Sample Interview Questions

Traditional Questions

Question Type



Traditional Questions "Tell me about yourself?" These questions address your personality, interests, background, values, and general skills. Be sure to give a snapshot of who you are. The interviewer will also address your knowledge of the company, the industry, and your choice of academic program. Your answers should be clear with specific examples
Behaviour-Based Questions "Please describe a time when you worked effectively on a team" This type of question is based on the idea that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. The interviewer will ask you about a time you demonstrated a skill. Questions may be of a problem-solving or role-playing nature. For these types of questions it is best to answer using the STAR technique.
Technical Questions "Explain the characteristics of Alzheimer's disease" These questions will address things you’ve learned in your academic program, specific knowledge in the field, or techniques you’re expected to be familiar with.
"Sink into the Floor" Questions "If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be?" These are non-traditional questions designed in order to learn about your personality, how you cope under pressure, or how you think creatively. The trick here is to be honest, and to make a relevant link back to the position.
If you’re asked what kind of animal you’d be and the first thing you mistakenly blurt out is “a pig” you can salvage your answer by justifying it: “Pigs are loyal and intelligent, and those are two qualities I possess.”

Specific Sample Questions;


  • Do you have plans for graduate work?
  • Have you ever changed your major field of interest while in university?  Why?
  • Why did you choose your academic degree program?
  • What elective courses did you take?  Why did you choose these particular ones?
  • What subjects did you enjoy most?  Why?
  • What motivated you to pursue a university degree?
  • What is the most important thing you learned from your time at university?
  • Do you think grades should be considered by employers? Why? Why not? How do you feel about the importance of grades in university?
  • What subjects did you do worst/best in?  Why do you suppose that was?
  • If you could do your university years over, what might you change?  Why?
  • What have you learned from your high school (college/university) experiences that you see being carried over to your adult today?
  • Which of your university years was the most difficult? Why?
  • There is an opinion that student involvement activities infringe too much on valuable study time.  How do you feel about this?
  • Do you think your extra-curricular activities were worth the time you devoted to them?  Why?
  • What do you feel is the basic meaning of a university education?
  • Why did you decide to go to the University of Guelph?
  • What percentage of your college expenses did you pay for yourself?  How?
  • Do you feel that you did your best in your academics?

Work Experience

  • Can you take direction without feeling upset?
  • In what areas are you weakest/strongest and how do you feel that will affect you on the job?
  • Starting with your last job, would you tell me about any of your achievements that were recognized by your supervisor or others?
  • Which jobs (or parts of your work) have been most satisfying?  Why?
  • Which jobs (or parts of your work) have you enjoyed least?  Why?
  • How do you think a department should be managed?
  • What are the most important contributions you have made to your present employer?
  • If you were offered this position, how would you manage your first few weeks?
  • How have you helped to increase sales (profits, efficiency, etc)?
  • How does your education relate to this job?

Personal Interests

  • What do you enjoy doing in your off hours? How do you usually spend free time?
  • Do you like to travel?
  • Can you describe a difficult obstacle you have had to overcome?
  • What things frustrate you the most? How do you usually cope with them?
  • What would you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?  Why?
  • What experience, person, or philosophy of life has influenced you deeply?
  • What have you done which shows initiative and willingness to work?
  • What kinds of things do you feel most confident doing?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What (types of) books have you read?

Interpersonal Relationships

  • How have previous employers treated you?
  • Do you prefer working with others or by yourself?
  • What kind of people do you like to work with? What kind of people do you find most difficult to work with?  Why?
  • What kind of boss do you prefer?
  • What characteristics do you admire in a person (in a boss, etc.)?
  • Define co-operation!
  • Can you give me an example or two of your ability to manage or supervise others?
  • Have you made good friends among your fellow career workers?

Your Career Plans

  • In terms of your career, where do you see yourself five years from now? What are your future career plans?
  • Who or what in your life would you say influenced you most with regard to your career objectives?
  • Why did you choose the ______ field?
  • Why do you think you would like to work for our company/organization?
  • Do you prefer a large company/organization or a small one?  Why?
  • What are the disadvantages of your chosen field?
  • What are some of the things you would like to avoid in a job or career?  Why?
  • What qualifications do you have that you think would make you successful in this field?
  • What skills have you developed at university that would be applicable to this job?
  • What personal characteristics are necessary for success in your chosen field?
  • Why should I hire you and not the five other persons I will be interviewing shortly for the very same job?
  • What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work?
  • Do you prefer any specific geographic location?  Why?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • How much do you expect to get paid?
  • What job in our company do you want to work toward?
  • What do you know about this industry?

Behavioural Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you have taken initiative.
  • Tell me about a challenge you faced and how you handled it.
  • What did you contribute in your last job that made a difference to the organization?
  • Give me an example of an interpersonal conflict you have had and how it was resolved.
  • Remember to answer with STAR!

Technical Questions

  • What theory would you apply to solve the following situation...
  • Describe the process for... (statistics, computer programming, laboratory method, mathematics)
  • Using the following objects, create a therapeutic exercise to... (psychology)
  • In the following scenario, what treatment/response would you recommend... (nutrition, child development)
  • How would you solve the following problem... (engineering, agriculture, physics, chemistry, statistics)