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Common Interview Questions

The following questions are commonly asked during interviews. It is best to practice these questions so you are not caught off-guard. While practicing your answers, remember to keep your tone conversational and not robotic and stiff.

  1. Tell me about yourself. Begin with a few specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about and talk about how it has prepared you for this position. Do not share personal information.

  2. What do you know about our organization, company, agency? Do your research. Explore the company website and social media pages.  You can also Google them to see if they have been in the news (for good reasons!). Your knowledge will not only impress the interviewer, but they also are expecting someone to take the time to learn about the organization.

  3. Why do you want to work here? Mention a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you, then align those to the company’s goals and outcomes. You can also include why you like the company and what it does.

  4. What do you consider to be your greatest strength and weakness? For the strength, be specific and relevant to the job. Follow up with an example that shows evidence of this strength. Try to avoid over-used strengths such as “people person,” “hard worker,” or “dedicated” unless you can put a new spin on them that an employer hasn’t heard before.

    For the weakness, this is more of a self-awareness question so give an example of something with which you might struggle but that you are working to improve. Then, give an example of that improvement. Avoid these  over-used weaknesses: “perfectionist,” “caring too much,” or “not able to say ‘no’.”

  5. What specific skills and experience do you have that relate to the job? Note the word “specific.” This is your chance to share your knowledge and abilities. Be sure to include examples, whether it be from a past or current job, an internship, clinical, or volunteer experience. Don’t just tell them you know how to do it, give examples of how you’ve done it successfully.

  6. Tell me about a time you worked with a challenging co-worker and how did you handle it? ** Give a specific example and answer like a S.T.A.R.!

  7. What major problem have you encountered at work and how did you handle it? ** Give a specific example and answer like a S.T.A.R.!

  8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Share how you plan to contribute to, and grow with, the organization over the next few years.

  9. Why should we hire you over the other candidates? This is your opportunity to summarize that you can not only do the work, but you can also deliver great results. This is also a chance to share something you might not have been able to in previous questions (as long as it is work-related).

  10. Do you have any questions for me? Always have questions! It shows that you have an interest in the position. It is best to avoid questions concerning pay, benefits, or time off. While these are important factors in our job search, asking them right away takes away from why you would be a good candidate. See example questions you can ask employers.

** These are examples of behavioral questions. These types of questions need specific answers with examples. They tend to begin with: “Tell me about a time…,” “Give me an example of…,” “When was the last time…?,” “What would you do if…?”

** Be specific with an example and answer like a S.T.A.R! Situation, Task, Action, Result.

  • Situation and Task: What was going on?
  • Action: What did you do in the situation?
  • Result: What happened as a result of your action?  If at all possible, pick a scenario where the result was positive.

Questions You May Want to Ask the Employer

  1. Where do you see this company five years down the road?

  2. What would be my key responsibilities?

  3. Can you describe a typical day?

  4. To whom would I report? Will I get the opportunity to meet that person?

  5. Who had the job before me? What was his or her reason for leaving?

  6. What would my first project be?

  7. What type of training is needed for this position?

  8. How much travel, if any, is required?

  9. Do you support professional development?

  10. What makes your company different from its competitors?

  11. How is the current department organized?

  12. Is there a formal evaluation system?

  13. What characteristics does a successful person have at your company?

  14. When might you be making your hiring decision? Should I contact you or will you contact me? 

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