Examples of interview questions

Education and leisure

  • What interests you most about your course?
  • Describe how you typically approach a project
  • If you could change your course in any way, what would you change?
  • How would your tutor describe your work?
  • What are your leisure time activities? What do you get out of them?

Skills, attributes and potential

  • If we asked for a reference what would it say about you?
  • How would a friend describe you?
  • What is your major achievement?
  • How do you manage your day?
  • What do you consider yourself good at doing?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Describe a difficult situation and what you did about it
  • How well do you work in a team?
  • This position has a large amount of stress/negotiation/teamwork/isolation/travel. How will you cope with this?
  • How do you respond to stress? Can you provide a recent example?
  • What would you look for in a manager?
  • How do you/would you get the best out of people?

Information

The STARS technique is a great way to structure your answers for these kinds of questions.

Situation - Briefly set the scene (i.e. where and when)
Task - What was the aim, and what was your role?
Action - What did YOU do and how did YOU contribute? (this should form the majority of your answer - around 70%)
Result - What results were achieved? What outcome was reached?
Self-reflection - For a really good answer, you should add any reflection and what you learnt from this situation - with hindsight, would you approach the task differently?

Motivation

  1. Why have you applied for this job?
  2. What makes you suitable for this role?
  3. What makes you think you can be successful with us?
  4. What do you think you can bring to this position/company?

Preparation

  • For each question it is well worth writing out your answer rather than just thinking it through.
  • Bear in mind that we use different areas of the brain for thinking and talking so practise your answers by talking out loud.
  • If possible use a recorder to assess your performance.
  • Why not get a friend to ask you the questions so that you are simulating an interview?
  • Keep practising until your answers are fluent, although you should not learn them parrot-fashion.