University at Albany

General Questions

The following are some sample questions that you might get during an interview. They include typical questions, as well as questions that can be particularly challenging.

If you are asked a question that you did not expect, just take a minute to think about your answer before speaking. Most interviewers will be patient while you give their questions some thought.

Challenging Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
    Remember, this is a job interview, not a psychological or personal interview. The interviewer is interested in the information about you that relates to the situation, such as education and work experiences.
  • What do you expect to be doing five years from now? Ten years from now?
    The interviewer is looking for evidence of career goals and ambitions rather than minutely specific descriptions.
  • Why should I hire you?
    Stress what you have to offer the company, not how nice it would be to work there.
  • What do you know about Company X?
    The question is designed to determine what research you have done on the company before the interview. Be prepared to talk about the organization's products and services, values and mission, publicly known financial information, and competitors.

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Typical Questions

  • What are your long-range goals and objectives?
  • What are your short-range goals and objectives?
  • How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
  • What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
  • Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?
  • What are your strengths, weaknesses, and interests?
  • How do you think a friend or professor who knows you well would describe you?
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • In what ways have your college experiences prepared you for a career?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success?
  • In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization?
  • What qualities should a successful manager possess?
  • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
  • Describe your most rewarding college experience.
  • What interests you about our product or service?
  • Why did you select your college or university?
  • What led you to choose your major or field of study?
  • What college subjects did you like best? Why?
  • What college subjects did you like least? Why?
  • If you could do so, how would you plan your academic studies differently?
  • Do you think your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
  • What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?
  • In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • How do you work under pressure?
  • In what part-time, co-op, or summer jobs have you been most interested? Why?
  • How would you describe the ideal job for you following graduation?
  • Why did you decide to seek a position with this organization?
  • What two or three things would be most important to you in your job?
  • What criteria are you using to evaluate the organization for which you hope to work?
  • Will you relocate? Does relocation bother you?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • Are you willing to spend at least six months as a trainee?