Sample Interview Questions

Job interviews tend to consist of relatively predictable questions. You can expect that at least a few of the following common interview questions will be asked during your interview.

Smart job-seekers prepare and practice answers to common interview questions in advance.

Choose a few questions from the lists below and use them to practice with BigInterview practice tool or in person with a peer career coach. If you have trouble choosing questions, a peer coach can help you get started.

Common Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Do you have any questions?

Behavioral Questions

  • Give an example of a time you were able to communicate successfully with another person even when that person didn't like you (or you didn't like them).
  • Think of a crisis where things got out of control. Why did it happen and what was your role?
  • Tell us what you did in your last job to build teamwork. How did you resolve conflict in the team? Be specific.
  • How would a friend or professor who knows you well describe you?
  • How do you manage your time? If several challenges came up at the same time, how would you prioritize?
The STAR method is an excellent way to respond to behavioral interview questions like those above.

Biographical Questions

  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Do you have a geographic preference?
  • If you had the chance to repeat your college career, what would you do differently?
  • Tell me about your college activities.
  • What salary range are you expecting? (If possible, you may want to state that you are more interested in the content of the position at this point and would be happy to discuss salary when an offer is presented. Research salaries in advance in case they push the issue.)

Education-Related Questions

  • What special skills do you have that make you stand out from other candidates?
  • How has your college experience prepared you for a professional career?
  • What is your GPA and how do you feel about it?
  • Please describe your most rewarding college experience.
  • Why did you choose the University of Cincinnati?

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Tell me about a time you went above and beyond in order to get a job done.
  • What do you consider your greatest accomplishment and why?
  • What is your greatest weakness, and what have you done to overcome it?
  • What do you see as your major strengths as they apply to this position?

Questions for Research Positions

  • Who has influenced your research the most?
  • What has been your role so far in developing research ideas and carrying them forward?
  • How have you managed your research project?
  • What do you think are your most significant research accomplishments?
  • In two minutes, describe in layman’s terms why your research project is interesting.

Professional Goals

  • Give an example of an important goal you set in the past and tell about your success in reaching it.
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how are you preparing to achieve them?
  • How have you spent your summers for the last four years? What did you learn from these experiences?
  • Why are you interested in this career field?
  • What do you know about our company, and why do you want to work for us?