Middlebury

 

Common Interview Questions

You can predict many of the questions that you will be asked in any given employment interview. Being prepared with a response to these predictable questions will greatly reduce your nervousness, allowing you to be more relaxed and nimble to address the other questions you are asked. Read through the list of questions below; it is likely that you will be asked some variation of many (not all!) of these.

Important Tip #1: Ambiguous questions are not an invitation to ramble on without direction. Stay focused; before beginning your response, identify two or three key points that support your qualifications for and/or compatibility with the job and stick to these points.

Important Tip #2: Know your resume inside and out and be prepared to discuss anything that is on your resume. Know the job description of the job you are applying for and be prepared to connect your skills/experiences to the qualifications required of the job. And know about the employer/organization; research their website and learn what you can about their culture, mission, products/services, and whom they serve (customers/clients).

Important Tip #3: When answering questions, be positive! Communicate clearly; use concrete examples whenever possible; demonstrate lessons you’ve learned from your experiences; know your "marketable" assets (strengths); and take advantage of questions that allow you to integrate points that strengthen your candidacy in your response.

Click here for a sample list of commonly asked questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Which activities at Middlebury have you enjoyed the most?
  • Why Middlebury?
  • What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work?
  • What kind of books do you read?
  • Why are you interested in this position / our company?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
  • What qualifications do you have that you feel will lead to success in your career?
  • What have you learned from some of the jobs or internships you have had?
  • What kind of work interests you?
  • Do you have plans for graduate study?
  • How would you rate your cultural competence?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed.
  • What has been your biggest disappointment?
  • What did you like/dislike about your last job/internship?
  • How long would you plan to stay with us?
  • What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
  • Can you work under pressure?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What interests you most about this job?
  • Tell me why we shouldn’t hire you.
  • What can you do for us that someone else can't do?
  • Describe a difficult problem you've had to deal with.
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What do you do when you are faced with problems or stresses at work that test your coping skills?
  • Tell me about an important goal you've set in the past and how successful you were in meeting it.
  • How do you approach tasks which you dislike or which are uninteresting to you?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to use your communication skills in order to get a point across that was important to you.
  • Tell me about a job experience in which you had to speak up and tell other people what you thought or felt.
  • Give me an example of a clever way you motivated your coworkers or subordinates.
  • What types of decisions have you made without consulting your boss?
  • Describe a situation in which you felt it necessary to be very attentive to your environment.
  • Describe a situation when you overcame a job-related obstacle.
  • Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to gain information needed to solve a problem; then tell me how you analyzed the information and came to a decision.
  • Describe the most significant written document, report, or presentation that you've completed.
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Give me an example of a time when you were able to communicate successfully with another person, even when that individual may not have personally liked you.
  • What keeps you challenged?
  • What do you expect from a supervisor?
  • Describe the most creative work-related project you have completed.
  • What do you consider to be important factors in your being successful in past or present jobs?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to analyze a situation carefully in order to be effective in guiding your action or decision.
  • How do you work under pressure?
  • What did you do in your last job to contribute toward a teamwork environment?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
  • Tell me how you solved a problem you faced on the job.
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to positively influence the actions of others in a desired direction.
  • Tell me about a situation in the past year in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or coworker.
  • Tell me about an idea of yours that you were able to sell to management.
  • Describe a situation in which others within your organization depended on you.
  • Describe your most recent group effort.
  • Take me through a time when you took a product or a project from start to launch.
  • Describe the way that you work under tight deadlines.
  • Describe how you work under tough managers.
  • What is your definition of "working too hard"?
  • Persuade me to move to your city.
  • How do you manage stress?
  • What kinds of opportunities have you created for yourself in your current position?
  • In a team environment, are you a motivator, a player, a leader, or an enthusiast?
  • In the past three years, what part of your professional skill set have you improved the most?
  • If you were a new employee, what would you do to gain respect from peers in 30, 60, or 90 days?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • Are you willing to work overtime?

More Resources

For even more sample questions check out Ready Prep Interview.

To check out some videos on interview practicing, check out MindSumo.