Interviewing

Sample Interview Questions

View list of lawful and unlawful questions

Look at the facts, not the faces

Work experience in general:

  • Please describe your present responsibilities and duties.
  • Describe the most complex problem you had to solve in your current/last position?
  • What do you consider to be your most important accomplishments in the last three positions you have held?
  • Describe your involvement with committees, your role on the committees, and what you learned from each experience.
  • In previous positions, how much of your work was accomplished alone and how much was part of a team effort?
  • What kind of policies and procedures, if any, have you created and to whom did you take them for approval? What was the outcome?
  • Describe the most difficult interpersonal challenge you have been faced with and what you did about it.
  • Give an example of a potentially volatile situation or individual that you successfully calmed down and how you went about it.
  • Describe a time when you went "beyond the call of duty" to accomplish a task.
  • Describe the most difficult person you have ever worked with and how you handled him/her.
  • What is the biggest conflict you have ever been involved in at work? How did you handle that situation?
  • What new programs or services have you started?
  • How would you describe "on-the-job stress" and how do you handle it?
  • Think about a co-worker from the present or past whom you admire. Why?  
  • What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?
  • How do you feel about diversity in the workplace? Give us some examples of your efforts to promote diversity.
  • Describe your volunteer experience in community-based organizations.
  • Tell us about your preferred work environment.
  • What experiences or skills help you manage projects?
  • In what professional development activities have you been involved over the past few years?
  • What things have you done on your own initiative to help you prepare for your next job?
  • Do you have any additional information that you would like to share?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

Supervision:

  • What are the characteristics that you prize most in an employee? What behaviors or characteristics do you
    find intolerable?
  • Give an example of a time when you were disappointed by an employee's lack of accomplishment and what you did about it
  • In your experience, what motivates employees?
  • Describe how you would handle a conflict between two or more of your staff members.
  • What can a supervisor do to create a positive working environment?
  • What methods of communicating with your staff have you found most successful?
  • What recognition and reward systems have you found to be most effective?
  • In your opinion, what is the role of a supervisor?
  • In your opinion, what are the major responsibilities of a supervisor?
  • What is an effective training and orientation program for a new employee?

Good Interview Questions for Faculty Candidates

This is a sampling of generic questions to assist search committees in developing interview questions that may be asked of candidates for faculty positions.

  • Describe your teaching style.
  • Describe your teaching philosophy.
  • What technology applications have you utilized in the classroom?
  • How do you engage students? How do you engage students in a course for non-majors?
  • Share your ideas about professional development.
  • In your opinion, how should the workload of a faculty be split and into what areas?
  • What changes have you brought to the teaching of (particular discipline)?
  • How would you go about being an advocate and resource for the use of technology in the teaching and learning process?
  • What courses have you created or proposed in the past five years?
  • What do you think are the most important attributes of a good instructor?
  • Where does this position fit into your career development goals?
  • How do you define good teaching?
  • What do you think are your greatest strengths as an instructor?
  • In which areas do you feel you can use some further development?
  • How do you feel your teaching style can serve the student population of Marietta?
  • In what professional development activities have you participated over the past few years?
  • What pedagogical changes do you see on the horizon in (particular discipline)?
  • How would your background and experiences strengthen this academic department?
  • How do you adjust your style to the less-motivated and under-prepared student?
  • How have you involved your students in your research?
  • What are your current research interests?
  • What are the most recent books and articles that you have read?

Interview Questions: Work History

  • Name of company, position title and description, dates of employment.
  • What were your responsibilities?
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?
  • Which position was most / least rewarding?
  • Questions about your supervisors and co-workers.
  • What was it like working for your supervisor?
  • What do you expect from a supervisor?
  • What problems have you encountered at work?
  • Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
  • Describe a time when you had a difficult time working with a supervisor, and how did you handle the situation?
  • Why are you leaving your job? Why did you resign? (If applicable). Why did you quit your job? (If applicable). Why were you fired? (If applicable).
  • Explain your gaps in employment?

Job Interview Questions About You

  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • How will your greatest strength help you perform?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Describe a typical work week.
  • Describe your work style.
  • How many hours do you normally work? 
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • What motivates you?
  • Are you a self motivator?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What has been the greatest disappointment in your life?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your pet peeves?
  • What do people most often criticize about you?
  • When was the last time you were angry? What happened?
  • If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give some examples of a teamwork environment/ situation you were in, how did you work with the rest of the team? What were your contributions and results of the combined effort?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it?
  • Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it.
  • Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.

Job Interview Questions About the New Job and the Company

  • What interests you about this job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What applicable attributes / experience do you have?
  • Are you overqualified for this job?
  • What can you do for this company?
  • Why are you the best person for the job?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What challenges are you looking for in a position?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • What is good customer service?
  • How long do you expect to remain employed with this company?
  • Is there anything I haven't told you about the job or company that you would like to know?

Interview Questions: The Future

  • What are your goals for the next five years / ten years?
  • How do you plan to achieve those goals?
  • What are your salary requirements - both short-term and long-term?
  • Questions about your career goals.