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Common Questions

Traditional interviews

The traditional interview is organized around your resume which is used as a guide to probe your preferences, decisions, and accomplishments.  Prepare: Know your resume and be ready to communicate what you have learned from each of your decisions and experiences.

"I developed strong writing skills during my summer internship. I wrote two technical reports and received positive feedback from my supervisor."

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why did you choose to interview with our organization?
  3. Describe your ideal job.
  4. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths?
  5. What is your proudest accomplishment?
  6. What motivates you most in a job?
  7. Why did you choose your major? NC State?
  8. Which classes did you enjoy most? Least?
  9. How do you account for your GPA?
  10. If you were to start over, what would you change about your education?
  11. What did you enjoy most about each position?  Least?
  12. How would your supervisor describe you? 
  13. What kind of manager brings out your best?
  14. What role do you typically take on a team?
  15. What do you know about our organization?
  16. How do you feel about working in a structured environment?  Unstructured?
  17. How do you feel about travel?
  18. Are you interested in relocating?
  19. Where do you want to be in five years?
  20. Do you plan to go to graduate school?
  21. Why should we hire you?

Behavioral interviews

The behavioral interview follows the STAR technique and is based upon the notion that past performance is a good indicator of future perfomance. Prepare: Identify a few challenging situations or experiences where your action led to positive results. Draw from any part of your life -- projects, jobs, or activities.

S ------ situation ---- give an example of a situation
T ------ task ---------- describe the tasks involved
A ------ action -------- explain how you responded
R ------ results ------ describe the (positive) outcome as a result

  1. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  2. Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.
  3. Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  4. Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve that goal.
  5. Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion. 
  6. Give me an example of a time when you had to conform to a policy which you did not agree.
  7. Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.
  8. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty to get a job done.
  9. Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.
  10. Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision.
  11. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?  Give me an example.
  12. Tell me about a difficult decision you have made in the last year.
  13. Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish failed. 
  14. Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative and took the lead.
  15. Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with an upset customer or co-worker. 
  16. Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
  17. Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
  18. Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
  19. Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
  20. Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).
  21. Give me an example of the most creative project you have worked on.

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