to have more children?

How tall are you? How much do you weigh?

Have you ever been arrested, convicted, or spent time in jail?

If you served in any of the armed forces, what type of discharge do you have? What branch did you serve in?

How old are you?

What political party do you support?  Who did you vote for in the last election?  

Do you own your home? Do you rent? Do you live in an apartment or a house?

Are you a U.S. citizen? (Employers may ask if you have the proper work permits or are legally able to work in the US.)

What is your religious affiliation? 

 

Questions a Candidate Should Ask the Interviewer


If the interviewer says, "Do you have any questions for me?" your answer is YES.  It is a good idea to always ask a few questions during an interview.  This action shows that you are motivated and interested in the position.  A candidate without questions will look like a candidate who doesn't really care about getting the job.  Be sure you don't ask questions that can be easily answered from the home page of the company Web site, instead, ask interesting questions based on the knowledge you already have about the position and the organization.  

What will be expected of the person who is hired for this particular position?

How does this job fit into the overall structure of the department?

What are the typical career paths for people who start in this position?

I saw online that your organization received the _____ Award.  Was that the result of a specific project or campaign? 

What qualities are you looking for in candidates for this position?

Is this a new position?  

How will training be conducted?

I read in your annual report that sales were high, even in the tough economy.  To what do you attribute this success? 

Would you tell me about the work environment?

How is job performance evaluated?

Is there anything else I can tell you about my qualifications?

I hope that I am one of the candidates you are considering. When can I expect to hear from you?

 

Questions a Candidate Should NOT Ask the Employer


Questions that will put the interviewer on the spot. Example: "How are women treated here?"

Questions that broadcast you have not done your homework. Example: "What product does this company make?"

Questions that tip the interviewer off to a problem you might have. Example: "Are people in your department easy to get along with?"

Questions that imply you already have the job. Example: "Will you show me my office?"

Questions that cause the interviewer to wonder about your priorities. Example: "How much money will I make? How much vacation will I get? Do you provide tuition reimbursement for graduate school?"

 

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Contact Us

170 W. Fairbanks Bldg.
1st Floor
1000 Holt Avenue - 2587
Winter Park, FL 32789
407.646.2195
careerservices@rollins.edu