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Interview Questions: Can I see a list of traditional interview questions?

Can I see a list of traditional interview questions?


Below is a list of traditional questions, along with guidance on how to answer each.

  • Describe your educational background.
    • Highlight the parts of your education most relevant to the job opportunity.
  • Why did you choose Walden University?
    • Do your homework (e.g., its social change mission, emphasis on scholarly research and practical application, peer-reviewed journals).
  • What were your major achievements in your past jobs?
    • Choose achievements that are most closely related to the challenges of the job you’re seeking.  Describe your achievements in terms of a challenge you addressed, your action, and the specific results.
  • Which job have you enjoyed most/least and why?
    • Keep your answers positive.  Emphasize what you learned from the job you enjoyed least.
  • Have you ever been fired?  Why?
    • If you have been fired, avoid the temptation to criticize your former employer.  Stay objective and positive.  If it wasn't the right fit, state what you learned from the experience.  Be sure to provide positive references who can speak to your abilities and accomplishments in other positions.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
    • Do substantial research so that you can make a convincing case for your interest in this particular employer and position.
  • What is your ideal job? 
    • Your interviewers are interested in whether your ideal job shares common ground with their position, so tie your ideal job back to their opportunity.
  • What are your short/long term career goals?
    • The employer is wondering if your long term goals fit with the organization.  It's acceptable to have a general long term goal, such as "to master this position, to build a stronger professional network in my field, and to get an article published."
  • Why should I hire you over other candidates?
    • Summarize three relevant qualifications that make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Tell me about yourself.
    • Briefly explain your educational and professional background relevant to the position.  You may also illustrate two or three professional accomplishments.
  • What is your major strength/weakness?
    • Typically, a desirable job is one that plays to your major strength and doesn’t often test your major weakness.  Share a weakness that is not detrimental to successfully carrying out the job, and state how you've improved in that area (e.g., through taking courses or joining Toastmasters).  If your major weakness will be tested quite often in this job, you may want to consider whether it's the right opportunity.   
  • What causes you to lose your temper?
    • Leading negative questions are challenging.  One strategy is to give an example of an aggravating situation and how you dealt with it in a calm, constructive manner.  Another strategy is to state how you handled a situation, what you learned, and how you would handle it differently next time.  In other words, always pull something positive--either how you acted or what you learned--out of a negative.
  • How do you cope with working under pressure and meeting tight deadlines?
    • State the best way you diffuse stress and manage your time.
  • Tell me about your current boss.  What was the strongest compliment you've received from him/her?  What was the strongest criticism?
    • Make your description of your boss positive.  It may be easy to think of a compliment, but be sure to include criticism also, including how you used it to improve your performance.  If you don't mention criticism, the employer will wonder if you're a coachable employee open to feedback from others. 
  • What is your minimum salary?
    • It is best to delay discussion of salary and benefits until you have an actual job offer; you'll be the desired candidate and will have the greatest bargaining power.  However, be prepared for this question earlier.  If the salary was not stated when the job was advertised, research salary information before your interview.  Try to obtain the company’s pay scale, the fair market value for the position, the industry average, and your region’s average.  Research salary information.